Royal Navy Offers A Glimpse of Its Future, Unveils Type 26 Warship

The Type 26 GCS. Image: MoD/BAE System’s

The UK’s Ministry of Defence on Monday offered its first look at the basic specification of the UK’s next generation warship, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship.

The multi-mission warship, which is due to come into service around 2021, will be used by the Royal Navy in combat and counter-piracy operations, as well as in support of humanitarian and disaster relief work around the world.

Since 2010 the MoD has been working with BAE Systems to determine the ship’s basic capabilities and baseline design.

With a basic displacement of around 5,400 tonnes, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be around 148m in length, and one of the most advanced vessels in the Royal Navy’s fleet. It is expected to feature: vertical missile silos capable of housing a range of different weapons; a Medium Calibre gun; a hangar to accommodate a Merlin or Wildcat Helicopter and a Flexible Mission Space for Unmanned Air, surface and underwater Vehicles, or additional boats; and the most advanced sensors available to the fleet.

Computer Generated Image (CGI) of the basic specification of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship (T26 GCS). Image: MoD/BAE System’s

The 13-ship T26 GCS program is one of several projects, including the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, highlighting the United Kingdom’s still vibrant shipbuilding industry. The GCS project is expected to create thousands of jobs over the course of its development.

“The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be the backbone of the Royal Navy for decades to come. It is designed to be adaptable and easily upgraded, reacting to threats as they change.

“I am delighted the programme has been endorsed by the investment approvals committee. The build of these vessels will secure thousands of skilled jobs across the UK, helping to sustain an industrial surface warship capability.” -Peter Luff, The Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology.