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BAE Systems receives contract for "Global Combat Ship" programme

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Artistic illustration of Type 26 Global Combat Ship. A BAE Systems image

LONDON (BNS): British defence major BAE Systems has received a contract worth £3.7 billion (US$ 4.8 billion) from the UK Defence Ministry to build the new class of Type 26 multi-role frigates for the Royal Navy.

The contract for the construction of the first batch of three new ships under the Type 26 "Global Combat Ship" programme was awarded to BAE Systems, with steel to be cut on the first ship in Glasgow in the coming weeks, the shipbuilder announced on July 2.

"The Type 26 frigate is a cutting-edge warship, combining the expertise of the British shipbuilding industry with the excellence of the Royal Navy.

"We will cut steel on the first ship later this month – a hugely significant milestone that delivers on our commitment to maintain our global naval power. These ships will be a force to be reckoned with, there to protect our powerful new carriers and helping keep British interests safe across the world," British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said.

The Royal Navy had initially planned to acquire a total of 13 such warships to replace its Type 23 class of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) frigates.

However, the UK Government in its 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) committed to procuring eight advanced anti-submarine warfare ships.

The contract for the second batch of five such ships is expected to be negotiated in the early 2020s, according to a news report.

Globally deployable, the Type 26 frigates will be capable of undertaking a wide range of roles from high intensity warfare to humanitarian assistance, either operating independently or as part of a task group.

The platforms will be the most advanced ship in its class around the world, BAE said, adding that they are exploring potential export opportunities where there is strong interest from international customers.

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