Prince William has made the first steel cut for HMS Belfast, the third ship in the Royal Navy’s fleet of next generation Type 26 anti-submarine frigates.
Prince William officially cut the steel for the UK’s newest warship, at a ceremony held at BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard on the River Clyde. The steel cut marks the official start of build on the third of eight Type 26 warships.
The steel cut represents an important milestone for the Type 26 programme, the Royal Navy, UK defence and shipbuilding in Scotland. All eight Type 26 frigates will be built by BAE Systems on the Clyde, sustaining around 1,700 jobs in Scotland and 4,000 jobs across the wider UK maritime supply chain.
Defence Minister, Baroness Goldie said on June 29, “Today is a significant milestone for the exciting new Type 26 frigate programme and for Defence. We celebrate and receive great support from our UK shipyards. As a Scot, I am very proud of the skills and expertise of our Scottish shipbuilders here on the Clyde.
“These new frigates will be equipped with the most advanced capabilities and technologies, enabling the Royal Navy to counter emerging global threats for decades to come,” he added.
Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack said,”Scotland is a world leader in shipbuilding and it’s great to see construction of the British military’s latest warship beginning by the River Clyde in Govan.
“When complete HMS Belfast – and the rest of the seven strong Scottish built Type 26 fleet – will help protect the UK and our NATO allies 24/7. In the meantime, the anti-submarine frigate building programme is boosting our country’s prosperity through the investment and skills footprint defence projects bring,” he added.
The Type 26 is an advanced warship whose primary purpose is anti-submarine warfare to protect the Continuous at Sea Deterrent and Carrier Strike Group.
The UK’s first three Type 26 ships – HMS Glasgow, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast – were ordered for £3.7 billion. HMS Birmingham, HMS Sheffield, HMS Newcastle, HMS Edinburgh and HMS London will form the second batch of Type 26 warships.
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