The hull of HMS Glasgow touched the cold waters of the River Clyde in a milestone moment for the Type 26 frigate programme. As the sun was setting at Glen Mallan, on the shores of Loch Long in Scotland, the ship was lowered from a barge into the deep water for the first time. This marked the next phase of the float off process which saw the 6,000-tonne warship fixed to the barge one week earlier and moved from BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard. From the shipyard, it transited to Glen Mallan where the barge slowly sunk into the water as night fell until the ship’s hull was submerged. The following morning, it was towed upstream to Scotstoun where her construction will continue. Chief Petty Officer Adam ‘Ash’ Hallam, one of HMS Glasgow’s Marine Engineer Group Heads, was responsible for looking for any issues or faults as the hull entered the water overnight. The first steel was cut for Glasgow in July 2017 with the ship expected to be delivered in 2024 and operational in about 2026.
Commander Phil Burgess, HMS Glasgow’s Senior Naval Officer, said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to be on board HMS Glasgow for the very first time the ship entered the water – a momentous milestone in the life of any ship. My team and I worked alongside our BAE industry colleagues for an extended period of time to ensure float off was a success. I’m now looking forward to having the ship alongside at the BAE Scotstoun yard where she will commence the next stage of her build. This will see the commissioning and setting to work of the myriad systems that will enable this first of class Type 26 frigate to deliver world-class leading capability when the ship enters service.”
Chief Petty Officer Adam ‘Ash’ Hallam said: “Being on board HMS Glasgow and working alongside out shipbuilding partner for the very first time the ship entered the water to ensure a successful float off was an immensely proud moment.”
Glasgow’s move onto the barge in Govan was closely watched by her ship’s company, other RN personnel and specialist engineers from BAE Systems and Defence and Equipment Support (DE&S). After being secured on the barge, she set sail and spent a few days heading north to Glen Mallan. There, the barge was lowered in the loch’s deep waters before the ship was then moved back south. Now in Scotstoun, Glasgow will undergo further outfitting, testing and then commissioning. She is the first of eight City-class frigates to be delivered to the Royal Navy. HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast are also under construction with Glasgow expected to enter service in the late-2020s. HMS Glasgow is the first Type 26 frigate to be built for the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. The Type 26 class will partially replace the navy’s thirteen Type 23 frigates, and will be a multi-mission warship designed to support anti-submarine warfare, air defence and general purpose operations. The ship is being assembled on the River Clyde in Glasgow.
In January 2018, work started on the second hull section. The Type 26 frigate or City-class frigate is a class of frigate being built for the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, with variants also being built for the Australian and Canadian navies. The programme, known as the Global Combat Ship, was launched by the UK Ministry of Defence to partially replace the navy’s thirteen Type 23 frigates, and for export. Its primary role is to conduct advanced anti-submarine warfare missions while supporting air defence and general purpose operations. The type is the first naval platform shared between Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom since the Tribal-class destroyer.