Type 26 Frigate
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship (T26 GCS) will have a displacement of 8,000 tonnes under full load per ship. With a length of 148.5m and a beam of 19m the T26 GCS is approximately 10-15% larger than the Type 23 Duke Class Frigates that they will replace. The T26 GCS will have a range of 7,800 nautical miles and will be capable of reaching speeds of 28 knots. The T26 GCS will carry a crew of 185.
The T26 GCS will be installed with the Type 997 Artisan 3D radar, which is a 3D Air and Surface Surveillance Radar by BAE Systems. It has a range of 110 nautical miles and will be capable of tracking targets the size of small birds travelling at Mach 3. The Type 997 Artisan is currently fitted to T23 Frigate HMS Iron Duke and the amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean, and will be fitted to the QEC Aircraft Carriers. The vessels will also be fitted with Sonar 2087 by Thales Underwater Systems, which will significantly enhance the anti-submarine capability of the Royal Navy. Further systems fitted to the T26 include Type 2050 Bow Sonar and SCOT-5 satcom systems.
The vessels have been designed to offer a large level of flexibility in their roles, and the armaments carried reflect this. For anti-air capability the vessels will be fitted with 8 x 6-cell CAMM VLS canisters and will carry a total of 48 CAMM missiles. Anti-submarine capability will be provided by a Sting Ray torpedo system, while Strike Length Vertical Launch System (VLS) capability will be provided by 3x 8-cell strike length Mark 41 VLS to allow for the launch of Tomahawk, ASROC or LRASM missiles. In addition to these capabilities further armaments include a BAE Systems 5” Mark 45 Naval Gun, two 30mm DS30M Mark 2 automated guns, two Phalanx Close in Weapons systems (CIWS) for defence against anti-ship missiles, 2 Miniguns and 4 general purpose machine guns.
The Demonstration phase of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship project began on 1 April 2015, with manufacturing intended to begin in 2016. The first in class of these vessels will be delivered in 2021. By the mid 2030’s the T26 GCS is intended to provide the backbone of the Royal Navy, replacing the current Type 23 frigates. At present no vessels in this class have been named.