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Type 26 Global Combat Ship

Up till 2016 the record of British warship exports has been pretty poor. Although France, Germany, Italy and even Spain have been successful in winning orders worldwide, the had been utterly unsuccessful. Some argue the UK was over-specifying and others had vessels that were more readily available. Although the UK have done extremely well in aerospace, naval has been much worse. The national shipbuilding strategy had a vision not only to fill the gap of the remaining five Type 26s in order to have a one-for-one replacement of the Type 23s but to go on to build a credible, capable but exportable general purpose frigate design that will not only enable the Navy to start growing in its destroyer and frigate numbers in the 2030s but to get back into the game of very credible and effective surface ship exports.

The Type 26 is a high-end anti-submarine warfare frigate, and it is deliberately designed to be so. Its design enables it to provide high-end protection both to continuous at-sea deterrent forces and to future carrier strike groups, and it is deliberately designed to be resilient, noise-quietened and highly effective in countering peer and near-peer threats in the anti-submarine warfare environment. That drives an element of design cost and implications into it, which means that a number of allies who are also looking for that kind of escort are in the game for Type 26, but many others are not, because it is beyond the needs of what they believe they have to have and of what they think they can afford.

In a step change for the UK maritime industry, Type 26 will be the first ship designed for the Royal Navy with export opportunities in mind from the outset. As aging fleets around the world need replacing, more and more naval forces are looking for highly capable, affordable supportable ships. With this in mind, BAE Systems was developing a core platform, which is sufficiently open to allow tailored equipment and systems to be integrated to meet each individual customer requirements In doing so, the aim is that the economies of scale created by spreading non-recurring costs will reduce the cost per ship, helping to deliver better value to customers.

The UK government was looking to sharply slash target costs for the Type 26 frigates, from 500 million to 250-350 million ($400-550 million), in order to field a large enough Royal Navy fleet. The British government was planning to build the Type 26 frigates when it was hit with drastic budget cuts and downsizing - something that may have prompted BAE to begin looking for new partners. The first country to be formally invited to participate, in September 2010, was Brazil.

By February 2011 Britain and Turkey were negotiating a military agreement, which will enable the two countries to share their expertise. Turks will help Britain in making Type 26 Frigate as part of the agreement, which is a naval ship designed for 2020. Britain hoped to have completed its memorandum of understanding with Turkey by July 2011.

Both Canada and Australia have plans for a "future frigate" competition in their 20-year defense procurement strategies, and BAE can expect strong competition on both fronts. Canada may be a better bet than Australia, where Spain's Navantia has established a very strong foothold with its current Hobart Class destroyer and Canberra Class LHD programs.

The British lobbied Canada to become involved in their frigate replacement program as a way of offsetting major defence cuts. The Type-26 frigate was currently on the drawing board and access to the program could see a Canadian replacement. But Canada looked to have firmly slammed the door on proposals that it participate in BAE Systems' Global Combat Ship program. "Canada will not be pursuing collaboration with the United Kingdom on our new surface combatant fleet," Jay Paxton, a spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay, said 06 March 2011.

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Page last modified: 04-11-2018 17:50:58 ZULU