Home Europe Royal Navy’s lead Type 26 frigate welcomes first crew members

Royal Navy’s lead Type 26 frigate welcomes first crew members

First HMS Glasgow crew
Photo: Royal Navy

The first of Royal Navy’s next-generation warships has welcomed half a dozen sailors that will breathe life into the ship that is currently under construction in Glasgow, Scotland.

The lead Type 26 frigate HMS Glasgow is currently on the hard-standing at BAE Systems’ yard in Govan, where shipwrights, technicians and engineers are completing the hull and superstructure

The ship is the first of eight Type 26 frigates which will safeguard both the nation’s nuclear deterrence and its aircraft carrier strike groups from interference from hostile submarines.

The frigate, whose sponsor is the Duchess of Cambridge – known as the Countess of Strathearn when visiting Scotland – is sufficiently complete for the Royal Navy to begin assigning sailors to her.

The trailblazers will produce the ship’s ‘operators’ manual’: determining how HMS Glasgow will be run, her routines, her systems and sensors to make her an effective fighting force when she enters service later this decade.

It’s also their task to give Glasgow her soul – to set the tone for an active career of 25 years or more, building bonds with her sponsor, affiliates such as the City of Glasgow, Army and RAF units, charities and community groups.

Sir Simon Lister, managing director of BAE Systems’ Naval Ships business, presented the ship’s first two junior ratings – Leading Writer Hayden Palmer and logistician Leading Hand Samuela Halofaki – with the inaugural HMS Glasgow cap tallies.

“The ship’s company is the life-blood of a warship,” said Commander Phil Burgess, both the warship’s Marine Engineer Officer and Senior Naval Officer – representing the Commanding Officer until one is appointed further along in the ship’s life.

“With Royal Navy personnel joining HMS Glasgow for the first time, we have reached a key milestone that will enable the engineering, administrative and organisational foundations to be established.

“These are necessary for a modern-day warship to function efficiently and effectively, and by starting now we can best support the build and transition into Service of HMS Glasgow.”

Leading Hand Halofaki will be responsible for making sure Glasgow has all the requisite equipment and stores aboard, as well as the supporting documentation.

“I’m delighted to have joined as the first logistics expert in the first of ship of the Type 26 class. It’s exciting to be part of the team delivering a new ship into Service in the RN and I’m looking forward to playing my part in that,” said the father-of-three who has already helped to bring HMS Trent, Tamar and Spey into service.

Sir Simon said he was proud to welcome the first sailors aboard to work with BAE’s teams to together forge “an extremely versatile, capable and powerful addition to the Royal Navy fleet”.

HMS Glasgow is the first of an initial batch of three ships all named after UK cities, followed by HMS Cardiff and Belfast.

Operating from Devonport Naval Base, the Type 26s will be equipped with bow and towed-array sonars, plus carry a Wildcat or Merlin helicopter, for submarine-hunting missions.

A 5in gun and vertical-launch missile silo, plus an adaptable mission bay will provide the offensive punch and capability of the frigates.