Home Europe Royal Navy’s first Type 26 frigate finally hits the water

Royal Navy’s first Type 26 frigate finally hits the water

HMS Glasgow launch
Photo: Royal Navy

The lead ship of the Royal Navy’s City-class frigates – HMS Glasgow – has touched the waters of the River Clyde in a milestone moment for the program.

The multi-day launch of future HMS Glasgow marks the next phase of the float off process which saw the 6,000-ton 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.

He 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).

Photo: Royal Navy

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.

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.”

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.