First new Type 26 frigate is named as steel cutting begins on the Clyde

The first new Type 26 frigate to be built for the Royal Navy will be named HMS Glasgow, it has been announced today.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon officially began the steel cutting for HMS Glasgow, the first in a new generation of cutting-edge frigates called the City-class.

Glasgow is a name with a distinguished historical pedigree, and this first name in the class provides a tangible connection with the city where the ships will be constructed.

The work will sustain 1,700 jobs in Scotland for two decades and, and together the three ships being built under the first contract will safeguard 4,000 jobs across the wider UK supply chain until 2035.

HMS Glasgow will enter service with the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones said: "The Clyde was the birthplace of some of the greatest fighting ships the world has ever known, and so cutting steel there today for the future HMS Glasgow is symbolic of a Royal Navy on the rise once again.

"As an island nation, we are utterly dependent on the sea for our security and prosperity, and the City-class names have been chosen for the Type 26 to provide an enduring link between the Royal Navy and our great centres of commerce and industry.

"The name Glasgow brings with it a string of battle honours, stretching from the Arctic Circle to the South Atlantic. As one of the world's most capable anti-submarine frigates, the Type 26 will carry the Royal Navy's tradition of victory far into the future."

HMS Glasgow and the other seven frigates in this new class will protect our powerful new aircraft carriers and nuclear deterrent, helping keep Britain safe across the world

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon

The Type 26 is an advanced anti-submarine warfare frigate that will provide essential protection to our nuclear deterrent and aircraft carriers, building on the pedigree of the Royal Navy's current Type 23 frigates.

Its flexible design will allow its weapon systems to be adapted throughout its lifespan to counter future threats. The Type 26 benefits from the latest advances in digital technologies, including 3D and virtual reality, which ensures that the ship's design is refined earlier in the process.

There have been eight Royal Navy ships of the name Glasgow from the early 1700s, who between them have earned ten battle honours.

In more recent history, two ships served in the world wars, including the Arctic Convoys and the Normandy Landings, and the last ship to bear the name was awarded the Falkland Islands 1982 battle honour to add to the Falkland Islands 1914 honour won by her predecessor.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: "Today marks a historic milestone for the Royal Navy, Scottish shipbuilding and UK Defence more widely. HMS Glasgow and the other seven frigates in this new class will protect our powerful new aircraft carriers and nuclear deterrent, helping keep Britain safe across the world.

"The Type 26 is a cutting-edge warship that will maintain our naval power with a truly global reach. Designed for a service life of at least 25 years, the Type 26 frigates will form a backbone of the future Royal Navy surface fleet well into the future."

As a world-class ship, the Type 26 has strong export opportunities. BAE Systems and the MOD are exploring these, with interest from international customers including Australia.

Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer for Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD's procurement organisation said: "This is a very proud moment for all of those who have worked so hard to get the manufacture of the Type 26 underway.

"With the first steel cut today in Scotland and further work spread out across the UK supply chain the Type 26 programme is truly a national endeavour harnessing all our skills and knowledge to produce the best possible ships for the Royal Navy."

Earlier this month the Defence Secretary announced the signing of a contract worth around £3.7 billion to start building the Royal Navy's Type 26 frigates, securing the long-term future of the Scottish shipbuilding industry.