The next generation of the UK’s naval defence capability is being built on the River Clyde.

At a time of global uncertainty, economic instability and Russian aggression in Europe, the country's defence is under the spotlight.

HMS Glasgow, the first of a batch of three Type 26 frigates costing £3.7bn, is due to be ready to leave Govan by the end of the year ahead of being fitted out as BAE’s sister yard at Scotstoun.

The ship is currently on the hard stand at BAE Systems Govan Shipyard with ship 2, HMS Cardiff, under construction in the ship hall behind it, waiting to take its place.

Our sister title the Glasgow Times was allowed access to the Govan shipyard to see the later stages of the building of HMS Glasgow and HMS Cardiff which is next in the pipeline.

Clydebank Post:

Underneath the protective wrapping hundreds of skilled shipyard workers are getting the vessel ready. The noise of drilling, welding, and cutting can be deafening.

Once complete and delivered to the Ministry of Defence, the ships will be in active service for the next 30 years.

HMS Glasgow has now been welded together after being constructed in three parts.

At 150 metres in length and capable of a speed of 26 knots, with a range of more than 7000 nautical miles, it will be one of the most agile and adaptable ships in the Royal Navy fleet.

Clydebank Post:

The ship features a medium calibre gin, a missile system and surveillance radar able to withstand the most sophisticated jammers, with the tower visible from across the Clyde during the construction.

Simon Lister, BAE Systems managing director, explained how the ship will be used.

He said: “Glasgow is a multi-mission ship. The main role will be anti-submarine warfare for the United Kingdom dealing with the Russian underwater threat in the North Atlantic.

“It is designed to be quiet. It has a five-inch gun, the biggest in the Royal Navy and missile silos capable of air and land attack.”

Clydebank Post:

The ship’s role will be to detect, engage and destroy.

A key feature is the mission bay which can handle a Chinook helicopter and can launch inflatable boats.

Mr Lister said: “My first reaction is it is built very strong. It is designed to go in harms way and come out the other side.”

“There have been challenges over the last four years, covid and initial problems with the gearbox, which are now resolved. It is scheduled to be in the water by the end of this year.

Clydebank Post:

"Once it leaves Govan, it will go to a deep water part of the Clyde then return to Scotstoun for outfitting, testing and then commissioning. She will be delivered in the mid 202s."

HMS Cardiff is being built in sections in the ship hall at Govan ready to move outside when HMS Glasgow is moved on at the end of the year.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has meant western governments re-evaluating their defence capability.

Mr Lister said the “requirement (for the Type 26 ships) predates the Russian aggression in Ukraine but the invasion has strengthened the commitment. It has reinforced the need for these ships.”

The ship will have 160 crew on board and has a flexible capacity to take more than 200.

As well as defence and engaging in combat the ships are expected to be used in humanitarian missions capable of helicopter missions.

On a tour, a reporter was taken on board to where the operations room will be on the ship where the nerve centre of the ship will be, which will have space for up to 30 personnel at action stations.

The wiring could be seen below the floor of the space for the latest in marine defence technology.

There is 750 km (466 miles) of cabling on the ship enough to stretch from Glasgow to Portsmouth.

Mr Lister explained how the operations room would be during an active mission.

He said: “In war, this place will be dark and quiet, even in the heat of battle.”

The ship is being built on the Clyde using the latest design technology where a real-time digital visualization model is updated daily to show exactly how the ship is progressing.

Nadia Savage, BAE business operations director explained: “It is modelled to be secure and quiet.”