GROUPS have gathered along the River Clyde today to watch HMS Glasgow leave her birthplace before entering the water for the first time.

Incredible footage shows the huge 6,000-tonne Royal Navy ship travelling down the River Clyde from BAE Systems in Govan on board a barge transporting her to Glen Mallan on Loch Long.

She was escorted by Ministry of Defence Police from the Clyde Marine Unit as she sailed down the Clyde.

[Video taken by Euan Tausney]

After being lowered into the water the ship - the first of eight Type 26 frigates to be built for the Royal Navy will then return to BAE Systems' Scotstoun shipyard to undergo the next stages of fitting out before testing and commissioning takes place.

Currently, Scottish shipyards have orders to build 13 Royal Navy frigates, with the Type 31 vessels being built by Babcock at Rosyth on the east coast, and the Type 26 ships being constructed by BAE Systems on the Clyde. 

Clydebank Post: HMS Glasgow nearing the Erskine Bridge [Image: Christopher Brindle]HMS Glasgow nearing the Erskine Bridge [Image: Christopher Brindle] (Image: Christopher Brindle)

Thrilled onlookers were able to catch a glimpse of the "incredible" vessel as she passed Clydebank on Wednesday afternoon, with more spectators expected to head for the banks of the Clyde in Dumbarton, Helensburgh, Port Glasgow, Greenock, and Gourock as she heads towards Loch Long.

Clydebank Post: Kirsty Ayre spotted HMS Glasgow passing Dumbarton RoadKirsty Ayre spotted HMS Glasgow passing Dumbarton Road (Image: Kirsty Ayre)

Mesmerised onlookers shared their reactions on social media this afternoon.

One person said: "She's a beauty." 

A second added: "Haste ye back once you learn to float by yourself." 

A third commented: "She's incredible." 

Clydebank Post: HMS Glasgow at BAE Systems' Govan shipyardHMS Glasgow at BAE Systems' Govan shipyard (Image: BAE Systems)

HMS Glasgow has been under construction since 2017.

The second and third ships, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast are also currently being built in Govan.

The build process for each of the ships involves their structures being completed in BAE Systems' Govan shipyard.

Skilled teams of fabricators and steelworkers construct the units before they are assembled into the forward and aft blocks which are joined together before the ship departs.

Further down the Clyde in Scotstoun, the ship's outfit is completed and the complex systems are installed/set to work before testing and commissioning.

HMS Glasgow will be delivered to the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s.