Ninth (and Third Frigate) HMS Glasgow to hit the water

The planned class leader of the Royal Navy’s new Type 26/City-class “Global Combat Ship” frigates rolled off the hardstanding and onto the submersible barge at BAE Systems Govan last week.

She is set to be floated out into the Clyde in a very slow-motion launching ceremony at Glen Mallan, all very Scottish as one would expect for a ship that will become HMS Glasgow.

She will be the ninth such warship to carry the name, dating back to a 20-gun sixth rate that became part of the RN in 1707. Past Glasgows have included a 40-gun fifth-rate Endymion-class frigate that served in the late Napoleanic era, a Portsmouth-built wooden screw frigate that was so beautiful as to be used by Sultan Bargash of Zanzibar as the model for his royal yacht HHS Glasgow, two 20th century cruisers that fought in two successive world wars, and a Type 42 destroyer that fought during the Falklands.

An ASW-optimized ship, the Type 26s will run just over 8,000 tons, use a CODLOG configuration to hit a stately 26 knots (making them probably the slowest frigates since the circa 1960s Leander-class design), and armament that includes a 5-inch gun (rather than the 57mm pop gun on the planned U.S. frigates), 48 Sea Ceptor anti-aircraft missiles and a 24-cell VLS for everything else. They can also carry two Wildcats and only need a 150-ish-man crew to operate.

The British plan to order eight of the ships.

There is a lot riding on the Type 26s to work out, as both Canada and Australia have already ordered up to 24 copies for their own use (numbers likely to be whittled down due to budgetary reasons), something unusual for an unproven design.

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