Aug. 14 (UPI) — The first steel to be used in Britain’s HMS Cardiff, an anti-submarine frigate, was ceremonially cut in a Glasgow-area shipyard on Wednesday.
Defense Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan pushed the button to start the plasma laser cutting process at BAE Systems’ shipyard at Govan, Scotland, BAE and the British ministry of defense announced.
It marked the start of construction of the second of eight Type 26 Global Combat ships, also known as City Class, or C-Class, ships for the British navy. Construction of the first, the HMS Glasgow, began in 2017.
“Type 26 will form a key part of the Royal Navy’s future balanced fleet, providing a core component of anti-submarine protection,” Vice Admiral Chris Gardner, chief of materiel ships for the Royal Navy, said in a press release.
Each ship in the class will be equipped with Sea Ceptor missile defense system, a 5-inch medium caliber gun, Artisan 997 Medium Range Radar, towed sonar arrays and a vertical launch silo firing a variety of weapons.
They are designed to replace the 13 frigates in British Navy’s Type 26 program, which have been in use since 1987.
It was noted at the ceremony that 64 British subcontractors are involved in building the HMS Cardiff, sustaining over 4,000 jobs.
“Today’s steel cut ceremony demonstrates the significant and positive progress we are making on this hugely complex, sophisticated and important program,” Steve Timms, managing director for BAE Systems Naval Ships, said in a press release.
“The Type 26 ships will be the most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates the Royal Navy has ever had and, together with the five-ship River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel program, we are proud of the role we play at BAE Systems, alongside many thousands of dedicated people in our supply chain, to deliver this critical capability for the UK Royal Navy,” Timms added.