Military Review

The future of the British surface fleet: City frigates (type 26)

"Type 26", frigates of the type "City" or "Global Combat Ship" (Global Combat Ship, GSC) - the name of a series of promising frigates created for the British Navy. It is planned that the new warships will replace the 13 frigates "Type 23" (known as the type "Duke", from the English Duke - Duke, all the 16 ships of this series were named after the English dukes). It is planned that promising British frigates will be exported. They will be multi-purpose warships for anti-aircraft and anti-submarine defense, as well as for general-purpose operations.

Originally planned to build for the Royal Navy fleet 13 "Global Warships," but later British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that only 8 new frigates would be built. The financing, which was planned to be spent on the construction of another 5 ships of the series, it was decided to direct to the development of a new type of light and cheaper general-purpose frigates. Since new ships will be cheaper, the British government expects that their construction in the future will increase the total number of frigates of the Royal Navy. New light frigates have already received the designation "Type 31".

It is known that promising frigates for the British fleet of the type "City" will be built at the shipyards of the company BAE, located in various parts of Glasgow on the River Clyde. The contract for the production of frigates "Type 26" was announced by BAE Systems 2 Corporation on July 2017. A few weeks later - 20 July 2017, the ceremony of cutting the first sheet of metal for the first ship of the series, called HMS Glasgow. The ceremony was attended by Secretary of Defense Michael Fallon.

Not so long ago, the lords of the Admiralty decided on the choice of names for a new series of promising frigates: the first three ships would be named Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast. Already we can say that the ships will be named in honor of the cities of Great Britain, hence another name for the type of data of warships - "City". Already given the names of the first three frigates of the series, the names were traditional for light cruisers of the British fleet. They will become their true successors, taking on their role. Prospective frigates will be multipurpose combat units possessing powerful and diverse weapons, they will be able to act both independently and as part of the formations of the British fleet.

The tasks that the Royal Navy plans to solve at the expense of new frigates are quite extensive. These are fairly large warships with a standard displacement of 6900 tons, it is assumed that the full displacement of ships can reach 8000 tons. In terms of their basic dimensions, the promising frigates "Type 26" are close to other promising British warships - the destroyers "Type 45". The composition of the weapons of new frigates, of course, will be multipurpose ships, with their key destination will be anti-submarine defense. This allows us to consider these frigates as an addition to the promising destroyers "Type 45", which anti-submarine capabilities will be limited.

The power plant of the ship is mixed, it includes a Rolls-Royce MT-30 gas turbine engine, four MTU diesel generators and two electric motors running on the ship's propellers. The maximum travel speed is more than 26 nodes. Sailing range - more than 7000 nautical miles. Autonomy up to 60 days. The crew of the ship consists of 157 people, while on board provided space for 208 crew members. At their disposal will be living quarters, a gym, recreation rooms, a canteen, as well as medical facilities, with the possibility of rendering both ordinary medical aid and emergency aid to the wounded as a result of emergency situations or in combat conditions.

The stern of the frigate will be equipped with equipment intended for launching unmanned boats, rigid hull inflatable boats or towed GUS. The towed sonar system will increase the effectiveness of the ship’s actions against enemy submarines (active and passive detection), and will also solve the problem of warning the crew of a torpedo threat. In addition to the powerful towed GAS on the ship, there will also be an inboard GAS located in the bow bule. In the middle part of the body there is a target load compartment and a covered hangar. An important feature of the project is the presence of the so-called “modular compartment” (target load compartment), various equipment or armaments can be located here depending on the tasks to be solved, in particular, the ability to accommodate standard 10x20 ft (ISO) containers, boats and unmanned vehicles is implemented.

On its large flight deck, the frigate will be able to take a heavy helicopter the size of a military transport Boeing CH-47 Chinook, in the hangar you can place an average helicopter, for example, the medium-sized AgustaWestland Merlin helicopter. Also on board it will be possible to place an unmanned aerial vehicle, which will increase the reconnaissance capabilities of the frigate and targeting capabilities. In the standard version, the frigate air group may consist of one AW-101 “Merlin” anti-submarine helicopter and one AW-159 “Wildcat” multi-purpose helicopter capable of carrying anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes.

Of the fundamental armory novelties on the City-class frigates can be distinguished by the appearance of the Sea Ceptor short / medium-range air defense system. It is known that the Royal Navy completed tests of the new Sea Ceptor anti-aircraft missiles at the end of December 2017. The development of missiles of this system is being carried out by MBDA, commissioned by the UK Ministry of Defense as part of the Future Local Area Air Defense System (FLAADS) project. It is reported that the new Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) anti-aircraft guided missile of this complex will be able to reach speeds of up to 3500 km / h, intercepting various air objects, including supersonic missiles. The initial version provides for the possibility of hitting air targets at a range of up to 25 kilometers, but by the time the first Type 26 frigates are commissioned, new missiles with a target range of more than 40 kilometers should be ready. It is assumed that the ships will have up to 48 cells for the installation of missiles.

It is also known that frigates will receive American vertical Mk 41 launchers on 24 cells to accommodate various strike weapons. It is possible to use American Tomahawk cruise missiles, ASROC anti-submarine missiles and LRASM prospective anti-ship missiles. Also in them it will be possible to place and missiles of the Sea Ceptor 4 missile complex in the same cell.

The artillery armament of the ship will undergo changes in comparison with other warships of the British fleet. The standard English 114-mm naval gun Mk 8 will be replaced by a new 127-mm universal artillery Mk 45 Mod 4 developed by BAE Systems. This is an 127-mm artillery mount with an 62 barrel caliber and a firing range of 20 nautical miles (36 km). As noted on the website of the company BAE Systems, it can be used and promising smart ammunition. In addition, the artillery armament of the ship will be represented by two automatic 30-mm cannon DS30M Mk 2 and two 20-mm 6-anti-aircraft gun Phalanx CIWS. In addition, the machine guns will be placed on board, which seems useful, given the wide range of tasks of promising frigates: from participating in high-intensity military conflicts to fighting piracy and ensuring safe navigation in dangerous areas of the world's oceans.

Comparing the British project of a promising frigate "Type 26" with Russian developments, it is possible to oppose to it the project of the frigate 22350М, currently under development, which in the future should become the main Russian warship of the distant sea and ocean zone. Their construction is planned to be carried out within the framework of the state armaments program for the 2018-2027 years. They will differ in increased size and displacement (about 8 thousand tons versus 5,4 thousand tons of full displacement at the 22350 frigates), as well as more powerful weapons. The ships will carry up to 80 of various types of missiles, including modern hypersonic anti-ship cruise missiles "Zircon".

127-mm universal gun mount Mk 45 Mod 4

Experts note that the capabilities of the Royal Navy relative to its main partners or rivals have been continuously reduced throughout the post-war period (meaning the time after the end of World War II). Excluding strategic nuclear forces (which are supported, first of all, thanks to cooperation with Washington), the British Navy’s general-purpose forces in some of its parameters are inferior even to the Italian navy today. The leadership of the British Navy has repeatedly complained about the impossibility of repeating operations like the Falklands War 1982 of the year, if such a need re-emerges. In fact, at present, the royal fleet is relatively small in its strength and capabilities, its combat effectiveness has been greatly reduced by the lack of funding and a fairly large proportion of all finished and malfunctioning ships.

London is going to increase the combat potential of its fleet in several ways. In the first place - due to the commissioning of two new modern large aircraft carriers. Lead shipQueen Elizabeth", Currently undergoing combat training. Achievement of combat readiness is planned to be achieved by 2020, when the ship will receive its air group, consisting of fifth-generation fighter-bombers F-35B Lightning II of American production. It is planned that the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier will be focused on conducting “classic” aircraft carrier operations, and the second Prince of Wales aircraft carrier will be used more like a “commando carrier” - a ship for the delivery of special forces and aviation supporting their operations.

At the same time, the main problem of the British Navy is the shortage of warships of the main classes - out of two 6 destroyers and 13 frigates more than two and four ships, respectively, are rarely on alert. It is assumed that it will be possible to rectify the situation in the first case by improving maintenance and modernizing the existing ships, and in the second case by building new generation frigates that will become part of the fleet in 2020-s. It is assumed that in addition to 8 frigates of the “City” type in the future, the British fleet will receive about 10 frigates of several smaller sizes, sharpened primarily in the fight against enemy surface ships.

The successful implementation of these plans depends largely on which of the trends in British politics will be stronger. On the one hand, economic problems more than once caused the curtailment of fleet programs aimed at renewing the fleet of vessels, on the other, the “need to confront new challenges,” primarily in the Russian Federation, requires a tangible increase in the country's defense spending. Especially considering the nervous reaction of the British media to any appearance of Russian ships under the flag of St. Andrew’s near the coast of Great Britain.

Much more funding will be needed if Britain wants to return to the Royal Navy the possibility of a "global presence." This, of course, is not about achieving the capabilities of the American fleet, but London will strongly need the ability to project power in different regions of the world - in addition to aircraft carriers, it is necessary to build amphibious ships and supply ships, as well as a sufficiently large number of modern frigates and destroyers. support the main forces of the fleet away from the English shores. In the meantime, the British Navy is mainly capable of solving problems only near its coast, and the country no longer claims the status of "Mistress of the seas" and the "global presence" indicated above. Perhaps the programs being implemented to build new warships will help to change the current state of affairs.

Tactical and technical characteristics of frigates "Type 26" (data
Length - 149,9 m.
Width - 20,8 m.
Displacement - 6900 tons.
Maximum speed - more than 26 nodes.
Sailing range - more than 7000 nautical miles.
Crew - 157 people (with the possibility of expansion to 208 people).

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  1. Borik
    Borik April 2 2018 15: 40
    The world arms race is gaining momentum.
  2. san4es
    san4es April 2 2018 15: 43
    Type 26, City or Global Warship frigates hi
  3. san4es
    san4es April 2 2018 16: 00
    and the second aircraft carrier of the Prince of Wales series will be used more likely as a “commando carrier” - a ship for the delivery of special forces

    belay ... Is it instead of "Ocean" that it was sold to Brazil? .. And isn’t it too big if $$ ..?
  4. Oleg7700
    Oleg7700 April 2 2018 16: 40
    Perhaps the best western project in its class at the moment. In addition to Britain, he participates in tenders for new frigates in the USA, Germany (together with GNY-German Naval Yards, who is building Israeli corvettes SAAR-6) in Australia, Canada. The composite armor contract was unexpectedly signed by the British with the Israeli Plasan.
  5. Vladimir1155
    Vladimir1155 April 2 2018 20: 35
    Unlike Russia, the British plan not defensively. war and aggression against peaceful countries, despite this, and they abandon destroyers and cruisers, are going to assign all the functions of NK to frigates, built aircraft carriers for aggressive captures, and we will have 25 more years of Kuznetsov
    1. arkadiyssk
      arkadiyssk April 2 2018 22: 02
      What kind of aggression? Than? The complete lack of landing capabilities? England has a bunch of overseas territories that need to be protected - if we had something like Diego Garcia (or Akrotia, Dikelia), Kuzya would not die at the factory wall now, and Gorshkov would not be shamefully sold to India. From others, we blocked the exit to the Atlantic (together with Norway) and air defense of the island, relocating to the threatened direction of the ship's umbrella.
      1. Vladimir1155
        Vladimir1155 April 3 2018 18: 18
        Air defense is best implemented by ground means and coastal aviation, Gorshkov was correctly sold to India because even Kuzi has no tasks, blocking the entire Atlantic from the submarines is not so simple, and NK would not have passed it in any case,
  6. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh April 2 2018 22: 45
    The frigate is 150 m long. Boats are growing up in their classes! Frigates like destroyers.
    Destroyers like missile cruisers ...
    1. tchoni
      tchoni April 3 2018 06: 30
      Quote: voyaka uh
      The frigate is 150 m long. Boats are growing up in their classes! Frigates like destroyers.
      Destroyers like missile cruisers ...

      alas and ah. Physics is hard to fool. A truly balanced ship, as world experience shows, can only be interpreted in a displacement of about 10000 tons. And since the admirals flatly refuse to narrow specialization, then the destroyers will be frigates.
      1. Vladimir1155
        Vladimir1155 April 3 2018 18: 24
        a really balanced ship should not be more than 3000 tons, otherwise it is overloaded with equipment, this is the opinion of the great hero Admiral Makarov, and now it is relevant, I have proved more than once
    2. Romario_Argo
      Romario_Argo April 3 2018 09: 37
      the 26 type is armed only with the 32 SAM Aster-30 and 8 subsonic anti-ship missiles Harpoon (270 range km)
      our Frigate Ave. 20350 is 2 times smaller and armed for more:
      16 supersonic П-800 Onyx (range 300 km) and 32 SAM 9М96Е2
      1. Nevyatoy
        Nevyatoy April 5 2018 23: 27
        Some people think (I don’t know why only) that the tomahawks on the ships work, and they admire the Western fleet, And so you are right, toothless karablik.
        1. DeFalco
          DeFalco 15 September 2020 18: 09
          It is necessary to learn Russian, "karablik"!
      2. DeFalco
        DeFalco 15 September 2020 18: 08
        Read the article more carefully!
        "It is also known that the frigates will receive American vertical launchers Mk 41 for 24 cells to accommodate various strike weapons. It is possible to use American Tomahawk cruise missiles, ASROC anti-submarine missiles and promising LRASM anti-ship missiles. It will also be possible to place missiles of the complex Sea Ceptor 4 missiles in one cell.
    3. Vladimir1155
      Vladimir1155 April 3 2018 18: 21
      Yes, it’s a cut, a deceit of your government, in order to squander the state budget and wreck the region, because everyone knows that large NKs are out of date 100 years ago, so shipbuilders give the destroyer as a frigate ... and we want to rob the defense by releasing unnecessary helicopter carriers and destroyer leader the size of two battleships
  7. Nevyatoy
    Nevyatoy April 3 2018 02: 47
    Regarding anti-ship weapons, they again have sorrow ??? Instead of the slow and old harpoon, the new but still the same slow LRASM? And what the hell is an anti-ship missile with a range of up to 800 km. and speeds up to 800 km / h? Shoot anchored barges ?????
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh April 3 2018 10: 07
      LRASM - stealth. Americans believe that stealth for enemy radars is more important than speed.
      1. 100502
        100502 April 3 2018 12: 49
        Stealth ... if only on paper
      2. Nevyatoy
        Nevyatoy April 5 2018 23: 18
        Our Onyxes are also stealth but they are supersonic. And what's the point of stealth rockets when shooting at clearly non-stationary objects at such a low (for a rocket) speed? And if stealth does not play a role, if the launch is spotted? The same T-1000 (Volcano) will have time to fly to them at least once every two or three while the LRSAM flies. Plus, such speed as LRSAM makes the rocket easy prey for systems like ZRAK Broadsword or the like. Or do they hope that the rocket will be invisible until it hits the target?
        1. DeFalco
          DeFalco 3 September 2020 22: 01
          What kind of stealth can we talk about, what other "stealth" -onixes, where does the information come from?
          The units of a supersonic rocket require a lot of air, therefore, there is a need for large air intakes, which greatly increase the RCS of the rocket. Large RCS and flight altitude do not allow the supersonic missile to be made invisible. During a flight at high altitude, such a missile is quite vulnerable to the impact of enemy aircraft and can be shot down by air-to-air missiles.
          In contrast to this, the subsonic missile is capable of sneaking at low altitude, and many stealth elements can be implemented on it. Due to the low flight altitude, such a missile cannot be seen by the ship's radar until the missile comes out from behind the radio horizon (25-30 km) and only then it will be possible to shoot at it and use electronic warfare equipment. In this case, about 800 minutes remain until the missile hits, traveling at a speed of 2,5 km / h, that is, the reaction time of the ship's missile defense is also extremely limited.
          And not LRSAM, but LRASM.