The Defence Procurement Minister Alex Chalk presided over the ceremony marking the start of construction on the future HMS Birmingham at BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard in Glasgow.
The event signified the beginning of work on the fourth of eight Type 26 frigates, with apprentice burner Ciaran Baillie and fabricator-plater Jamie Finnegan performing the steel cut.
The work, say BAE, is sustaining approximately 1,700 jobs in Scotland and 4,000 across the UK maritime supply chain. The company plans to hire an additional 400 tradespeople and 200 apprentices for the programme in 2023.
The first three Type 26 ships are in various stages of construction, with HMS Glasgow at BAE Systems’ Scotstoun shipyard for systems installation, HMS Cardiff being assembled, and HMS Belfast in early construction. The £4.2bn contract for the remaining five ships, including HMS Birmingham, demonstrates the UK Ministry of Defence confidence in the programme.