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Are the Aussies’ still planning to equip their version with Harpoon? Seems like a pretty pointless addition, unless they’re also planning to acquire the upgraded version. Even then, by 2027 Harpoon will be the equivalent of an explosive catapult: a nice big bang when it explodes nowhere near its target.


If there’s space they’ll probably put LRASM canisters in and if there’s not stick them in the vls.

Matthew East

There will be 2 x 4 cannister ASM’s, No type has been listed what so ever so options are left open.


This follows a recent pattern in Australian defence acquisition where Defence gets the capability it wants over other considerations. (Boxer, Triton, P-8, Growler etc).
The overriding factor is the threat from China.

Will be interesting to hear what it will be equipped with but my guess is it will be top end. Great result for Australia, the RAN and the UK.


With the length of time it takes to design and build a warship these days you could easily fight WW1 and WW2 all over again with the ship still not finished. This will ultimately bite a lot of countries in the butt as old lessons from the Fletcher Class Destroyer era are forgotten 🙁 The UK was once a shipbuilding powerhouse that now can barely scrape 6 Destroyers for the loss of 12 and pay with all 4 limbs for the pleasure courtesy of BAE


Jesus christ, some people are never happy.


The US built 175 Fletchers over 4 years, but now can only manage 68 Arleigh Burkes over 30 years. Clearly they’re slacking as well…

You can’t draw a comparison between cheap emergency wartime designs from 70+ years ago to modern ship building. Not only are the circumstances at home completely different (not having your entire industry devoted to producing war materials tends to hamper construction), but the nature of ships are completely different. Sticking with the example of destroyers, they’ve gone from being small, lightly armed and short legged escorts that were built rapidly to fight the current war, to being light cruiser-sized major warships that are expected to travel the globe for 20-30 years, and remain combat effective during that time.

Matthew East

Literally modern Destroyers and Frigates are probably more equivalent to Cruisers of the day, And even back in WWII they weren’t mass produced.

Peter Horniman

Can’t really compare wartime and peacetime build rates. They were working 3 shifts a day seven days a week get those ships in service ASAP. Also the Type 26 is a cruiser in all but name. In WW2 even destroyers only came in at a couple of thousand tons.


Just a quick note: Australia has 12 P-8A on order with the last White Paper noting this could be expanded to 15, as circumstances are reassessed closer to the completion of the production run (a few years hence). So definitely 12, possibly 15.


Similarly, they have ordered six Triton, with the possibility of the seventh being considered later. Just for the sake of accuracy…


Will be interesting to see how many Mk 41 VLS cells these vessels have – it appears to be 32 from the model, but that may not be the case. I would hope a ship with a full-load displacement of 8,800 tonnes would have at least 48 cells (and up to 64).

I think the RAN will have either the NSM or LRASM chosen as the future SSM by 2027.

A good result for Australia – clearly the most advanced offering. If Canada chooses the same design, a potential class of 30+ would be quite remarkable for the three Navies in question. Hopefully the RN can up its numbers beyond 8, like originally planned too…

Matthew Kendall

The British T26 are designed for 48 cells. The infrastructure fitted to the T23 is for 48 with the idea the systems can be integrated to the 26s as soon as we start paying them off


The British T26s were designed and are being built with 24 Mk41 cells, although unlike the Aussie vessel these won’t be used for AAW. The T26 will also have 48 Sea Ceptor soft-launch cells, which is where its AAW will come from. Not entirely sure what infrastructure you’re referring to on the T23, given that they only have 32 tubes and they’re all the old Sea Wolf VLS which are being adapted to accommodate Sea Ceptor. The T23s will be donating the missiles themselves, as well as Artisan and their sonars, but thats pretty much it


Delighted. A decade of hard work. Liam Fox gets a bad press but this started on his watch. On many previous posts I’ve been of the opinion T-26 is war winner and should be prime focus of RN escort investment. Hope the Canadian’s go the sameway. Quite a lot of defense decisions on the cards which could all help UK a lot. Let’s see. Anyway, well done again BAE, RN and all those who contributed.


Liam Fox the famous ship designer?The one who was hard at work all through the new Labour governments?


What a great piece of news. I hope this is the only the start of British shipbuilding winning export orders with Canada next.

David Howard

Excellent news, a very good article. I hope Canada join the type 26 program. 30 ships a big potential to reduce unit costs which may bring in New Zealand, also increase the RN batch to 8. Otherwise get the Type 31e sorted could be what New Zealand needs. Do you think Cammell Laird is in the pound seat for type 31e with Bea systems support and world wide reach. What is happening with Germany, with the SM 2 explosions the latest embarrassment. MOD looks rather good in comparison. Is there any merit behind the US Navy looking at the type 26, with Lockheed Martin as constructor, for a frigate given the independence and freedom issues, they are close to Bea systems and R&R.

Blue Fuzz

The RN are getting 8 T26. That, plus 9 for the RAN, and hopefully 15 for the RCN, totals 32 ships (not the 30 quoted under the image in the article).


Although the Type-26 will not fit for New Zealand, the Type-31e could fill New Zealand’s requirements with a potential order of three instead of two. The benefits to the UK and New Zealand would be the same as those gained from T-26.

Hopefully our Canadian friends see the benefits of a high end anti-submarine platform and buy into the Type-26.

William Pellas

3 T31’s instead of 2 T26’s would make more sense for New Zealand. But the real problem with that country is that it is simply no longer interested in accepting any real responsibility for defending itself.


Outstanding news, as an Anglophile Australian my cup runneth over. Regarding the article, I salute this publication for its erudition and literaracy. However, I must protest at the following:
“The Australians were treated to visits by Boris Johnson and former Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon.”
This is an egregious misuse of the word “treat”, up with which we shall not put.


Grow up and get your spelling right. Count yourselves lucky that they came and that we can build your ships for you.


not vouching for Antipod. high level talks are with whoever holds that position at the time, but all also say you designed the best option for the RAN you are not building them for us. Parts and spares will come from across the globe.

I hate theses look who has the bigger dick contest, Well done to the UK for designing the best option for the RAN with help from all our allies as how it will be fitted out


Steve Grow up and count yourself lucky that we chose your design for us to build . You need us desperately.


“Desperately” — they would have been built with or without you. This is good news mind, but it is not desperate.

Can we just agree that it is good that we are cooperating as much as we can, and leave it at that.


Great News! I wonder if Australia has to order this magical special thin steel from Sweden via Dent Steel suppliers as the UK does? The Uk Liberty Steel is now investing in Australia as well as North America. If we were not in this eu (soon to leave thank God) I am sure the Donald would not slap tariffs on the UK steel sector.


We need to invest in our own steel industry to increase capability and production. We have to reduce energy costs and taxes so our steel industry is on a level playing field with other European countries. Where is this long awaited steel sector deal?


Sea 5000 will be supporting Australian industry first Australian steel Australian jobs first


Sure, but they still need a design to build. That’s from BAE.

Rose Compass

Don’t be so sure that New Zealand wouldn’t meet the outlay for two platforms as expensive as the Type 26. Firstly, such an investment would wholly square with the objectives of the Royal New Zealand Navy – see under ‘Principal roles of the Navy’ at:

Secondly, New Zealand’s capacity to contribute two (one operational) first rate frigates to international operations keeps it as a tier one operator with a seat around the allies’ table. It is largely via these frigates that New Zealand continues to be able to integrate with high level ops – a high end New Zealand frigate is as good as any other. Closely linked to this is a demonstration of intent – by investing in this sort of capability, New Zealand signals its resolve to remain relevant to its allies. This is especially important in light of the fact that New Zealand has forgone combat air power. Hence, the likes of a Type 26 (by which I infer a pair) may be an inescapable if seemingly disproportionate expense which must be met – not unlike the UK’s investment in four SSBNs to maintain a continuous at sea deterrence, it is not a capability from which it is easy if possible to withdraw without sending a more fundamental message of general retreat. If New Zealand were to purchase something like the Type 31 (if not necessarily that), even if it were to replace its two ANZACs with three vessels, it would communicate a stepping down in capability and all that would entail for New Zealand’s standing.

Finally, and bearing all the above in mind – New Zealand is an important partner for both Australia and the United Kingdom. That a way could not be found to make a two ship purchase of Type 26 more affordable for New Zealand – on special terms, in effect – is perhaps more of a stretch of the imagination as to what ought to be possible than any suggestion that it would be out of the question.

I’m not a New Zealander, but I do have regard for New Zealand’s steadfast contribution to allied security down the years. I can’t see the will for that evaporating soon.


It is in the interest of Australia and UK for New Zealand getting a couple of T26.
This would give 11 T26 in this region and even more with UK deployments.

The NZ ships could be built to Australian Specs in Australia ship yards. Support and maintenance could be met through the Australian yards maintenance and support program.

Training and personnel could be shared across the 3 navies (4 if Canada goes for T 26)

Australia benefits in getting the build , further T26 numbers in the region and an allie that can easily integrate in operations.

UK could benefit from a larger pool of trained personnel and with personnel exchange gain a wealth of experience and knowledge of the operating environment and threat potential in the region.

The limiting factor is the NZ budget. With the benefits to be had Australia/UK need to make T 26 affordable to NZ. Hopefully they find a way. Perhaps you could see a deal done for NZ to be supplied with Two T26 for a fixed yearly fee.

John Pattullo

since the design is bae’s – would they not rather build them in their own yards rather than austrialias? more profit for them surely and while its further away its not really an issue with a ship just add an extra week or two for delivery


It would probably depend on what spec of T26 the Kiwis’ went for. If they went for the Aussie pattern, it would make more sense to build them locally, although if memory serves NZ have opted for Sea Ceptor, which would show a leaning towards the UK spec


Actually NZ has lent towards the Canadian Halifax Class upgrade as their ANZAC FSU is built around CMS330 from Lockheed Martin Canada, SMART-S MK2 and as you say Sea Ceptor.

Curiously as a side note something that is not mentioned much here is the Chilean upgrade of their T23, unlike the UK upgrade they have gone down the Canadian path as well! Chilean T23 are being fitted with CMS330, TRS-4D radar and Sea Ceptor.


Let’s not fantasise about NZ getting Type-26. They will never fork out the money for it. It would be the wrong thing to do for the country. They need more, less capable ships to watch over their fisheries and waters, and the pubic would never stand for it.


Vanuatu could be part of the reason they go for T26.

Rose Compass

On reflection I regret that I may have done our Kiwi cousins a disservice by saying that ‘a high end New Zealand frigate is as good as any other’. The RN is not the only navy with a Nelsonian heritage – is it! I’m sure Kiwi tars think that, sailor for sailor, a frigate with a Kiwi crew has the edge on a similar frigate with some other developed country’s crew – just as any ship’s company in the RN would, equally so.


RNZN frigate replacement is expected to formally start in 2019 RFI about 2025, selection 2028-30, first steel cut 32-33, in commission 36-38.from other sources.

But I’m expecting that RNZN to go with a more GP type fit out with a lot of FFBNW as can be seen with the NZ Anzac upgrades and via the less than compelling tone of the Defence White Papers over the years compared to AusGov.

But Rose Compas is right the Anzac Replacement program is actually more important than the Future Air Surveillance Capability’ programme this programme will determine where NZGov sit’s at the table and how much influence it can bring Australia will not denounce NZ but the divide between the two government’s will continue to grow


I wonder if its feasible for us to build some extra T26s and then lease them to New Zealand?
Its important THAT our allies have the best that’s on offer to ensure parity when on Operations. Also being nearish to Oz both countries have similar goals and interests. New Zealand imports a shed load of products mostly by sea, so having a capable ASW vessel is of paramount importance.


New Zealand are getting four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime aircraft.

Ian Willis

Amid all the self congratulation BAE are making out like thieves:

BBC ‘However, this looks like a design which was heavily subsidised by the UK taxpayer, being sold overseas, and wholly to the benefit of BAE Systems. It appears that the UK taxpayer sees none of the direct payback or royalties from that investment’.

Good for BAE shareholders means bad for UK taxpayers shafted again by MOD.


I was wondering about that.Its why BAE has no catalogue of designs for export.How is this allowed to happen?I would have been quite happy to have just given the design to the Aussies bearing in mind that its a sunk cost.


Comes down to the closing of RN in house design. RN as the largest customer should have more financial benefits. Some sort of direct profit share. Taxation of Bae profits doesn’t cut it. RN should be a DESIGN PARTNER collecting actual profits.
Think out of the box if you want to get ahead.


Bollox. The Type 26 design is owned by the MoD. If royalties are charged they would indeed come back to the tax payer.


Being, as many on this site, an amateur, how do we know this? A link of some sort would be very helpful, I am genuinely curious as to this as well.


Same here.Has the BBC got it wrong?
Good article, can’t wait to see STRNs analysis of the differences in kit, etc.


Where’s Ick-bal when you need him?


If NZ were to go for T26 they would probably be more interested in the Canadian proposed variant as it has a similar systems fit to their ANZAC class FSU.

RNZN ANZAC are being upgraded in Canada by Lockheed Martin Canada with CMS-330, MBDA Sea Ceptor and SMART-S MK2 radar among other things. Aside from missiles that is a very similar upgrade to the RCN Halifax class upgrade…

The BAE Systems T26 proposal for Canada is partnered with Lockheed Martin Canada and includes CMS-330 among other things.

For NZ a T26 variant similar to the Canadian proposal and pulling through systems from the ANZAC FSU would offer synergies in training and cost saving.

All academic really, NZ struggled to pay for the ANZAC FSU so I can see them stretching the OSD for them as far to the right as possible!


NZ would have a very strong hand if they ordered a couple of T26 towards the end of the production run.They should be a lot cheaper to produce, nicely debugged and the Aussie and UK politicians prepared to do almost anything keep the yards running.


If they did it at the end of the run they could have them built in Australia then fitted out with CMS330, Sea Ceptor and SMART-S MK2.


Great news. But one point. Will Australia have to purchase this mystical special thin steel via Dent from Sweden too?
Another point not related to the Hunt type 26’s, but this: .

It cost 346 million in a undervalued euros in 2015. Was this ship internationally tendered? If not, why not? Is it a warship? If it is being described as a warship against similar ships we plan to build, is that fair? Is the UK government asking questions? Could this Country have built a cheaper ship than them, yes, especially if we had the same equipment as our competitors, but with Italian tax clawback similar to ours I guess, it would not make sense to build the ship in a foreign Country? That’s probably why they take no notice of rules that hurt their industry and in fact, there is no saving when something like this get built abroad when it is something they are quite capable of doing themselves. Which is the same for the UK too. Great news about the success for Australia the RAN and the UK. Is this despite BREXIT? Commonwealth 1 eu 0! Happy Canada day too!

Michael Watson

I think it is excellent news for the UK economy and the Royal Navy, lets hope this is the beginning of more overseas orders to come.

Iqbal Ahmed

This is good news for UK shipbuilding and in reducing the overall cost of these frigates due to economies of scale. However, on its own unlikely to mitigate the dire economic and industrial consequences of a no deal Brexit leaving the UK outside the Custom Union. Especially as most frigate jobs will be created in Australia.

I’m surprised Australia went for the top of the range and most expensive option in the tender, but it fits in with their other purchases where they are spending top dollar on equipment with the best capacity. I guess they are alarmed at the Chinese naval buildup. Although Australia has no hope of matching the Chinese. This is part of a minimum deterrence strategy.

However, compared to the Royal Navy ships, the Australian ships will be fitted with optional extras so they are going to turn the T26 from an ASW frigate to a multipurpose destroyer along the lines of an US Arleigh Burke with more missile capacity and AAW capability. I guess this is the price of having our Nuclear detterant and the carriers.


It’s nothing to do with matching the Chinese nor minimum deterrence. It’s about having top level core capabilities that fit in with the US and other Allied Navies. And it’s the same with the other branches of the armed forces, particularly the airforce.

A side line to this is being able to put together a strong expeditionary force to deploy troops to the region. (Eg. East Timor). Transport and deployment (LHD), AAW (Hobart Class) ASW (Hunter Class) and Subs (Collins, SF Barracuda). Australia will actually be able to escort its capital ship assets.


This is great news, and happy to see the UK making use of the Commonwealth for trade. It is way bigger than Europe, imo it’s time to reignite and empower the relationships with what used to be our major trading partners and family.


great post