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Great article, thanks very much. Please could you provide a link to the latest RN confirmation that the MK41 will be fitted to the T26.


Thanks. On the basis that the webpage text refers to steel cutting in summer 2017, the webpage must have been updated since the announcement. It doesn’t specify MK41 though only “a vertical launch missile silo”, which, at a stretch, could mean the CAMM cells though?


I suspect I’m not the only one who is merely wondering at the scale of the MoD cockup, rather than whether there will be a cockup.

All the signs are there, citing commercial sensitivity, blaming the contractor, stretching out the project despite military need.


Very insightful, if slightly worrying, given the MoD’s track record. Can only hope that 24 Mk41’s will be fitted & suitable munitions funded – 8 x ASM, 8 x Tomahawk & 8 x ASROC would be fantastic !


Paul I totally agree with the Mk41 outfit as you have suggested, what I would like to see for the Type 26 is the Perseus ASM used alongside the Tomahawk and VLS ASROC. The Type 45 should have the additional Mk41 VLS 16 cell installed ASAP. The Perseus is expected to be operational about 2030 which appears to be a issue, but the Harpoon ASM will go through one more upgrade to existing systems in 2020 so hopefully that should fill the gap.


Hi Ron and what would you propose for the T45 Mk41 cells, 8 × ASM + 8 × ABM ?


That would seem a sensible use of the T45 Mk41 cells. Many of the new long range ASM’s have a ballistic trajectory so a ABM possibly the SM 3 would be logical as well as cost effective.

simon hall

My great uncle served on the Ark Royal when it was sunk off Gibraltar . His photographs at the time became published in the press after better news was acceptable in the war effort.

I am a tree surgeon but feel very proud of what the Royal Navy has benefited our country.

My son aged 9 is colour blind and daughter aged 6 are frequent visitors to R,N. base Portsmouth. Using the climbing wall once a month.

The news from the press and from our government does not give much encouragement for our children to follow on for the brave work to be continued.

Somebody please take note!!

Bloke down the pub

Looks like MBDA may be lining up a stop -gap solution.


Why oh why does the RN always end up with such protracted ships ? Why always try to complicate things? Just look at the dutch, they built good well balanced ships with good productivity. Much more could be done with the same money, why always meek things so complicated. I wonder…


I think it comes down to mentality of the british miltiary in general, we have an obsession in trying to buying top end gear, which ultimately we can not afford, and so gets cut in capability or numbers. Other countries seem to have a more pragmatic approach of aiming for the middle ground, which means most of the performance for a fraction of the price.

My guess is that the top brass, are so used to cuts, that they over do the capabilities in anciption that they will get something that will be less effective, in the fear that this would also happen if they went for the middle ground.

I don’t know how other countries, like France, managed to break the cycle or maybe they haven’t and we are just less aware as outsiders looking in.


Hi Steve. Other (western) countries have not broken the cycle, they have the same problems.


does the t26 actually exist or is it another type 23 destroyer which never got further than the drawing board.


bung a towed array on one of the rivers, a phalanx maybe a rim 116 a/a missile system on them and call them warships and not ‘fanny’ boats


The type 26 must be realised as a highly important sub-killer. Why? Because we have invested many £Billions on 2 very capable aircraft carriers, and to protect these from enemy submarines will be of PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE. One only needs to read the article here, about the argentine sub, “San Luis”, during the Falklands, and you can start to appreciate what hell can endure if we can’t persecute subs very aggressively. So far it appears the T26 kit will be the same as the T23’s. Merlins will be vital. But the one opportunity RN planners now have is to get working on the US RUM-139 ASROC using the Mk 41 VLS. Fitting the Stingray to the missile really must be a priority above all else with the T26. Russian sub focus, technology and training is now in a different world to where it was 20 years ago. We only have 8 T26’s, we must make them count.
The best anti-sub option will always be another sub. But seeing as we only have a handful, we cannot rely on having them around our carriers constantly. We must invest properly in the good decision taken to include the mk 41, and have a minimum of 16 slots for ASROC and 8 for Tomahawk. That way we can fight subs “at range” where the carriers have a chance to be protected effectively.


I would have thought that an Astute SSN must ALWAYS accompany a QE carrier and it’s task force. It is too valuable a target for any enemy not to have the best protection available..

Business Cat

I’m trying to see the logic where ‘Trump elected -> therefore don’t procure the West’s leading AShM’…..

That seems a a stretch in logic…. if it is logic.


Hypothetically speaking what potential would the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile being fitted into the Mk 41 VLS system of the Type 26 Frigates. I find it an interesting concept due to the limited number of medium to long range missiles being carried by the Type 45s. Since the ESSMs can be quad packed into the MK 41 VLS the ESSM could potentially greatly increase the number of medium range interceptor missiles carried by a Royal Navy group.


Surely RN isn’t going to buy another AA weapon system? The type 45’s should be fitted with Mk 41 VLs and CAMMS be quad packed . This will give both Type 45’s and Type 26 a CAMMS armament but with the 45’s sea Viper as well. Low value of sterling obviates importing more US stuff for time being except where we have a glaring gap.

Graham Moore

Just what is the cost of the Type 26 frigate? SoS announced a few days ago Contract Award of £3.7Bn to build first batch of 3 ships – assuming Design, Development, Testing and all other Non-recurring Engineering (NRE) is say £1.3Bn (a wild guess, I admit), then the unit cost is £800M, which sounds about right given that the Type 45 Destroyers were £1Bn apiece (albeit at pre-2017 prices).

If so then the 8 x T26 programme will cost £7.7Bn.

Given an announcement seen elsewhere that the total frigate programme has been costed at £8Bn, then there is only £300M left to deliver the entire 5 (or more) T31 programme. Someone please tell me that my figures are totally wrong!


If your figures are correct then extra money must have been made available as the government has officially announced that the number of Type 31’s has been increased from 5 to 6. Unless of course they have cancelled something else which we do not know about.


It seems that the T26 will have 48 launchers for the Sea Ceptor SAMs 24 forward of the MK41 and a further 24 aft of the funnel. I just wonder if it might be more suitable to have the forward launchers replaced with 2×8 Sylver 50 giving 16 launchers . This would give then the option to have either the Sea Ceptor or the Aster 15/30 depending if the ship was in a single ship operation, surface action group or part of a CSG.
It would appear that the Aster family do not need dedicated fire control radars but can use a mult function radar such as Astisan so that should not be a problem. If in this configuration it should also be possible to have information from the T45s air defence radar for what I call cross deck launching, especially if the T26 was in the picket role.
Only an idea but what do you think?