Four Type 26 design contracts announced at DSEI

BAE Systems has announced the awarding of four design contracts for its Royal Navy Type 26 Global Combat Ship,with manufacturing set to begin in 2016.

The deals see Rolls-Royce, MTU, David Brown Gear Systems and Rohde & Schwarz on board to cover propulsion and communications equipment for the ship, which BAE hopes to have active by 2020.

Speaking to media at the DSEI exhibition at London’s ExCel, the project’s programme director Geoff Searle said the move reflects the maturity of the ship’s design.

“Using proven products and technology ensures we are delivering the highest level and capability, giving the confidence to the Royal Navy and prospective customers in the global market,” he said.

The Royal Navy’s Type 26 ship will use a combined diesel electric or gas turbine propoulsion system, with Rolls-Royce manufacturing the gas turbine.

Rolls-Royce naval president, Don Roussinos, said the new ship will have increased flexibility over its predecessor, the existing Type 23.

“The Type 26 will combine a range of marine technologies, and it is the sophisticated integration of this equipment that will ensure these ships will be highly flexible and efficient, whatever the mission,” he said.

Additionally, David Brown Gear Systems, based in Huddersfield, will develop the gear box, MTU the diesel generator sets while German firm Rohde & Schwarz is to design the ship’s integrated communications system.

BAE Systems confirmed that there are currently 70 contract assessments taking place, with Mr Searle estimated “between 30-40 by the end of this year” being selected.

“That covers all the main systems and larger equipments, and obviously as we continue, the latter stages of the design processes will see us get to to the more minor equipment, and this process will continue for the next couple of years,” he added.

One of the ongoing processes is to supply the ship’s main gun, currently subject to a two company, MOD selected competition, which BAE confirmed will conclude in the early stages of 2014.