The Global Combat Ship (GCS) also known as the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, or simply Type 26, is a ship design and construction programme of the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom, to replace the thirteen Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy and for export.
The programme started in 1998, named “Future Surface Combatant (FSC)”. In March 2010 BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships was awarded a four-year contract to develop the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. The design passed Main Gate 1, with Demonstration Phase starting 1 April 2015, with manufacturing planned to begin in 2016 and the first Type 26 to be delivered in 2022.
On 25 March 2010, BAE Systems were given a four-year, £127 million contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), to fully design the Type 26 Global Combat Ship (formerly C1 of the FSC). At the time the first of the Type 26 Global Combat Ships was expected to be delivered to the Royal Navy by 2020.
In February 2015, the MoD and BAE Systems signed a contract worth £859m to continue development, supporting progression towards the manufacturing phase. As of 2014 the MoD hope to have the first ship delivered in 2022.
Unlike the FSC, the Global Combat Ship will have only one hull design. However like the Franco-Italian family of FREMM multipurpose frigates, three versions are proposed: a design optimised for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), an anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) variant, and a general purpose (GP) variant.
In January 2010, Jane’s Defence Weekly reported that the governments of the United Kingdom and Australia were exploring the potential for cooperation on the C1 and C3 designs, which corresponds closely to the Royal Australian Navy’s requirements in replacing its MEKO-200 Anzac-class frigate with a new frigate type (Project SEA 5000). An initial decision for the frigate replacement is not expected until at least 2018. When the two countries signed a defence cooperation treaty in January 2013 the Australians agreed to collaborate on their frigate requirement and investigate involvement in the Type 26 project.
Anzac Class Frigate: Details
Royal Australian Navy’s MEKO-200 Anzac-class frigate
“Royal Australian Navy’s requirements in replacing its MEKO-200 Anzac-class frigate with a new frigate type (Project SEA 5000). An initial decision for the frigate replacement is not expected until at least 2018”
The British and Brazilian governments agreed on a defence partnership that may lead to the sale of five or six Type 26 frigates to the Brazilian Navy. In October 2010, BAE made a detailed proposal to the Brazilian navy, for a package including Type 26 frigates as well as variants of the Wave Knight-class tanker and River-class patrol vessel.
In August 2011 it was reported that the UK Government, together with BAE Systems, was considering entering into partnership with the Indian MoD and private defence shipyards in India to jointly design and build the Type 26/Global Combat Ship.
In July 2015, Defense News reported that the Type 26 design could be selected by Germany. BAE Systems’ Type 26 program director, Geoff Searle, stated that “German teams been over here, and there has been ministerial discussion. […] We are certainly interested in the program. They have a similar requirement to the Type 26.” Thus, the Type 26 may possibly become the basic design for 4 to 6 multi purpose ships of the so called “MKS 180” program.
BAE’s original working baseline for the Type 26 design was a vessel of 141 metres long with a displacement of 6,850 tonnes and an “in service date” of 2021. On 30 November 2010 it was reported that the specifications had been pared to reduce the cost from £500M to £250-350M per ship. By May 2011 new specification details began to emerge of a smaller 5,400 tonne ship emphasising flexibility and modularity like the German Blohm + Voss GmbH MEKO designs.
MEKO 200A Corvettes – South African Navy
See details of Valour-class frigate: HERE
The new design has a length of 148 metres, a beam of 19 metres and a top speed in excess of 28 knots (52 km/h). Type 26 will have a crew of 118 with room for 72 embarked troops. Type 26 is designed for up to 60 days’ endurance and a range of approximately 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h).
The latest BAE design now has a large midships flexible Mission Deck instead of the well deck.
Global Combat Ship is designed with modularity and flexibility in mind to enhance versatility across the full range of operations, including maritime security, counter piracy, counter terrorist and humanitarian and disaster relief operations. Located in the stern is a mission bay with a ramp allowing for the deployment of rigid-hulled inflatable boats, unmanned surface vehicles or a towed array sonar (Sonar 2087). Early designs had a well deck at the back for launching and recovering unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs). The latest BAE design now has a large midships flexible Mission Deck instead of the well deck. Aircraft similar in size to the Boeing Chinook can be flown off the large flight deck, and the hangar can accommodate Royal Navy Wildcats and Merlin helicopters. The flight deck also includes an extra hangar door and space to accommodate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Aircraft similar in size to the Boeing Chinook can be flown off the large flight deck, and the hangar can accommodate Royal Navy Wildcats and Merlin helicopters. The flight deck also includes an extra hangar door and space to accommodate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Royal Navy ships will be equipped with the Type 997 Artisan 3D search radar and Sea Ceptor (CAMM) air-defence missiles launched via 48 VLS canisters. An additional 16-cell or 24-cell “Main Strike Length” VLS Mark 41 is positioned forward of the bridge capable of firing missiles such as Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles and quad packed Sea Ceptor missiles. Like the Type 23 frigate it will replace, Type 26 Global Combat Ship will have an acoustically quiet hull for anti-submarine warfare and will be armed with Sting Ray acoustic homing torpedos.
Type 997 Artisan 3D search radar
Actual capabilities remain classified but it is reportedly capable of tracking in excess of 800 objects at a range of 200km.
There are also a couple of smaller and much less sophisticated systems from Kelvin Hughes used on the Type 23 Frigate. The Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 and now Type 1008 is used for surface warning and navigation. Both are considered legacy equipment and so less likely to be transferred from the Type 23, instead the Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye digital radar systems will probably be used for navigation, obstacle avoidance and helicopter flight operations Support. (Source:thinkdefence.co.uk)
The Sharpeye navigation radar and SCOT satellite radomes can also be seen.
The shapes at the base of the mast that look like beer barrels are electro-optical sensors, the Ultra Electronics SERIES 2500 EO System that are standard equipment fit on Type 45 Destroyers. (Source:thinkdefence.co.uk)
The stabilised sensor is called the Electro-Optical Director (EOD) and this is linked to a system console called the platform Control Cubicle (PCC). The system can be cued manually or automatically (including from radar and other systems), track moving objects with its long range TV and Infra-Red sensors, perform target identification and provide ballistic fire control information for the ships gunnery equipment.
HGH Infrared Systems manufacture panoramic thermal imaging systems, working in a QinetiQ led project they will supply their Spynel-M products for integration with the Compact Combat System (C2S) that will combine a Kelvin Hughes SharpEye radar and a Chess Dynamics Sea Eagle. The system is primarily designed to counter the small fast inshore attack craft (FIACs) threat. Information from the three sensors and AIS data is integrated with the Enhanced Situation Awareness From Existing Sensors (ESAFES) fusion engine and presented to a single display and cueing information provided to on deck automatic weapons via an Ethernet link. Although this is only a research project this kind of technology might find its way onto Type 26 GCS. (Source:thinkdefence.co.uk)
Surface Ship Combat Systems (SSCS)
BAE will be introducing a shared computing environment based on modern blade server architecture and operating systems virtualisation on Type 23 and this will be transferred to the Type 26. Given the rapid rate of development in computing equipment and long timescales between design and introduction of the Type 26 GCS this kind of technology, mundane and ordinary in the civilian world, will allow the ships computing environment to avoid obsolescence issues that limit effectiveness and drive up support costs as manufacturers struggle to find stocks of Intel 486 processors, for example. (Source:thinkdefence.co.uk)
Aish Technologies provide blade server enclosures, displays and consoles to the Royal Navy.
Sea Ceptor (CAMM) air-defence missiles and Sea Ceptor (CAMM) air-defence missiles launched via 48 VLS canisters.16-cell or 24-cell “Main Strike Length” VLS Mark 41 is positioned forward of the bridge capable of firing missiles such as Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles and quad packed Sea Ceptor missilesTomahawk land-attack cruise missilesLike the Type 23 frigate it will replace, Type 26 Global Combat Ship will have an acoustically quiet hull for anti-submarine warfare and will be armed with Sting Ray acoustic homing torpedos
Each Type 26 will be fitted with a Thales Underwater Systems Type 2050 bow sonar, while eight vessels will be equipped with an additional powerful towed array sonar (e.g. Sonar 2087) recycled from the Type 23s. The Type 26 will also be fitted with guns of various calibres. Instead of the RN’s traditional 4.5″ gun it is expected to have a NATO-standard 5″ main gun, either the Otobreda 127/64 or BAE Mark 45.
£183 million deal signed for Type 26 Frigate gun: Here
Sonar 2050 is a medium-range bow sonar currently fitted to 13 Type 23 frigates and is the Royal Navy’s primary hull-mounted antisubmarine warfare sensorEight vessels will be equipped with an additional powerful towed array sonar (e.g. Sonar 2087) recycled from the Type 23s. Sonar 2087 console stationBAE Mark 45Otobreda 127/64
It is expected to have a NATO-standard 5″ main gun, either the Otobreda 127/64 or BAE Mark 45
Smaller guns include two Phalanx CIWS, two 30mm DS30M Mark 2 Automated Small Calibre Guns and a number of miniguns and general-purpose machine guns.
Two Phalanx CIWSTwo 30mm DS30M Mark 2 Automated Small Calibre GunsA number of miniguns and general-purpose machine guns
The propulsion system of the RN ships will have a gas turbine direct drive and four high speed diesel generators driving two electric motors in a CODLOG configuration.
The propulsion and power configuration is COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas (CODLOG), sometimes called CODELOG, from Rolls Royce. A CODELOG (Combined Diesel Electric or Gas Turbine) configuration is to be deployed in the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. The diesel gensets supply electric power for on-board systems and for vessel propulsion in cruising mode. The Rolls-Royce gas turbine will be switched in for high-speed propulsion whenever needed. The propulsion concept is ideally suited for the mission profiles of the future combat ships. For naval applications, the MTU gensets have double-resilient mounting systems and are housed within acoustic enclosures. This creates a propulsion system with an extremely low level of acoustic emissions, making the ship very difficult to locate.
Commenting on the contract award, Mark Dannatt, GE Naval Systems Lead said;
Reducing radiated noise from the motor makes it exceptionally quiet, which is obviously very important for naval operations. GE is on the cutting edge with this proven, robust technology. It will allow the Royal Navy to operate more efficiently, cost-effectively and safely. Drawing on our extensive experience over decades in the electrical power conversion systems industry, we are moving to provide the latest in motor and drive technology that is at the forefront of operational efficiency (Source:thinkdefence.co.uk)
In 2012 Rolls Royce repackaged the MT30 used in the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers so that it would fit into smaller ships,and it is likely the Type 26 will use the MT30. BAE have suggested that some customers will install gas turbine engines and others will prefer to sacrifice 2-3 knots of speed by choosing cheaper diesel engines. The choice of CODLOG configuration for propulsion is somewhat surprising as it is a simpler version of the CODLAG propulsion used on the Type 23 which this ship is to replace, and both of the Type 26’s design contemporaries – the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier and the Type 45 destroyer – use integrated electric propulsion (IEP).
RF and Infra Red Distraction Decoys
Siren is an advanced decoy system designed to protect ships from missile threats by luring incoming anti-ship missiles away from their target. Launched from a 130mm decoy launcher it uses a two stage parachute system which slows the decoy round down at a pre-programmed time before deploying a second stage parawing, under which the advanced programmable electronic payload descends to detect and counter the missile threat.
The ability of Siren to generate sophisticated jamming waveforms is unique amongst the worlds limited types of naval decoys. The Siren payload contains some of the most up to date RF, digital and analogue electronic circuitry available, enabling the round to quickly detect, identify and track threats to ships. Siren is able to handle multiple threats simultaneously even in dense RF environments.
Mk 251 Siren
In addition to the advanced Mk 251 Siren, the RN Outfit launcher systems can also use RF distraction (chaff) and IR decoys such as the Chemring Mk 216 Mk 1 Mod 1 and Chemring Mk 245 IR. The Royal Navy has replaced the Mk 245 IR round with the Chemring TALOS that uses variable timing and submunitions rather than a single round, called the A2, as in the image below.
Fitted to the Type 45 is the Airborne Systems IDS300 (now called the FDS3) inflatable RF decoy also looks like it will be fitted to Type 26 GCS, the launchers are the horizontal cylindrical devices adjacent to the missile silos.
The FDS3 is a self-inflating octahedral shaped corner reflector that floats on the surface and unlike chaff, is persistent, able to float for 3 hours in sea state 4
Type 23 Frigates are fitted with the Thales Scorpion 2 Radar Electronic Countermeasures system. Taking information from the integrated ESM system it denies enemy forces the use of their radars; aircraft, ship, missiles, fixed or vehicular mounted device
Type 26 GCS imagery suggests a pair of these will be fitted.
As the threat from small UAS increases, systems such as the AUDS C-UAS may well find their way onto future vessels.
Entering service with the Royal Navy in 2004 and replacing the NIXIE system, the Ultra Electronics Surface Ship Torpedo Defence system provides protection against ship or submarine launched torpedoes, again, it would seem the system will be transferred to Type 26 GCS.
System components are (from Wikipedia);
- an acoustic passive towed array
- a towed acoustic countermeasure (flexible)
- a single-drum winch
- a processing cabinet
- 2 display consoles
- 2 expendable acoustic device launchers (1 port, 1 starboard)
- 16 expendable acoustic devices (8 in each launcher)
The system is also in service with a number of other nations and active torpedo ‘hard kill’ interceptor is in development.
Aircraft and Unmanned Systems
The flight deck will be of sufficient size to handle large helicopters like Merlin and especially, Chinook. Although not an amphibious assault ship, Chinook compatibility is good for all manner of operations that require heavy lift.
The main embarked aircraft for the ASW variant will be the Merlin HM2, the ‘airborne frigate’
The Merlin HM2 will normally be carried by the Type 26 although the naval Wildcat and CHF Merlin may also be used depending on requirements. The HM2 version on the Merlin is an incredibly powerful and sophisticated system that is combined with the numerous capabilities of the Type 23 to create a formidable team, likely to be transferred to Type 26 GCS.
Merlin can launch the Stingray Lightweight Torpedo and can carry a Minigun or M3M machine gun.
See details of wildcat helicopter: HERE
Wildcat can also launch Stingray and carry GPMG and M3M but will also be able to carry the Sea Venom (replacing Sea Skua) and Martlet missiles. The two-way datalink equipped Sea Venom is for use against small to medium sized combat vessels and Martlet, small craft and RHIB’s.
Sea Venom missileHelicopter Landing visual aids and lighting will be supplied by AGI Limited including Homing Beacon Lighting, pilot eye line lights, visual approach lights, control systems and the Advanced Stabilised Glide Slope Indicator (ASGSI)
Aircraft and Stores Handling
Ship-borne aircraft handling systems are required to capture, move and restrain different types of aircraft in high sea states and adverse weather.
MacTaggart Scott pioneered helicopter recovery systems.
The deck lock system requires the pilot to hover over a steel grid in order to deploy the locking ‘harpoon’. Once engaged the hydraulic actuator system, from Claverham, pulls the helicopter onto the deck, compressing the oleo leg in conjunction with negative thrust from the rotor. This system can secure the helicopter to the deck without needing any personnel to approach it, an important safety consideration. The deck lock grid is available from a number of manufacturers and widely used.
Additional securing straps are often used and the deck lock released, it is a flexible system and because the actuator sits on the centre of rotation the helicopter can be easily manoeuvred into the most favourable position for subsequent takeoff. The pilot has immediate confirmation that the helicopter is secure and is not reliant on others
Once secured to the deck, a means of transporting to the hangar is required and these fall into two broad types, rail assist and tug. The MacTaggart Scott TRIGON system is used by many operators and makes use of computer controlled steel wire ropes to secure and move helicopters. It uses a series of cables, with the three rail PRISM system specifically on Type 23 for Merlin, this document makes a good case for the all round superiority of TRIGON.
|Type:||Global Combat Ship|
|Displacement:||6,500 t (6,400 long tons; 7,200 short tons), 8,000 t full load|
|Length:||148.5 m (487 ft)|
|Beam:||20 m (66 ft)|
o Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine
o Four MTU diesel generators
o Two electric motors
|Speed:||In excess of 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)|
|Range:||7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)|
|Complement:||118 (accommodation for up to 190)|
|·Type 997 Artisan 3D radar
·Sonar 2087 (towed array sonar)
·Type 2050 bow sonar
|IRVIN-GQ DLF decoys|
·8 × 6-cell CAMM VLS canisters for a total of 48:
·CAMM missiles (range 1-25+ km)
·Possible Sting Ray torpedo system
·2 × 30mm DS30M Mk2 guns
·2 × Phalanx CIWS
·2 × Miniguns
|Aircraft carried:||·1-2 × Lynx Wildcat, armed with;
·4 × anti-ship missiles, or
·2 × anti-submarine torpedoes
·1-2 × Westland Merlin, armed with;
·4 × anti-submarine torpedoes
·1 × Lynx Wildcat and 1 × Westland Merlin
|Aviation facilities:||·Large flight deck
·Accommodation for UAVs
|Notes:||Flexible mission bay 1|
Video credit arronlee33
Updated Oct 19, 2016