BAE Systems has started construction of the first anti-submarine warfare ship of a new fleet designed to replace the U.K. navy’s Type 23 frigates.
The company said Thursday British defense secretary Michael Fallon unveiled the name “Glasgow” for the first Type 26 Global Combat Ship during a ceremonial event at BAE shipyard in Scotland.
BAE will build three Type 26 vessels at its Glasgow facilities under a $4.8 billion contract from the U.K. defense ministry and is scheduled to deliver the first platform to the British navy by the mid-2020s.
Fallon said the new ships will work to help protect U.K.’s aircraft carriers and nuclear deterrent and “form a backbone of the future [U.K. navy] surface fleet into the 2060s.”
Type 26 ships will be built to support a range of operations from warfare to humanitarian assistance and will feature digital technologies such as three-dimensional and virtual reality platforms, BAE noted.