The Royal Navy’s sixth Type 26 City-class anti-submarine warfare (ASW) frigate will be named HMS Newcastle, Gavin Williamson, the UK Defence Secretary, announced on Nov. 22 during his visit to the city.
“I am also delighted to be able to continue to strengthen the bond to Tyneside today, by announcing one of Britain’s future world-beating Type 26 warships will be called HMS Newcastle”, said the Defence Secretary.
There have been 8 previous ships bearing the name Newcastle dating back to 1653. The first 4 of these came from the age of sail, amassing 10 battle honours between them. The 5th, a wood screw frigate became the last wooden masted frigate in the RN, serving between 1860 – 1929.
The 6th Newcastle, a Town Class cruiser launched 1909, served through WW1 around the Far East, the Americas and the Mediterranean. She returned to England in 1919 and was sold in 1921, to be succeeded in 1936 by the 7th Newcastle, a Southampton Class cruiser.
This 7th Newcastle saw WW2 service in home waters, with Force H in the Mediterranean and with the Eastern fleet, earning the battle honours Spartivento 1940 and Burma 1944-45. She also saw action in Korea, earning a 13th battle honour before decommissioning in 1959.
The last Newcastle was a Type 42 destroyer, commissioned in 1978. In the course of her 26 years’ service she conducted several global deployments as well as repeated tours in the S Atlantic, Armilla patrols in the Gulf and, as part of NATO task groups, to the Mediterranean.
HMS Newcastle will also be joined by her sister ship HMS Sheffield, which was named by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew today.
The first ship of the City-class is named HMS Glasgow, the second is named HMS Cardiff, the third ship is named HMS Belfast, the fourth ship is named HMS Birmingham and the eighth one is named HMS London. The seventh frigate is yet to be named.
Only the first three ships have actually been ordered as of now and HMS Glasgow will not be in operational service until 2027.
Type 26 City-class frigates are the Royal Navy variant of the Global Combat Ship (GCS) design and manufacture programme of the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom. The new class, along with the planned Type 31e class, was selected for the replacement of eight Type 23 Duke class anti-submarine frigates currently in service with the Royal Navy.
The Type 26 will be a multi-mission warship designed to support anti-submarine warfare (ASW), air defence and general purpose operations. The ships will have a crew complement of 118.
The contract award to manufacture the Type 26 was announced by BAE Systems on 2 July 2017. The contracts cover the first three ships – the first of which is currently under construction at the BAE Systems shipyard in Glasgow. A total of eight ships are planned and the contract for the second batch of five ships will be negotiated in the early 2020s.
All of the Type 26 frigates will be built on the Clyde, supported by suppliers across the country and securing decades of work for more than 4,000 people. The first three ships have already been ordered for £3.7bn.