Royal Navy’s Eighth Type 26 City-Class Frigate to be Named HMS London

The UK Royal Navy’s eighth Type 26 City-class frigate will be named HMS London after the nation’s capital, said Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, in a twitter statement.

He added that the names will be officially announced by UK Prime Minister Theresa May at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, scheduled this evening (Nov. 12).

The first ship of the City-class is named HMS Glasgow, the second is named HMS Cardiff, the third ship is named HMS Belfast and the fourth ship is named HMS Birmingham. The fifth, sixth and seventh frigates are 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.

The name HMS London has featured in the Royal Navy fleet since 1657 and have won, in total, 18 battle honours to her name.

The first six ships of the name served with distinction through the age of sail, amassing 13 battle honours including the decisive victory at Barfleur in 1692, Chesapeake in 1781, and the Crimean War 1854-55.

Two different HMS London served in the two world wars. The first, a 15,000-ton battleship commissioned in 1902, covered the ‘Anzac’ landings at Gallipoli; its successor, a county class heavy cruiser commissioned in 1928, won WW2 battle honours in the Atlantic, Arctic and East Indies.

The ninth namesake, HMS London (D16), a County-class guided missile destroyer, served from 1963-81 in Home Waters, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, as well as the North Atlantic. It was the last Royal Navy ship to leave Malta, embarking the Commander, British Forces Malta and his staff.

The last one, HMS London (F95), was a Batch 2 Type 22 Frigate, accepted into service in 1987. She conducted several Armilla patrols in the Gulf and was the Royal Navy flagship during the 1991 Gulf war, but most of her operational service was defined by her core anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role.

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.

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