The UK MoD has revealed the general appearance and basic specifications of the Royal Navy’s next major class of warship. The Type 26 Global Combat Ship will be 148m long with a beam of 19m and a standard displacement of around 5,400 tonnes. This is much smaller than earlier proposals but still makes it significantly larger than the Type 23 frigate it will supersede.

The modular design has a large number of stealth features and will be equipped with vertical-launch missile silos for a range of next-generation weapon systems along with a new design of medium-calibre gun.

Resembling a scaled-down Type 45 destroyer, the multi-mission warship will also have a so-called ‘mission bay.’ This will now be located adjacent to the aircraft hangar rather than underneath the flight deck, with stern-launched boats as shown in the original concept. The space will be large and flexible enough to accommodate up to four 12m RIBs, a range of manned and unmanned air, surface or underwater vehicles or up to 11TEU containers.

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