GLASGOW, Scotland, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- BAE Systems said Friday the first steel will be cut on the U.K.'s Type 26 Global Combat Ships next summer.
Once contract negotiations are finalized, the Type 26 program is expected to deliver a new generation of warships to the Royal Navy while securing hundreds of jobs in Scotland and beyond for decades to come, BAE said in a statement.
The government has so far committed to eight of the advanced anti-submarine ships as part of its 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, investing about $2.3 billion in the program thus far.
Manufacturing contracts are in place to procure vital equipment for the first three ships, with 27 companies in the supply line to provide air weapons handling systems, gas turbines and electric propulsion motors and drive systems for the ships.
BAE is also slated to manufacture the Maritime Indirect Fire Systems for the first three Type 26 ships.
Type 26 will replace the Type 23 frigate and will be able to take on missions that range from warfare to humanitarian assistance.
Also Friday, BAE said plans were underway to finalize a contract with London to build two Offshore Patrol Vessels, which would add to three of the vessels already being built by the company.