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Fleet Commander visits new frigate HMS Glasgow to see progress

Britain’s second most senior sailor visited future frigate HMS Glasgow to discuss the advent of a new generation of warships into service.

Currently undergoing completion in a dry dock at BAE’s shipbuilding facility in Scotstoun, Glasgow of the first of eight Type 26 frigates which will be in the front-line of defending the Navy from the prying eyes of hostile submarines.

Due in service later this decade, the ships mark a considerable leap forward over their predecessors in many areas – bigger ships yet fewer crew, increased use of autonomous systems/mechanisation, new thinking such as adaptable mission bays for whatever tasks are assigned.

Working alongside experts from the MCTA, BAE and DE&S, Glasgow’s first ship’s company are heavily involved in not just introducing their vessel into service… but paving the way for the remaining seven Type 26s.

After a tour of the new frigate, Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Andrew Burns spent time with the Glasgow trailblazers to discuss the challenges – as well as other general issues impacting on the ship’s company.

Admiral Burns was an Officer of the Watch in the previous Glasgow – the Type 42 destroyer which served with distinction between 1979 and 2005, including surviving being bombed in the Falklands.

The destroyer was the height of late 1960s naval thinking and design (with upgrades along the way during her career).

The key is to avoid a bow wave of work thereby ensuring a smooth transition into service.

Commander Phil Burgess

Her successor marks advances in shipbuilding, technology, naval warfare, changes in society over half a century later.

The new Glasgow’s Senior Naval Officer Commander Phil Burgess explained how the ship’s company were making best use of the time in build to meet the demands and deadlines which will allow the Navy to accept the frigate into service in a timely manner.

“The key is to avoid a bow wave of work thereby ensuring a smooth transition into service,” Commander Burgess stressed. “In essence, the aim is to ensure the jam is evenly spread across the whole slice of bread.”

Vice Admiral Burns shared his experiences of bringing a ship out of build – the last of the new HMS Glasgow’s predecessors and, for now, Britain’s youngest frigate, HMS St Albans – 20 years ago.

And he discussed general personnel matters ranging from feedback from the Continuous Attitude Service to the recently-released ‘Haythornthwaite Report’ on ‘Agency and Agility: Incentivising people in a new era.’

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