Israel’s armor specialist Plasan was selected to design and produce armor protection for Britain’s new Type 26 frigate. Plasan’s advanced armor technology has been implemented to protect armored vehicles and personnel, transport aircraft and helicopters as well as naval vessels. In the past, the company was involved in several urgent operational requirements (UOR) to increase the survivability and protection of combat platforms operated by the British Army and Royal Air Force. The company designed the complete protection systems for the US Army/Marine Corps JLTV made by Oshkosh (soon to be supplied to the UK) and the Australian Hawkeye light combat vehicle produced by Thales Australia.
Modern combat ships are fitted with ballistic armor tailored to protect sensitive areas on the ship from typical threats such as projectiles and fragments. Such elements are often built of lightweight, hard ceramic with soft and hard composite materials to meet the required protection level at the lowest weight.
These armor elements are often constructed during the shipbuilding process. The ships will be built by BAE Systems in Glasgow, Scotland and are considered among the world’s most advanced combat ships. According to the contract armor production for the first three vessels will begin this year. The Royal Navy plans to replace eight Type 23 Duke class anti-submarine frigates with six Type 26s, based on BAE Systems’ ‘Global Combat Ship’ design. The first Type 26 is due to enter service with the Royal Navy in the mid-2020s.
BAE Systems also announced the selection of Mk41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) as the primary weapon launch system for the vessel. Lockheed Martin was selected to supply the system and integrate it into the ship. The VLS provides a common weapon storage and launch platform supporting anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface and strike-length missiles. Each Type 26 will be equipped with three 8-cell MK 41 VLS modules. BAE Systems’ initial order includes nine MK 41 VLS modules, enough for the first three ships of the class.