The HMS Glasgow, the Royal Navy’s first Type 26 frigate, is set to enter the water for the first time since its construction began in 2017.
A complex exercise involving a 137-metre submersible barge will now commence over the coming days to lower the ship into the water and begin the “float off process”.
BAE Systems said the ship, which has been under construction in its Govan shipyard, will be slowly submerged in water over a number of hours before travelling down to the Scotstoun shipyard down the Clyde for further testing.
Ben Wallace, secretary of state for defence, said: “HMS Glasgow entering the water for the first time marks a major milestone for the Type 26 programme which supports thousands of highly skilled jobs in Scotland and more across the wider UK supply chain.
“We’re continuing to invest in the British shipbuilding industry to maintain the Royal Navy’s cutting-edge ability to defend our nation, while strengthening our partnership with allies.”
David Shepherd, Type 26 Programme Director, BAE Systems, said: “Seeing HMS Glasgow in the water for the first time will be a proud and exciting moment for the thousands of people involved in this great endeavour.
“She will soon transfer to our Scotstoun yard in Glasgow where we look forward to installing her complex systems and bringing her to life.”
The engineers involved in the float off of 6000 tonne ship have been specially trained using a 3D visualisation suite which gives engineers access to a full digital twin of the ship.
“They will monitor the ship closely throughout all stages of the process ensuring that the transition is safely managed. The float off process will also be supported by engineers from Defence Equipment & Support, the MOD delivery agent, as well as members of the Royal Navy”, David added.
HMS Glasgow is the first of eight type 26 Frigates to be built after BAE systems were awarded a £4.2bn contract by the Ministry of Defence.
The second and third ships, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast, are also currently being built in Govan.