Sabotage Onboard Next-Generation Royal Navy Warship Spurs Investigation

Intentional damage to HMS Glasgow’s cabling prompts an inquiry into potential sabotage at a Scottish shipyard.

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In a shocking revelation, BAE Systems, the defence contractor, has reported an act of alleged sabotage onboard the next-generation Royal Navy warship, HMS Glasgow. Built at the Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow, the first of the new series of Type 26 frigates, HMS Glasgow, is now the focus of an intense investigation.

“We immediately launched an internal investigation, alongside our suppliers, and temporarily paused work on the ship to inspect every area of the vessel and ensure our high standards and quality controls are met,” said a BAE Systems spokesperson.

Despite the setback, normal operations have resumed, and an assessment is under way to gauge the extent of repairs needed for the “intentionally” damaged cables. However, BAE Systems refrained from speculating on the motive or the perpetrators behind this act.

According to the UK Defence Journal, around 60 cables were deliberately severed. The HMS Glasgow, described as an “adaptable, future-proofed ship” by the Navy, is the first of eight Type 26 frigates currently being built by BAE Systems in Glasgow. Its sister ships, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast, are also under construction and are expected to enter service in the late 2020s.

Last year, amid tensions in Ukraine, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced contracts for building new frigates, emphasising the need to harness UK expertise for self-protection and supporting allies. This announcement came shortly after BAE Systems applied for planning consent for a £100m shipbuilding facility to facilitate the simultaneous construction of two frigates, a move that the company claimed would reduce production costs.

“This contract secures a critical UK industry and allows us to build on our long history of shipbuilding on the Clyde as we continue to deliver cutting-edge equipment to the Royal Navy into the next decade,” said Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems chief executive. The incident on HMS Glasgow underlines the vital importance of security in this cutting-edge industry.

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