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New Navy Warship Plans Released By MoD

(c) Sky News 2012

The Ministry of Defence has revealed the design for a warship that will be one of the Royal Navy's most advanced vessels.

Type 26 Global Combat Ship (T26 GCS) - described as a "significant milestone" by Navy officials - will be used for a range of purposes including, combat and piracy operations and disaster relief around the world.

The basic specification features for the warship reveal it will be about the length of 15 double-decker buses and have a range of weapons, such as cruise missiles and a medium-calibre gun.

The ship, which is expected to be finished in 2020, will also house two hangars, a helicopter, boats and advanced sensors.

The MoD has been working with defence giant BAE Systems (LSE: BA.L - news) on the basic design of the ship for two years.

Minister for defence equipment Peter Luff said the warship "will be the backbone of the Royal Navy for decades to come".

"It is designed to be adaptable and easily upgraded, reacting to threats as they change," he said.

Mr Luff also said the ship will boost the UK shipbuilding industry.

"The build of these vessels will secure thousands of skilled jobs across the UK, helping to sustain an industrial surface warship capability," he said.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, First Sea Lord, said: "The T26 GCS will be a multi-mission warship designed for joint and multinational operations across the full spectrum of warfare, including complex combat operations, maritime security operations such as counter piracy, as well as humanitarian and disaster relief work around the world. 

"It will be capable of operating independently for significant periods or as part of a task group and will play a major role in the defence of this country for many years."