Designs of Royal Navy's future warships released

Two computer-generated images of the Type 26 GCS were issued. Credit: BAe Systems/MoD/PA Wire

The latest images of the Royal Navy's future warships have been released today by the Ministry of Defence.

Two computer-generated designs showing the basic specification of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) were issued, which the MoD described as a "significant milestone" in the project to get them into the water.

The multi-mission warship, which is the length of around 15 double-decker buses, is due to come into service after 2020.

The vessels are expected to come equipped with verticle missile silos capable of housing a range of different weapons, in addition to a medium-calibre gun, a helicopter hangar and state-of-the-art sensors.

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, said the warship was designed to serve in operations "across the full spectrum of warfare."

The MoD said the vessels will be used by the Royal Navy in combat and counter-piracy operations, plus to support humanitarian and disaster relief work around the world.

The Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said the Type 26 GCS will be the "backbone of the Royal Navy for decades to come" and said the construction of the vessels would secure thousands of skilled jobs across the UK.