Royal Navy warship HMS Glasgow sabotaged

BAE Systems has admitted that repairs are being assessed after about 60 cables were cut on HMS Glasgow – currently being fitted out at BAE’s yard at Scotstoun on the River Clyde in Glasgow.

Classed as ‘intentional damage’, an inquiry has been launched on the Type 26 frigate. HMS Glasgow is an anti-submarine warfare vessel tasked with protecting the Trident nuclear deterrent and aircraft carriers and is the first of eight Type 26 vessels being built.

A BAE spokesperson says work was temporarily paused for the investigation.

The UK Defence Journal theorises that a group of disgruntled contractors interrupted the fitting out process with the suspected motive said to be an issue related to payment disputes. Currently this cannot be confirmed.

In total and for context, approximately 23,000 cables will be installed on HMS Glasgow. They include data cables that provide a crucial role transmitting data between various systems, equipment, and personnel on the ship, and electrical cables which power the various systems within the ship, says the journal.

BAE Systems did not confirm any motive for the damage.

The investigation’s remit, says the Guardian, is expected to include identifying those responsible, understanding how the perpetrators were able to carry out their actions and devising measures on how to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

A spokesperson for BAE says: “We uncovered a limited number of cables on HMS Glasgow earlier in the week, which appear to have been damaged intentionally.

“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.”

The firm said work had now resumed and an assessment was in progress “to scope the repairs needed”.

“Around 4.50pm on Thursday, 11 May, 2023, we were called to a report of damage discovered on a vessel in a dry dock at South Street, Glasgow. As a precaution, the ship was evacuated and enquiries are ongoing,” says a Police Scotland spokesperson.

HMS Glasgow made its first trip in December 2022. The frigate was moved down the River Clyde on a specialist barge and lowered into Loch Long. It was then towed back to the yard at Scotstoun for fitting out. As reported in MIN, sailors first joined HMS Glasgow in October 2021.

Image courtesy of the Royal Navy.

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