Revealed: Britain's warship of the future

Here is the Royal Navy's next generation of British warship.

The design has been revealed by the Ministry of Defence, which has described the warship as a "significant milestone" in a programme that will support "thousands of UK shipbuilding jobs".

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship is due to come into service after 2020.

It will be used by the Royal Navy on combat and anti-piracy missions around the world, as well as supporting humanitarian and disaster relief operations.

The warship will be around 148m in length, which is the equivalent of around 15 double-decker buses.

Among its features will be vertical missile silos capable of housing a range of different weapons, a medium calibre gun, and a hangar to accommodate a Merlin or Wildcat helicopter.

Peter Luff, government minister for defence equipment, support and technology, said:

"The Type 26 Global Combat Ship 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. The build of these vessels will secure thousands of skilled jobs across the UK, helping to sustain an industrial surface warship capability."

Type 26 Global Combat ShipBAe Systems, MoD

The ship's mission bay, next to the helicopter hangar, will provide extra space for specialist equipment, depending on the operation.

This area will be able to house anything from aerial and underwater unmanned drones to speed boats or containers for humanitarian aid. The modular design means it will be constructed in sections, possibly at different sites around the UK.

BAE Systems was awarded a contract of £127m in 2010 to work on the initial design. Geoff Searle, BAE's Programme Director, said a team of 350 people have been involved in the work including marine engineers, designers and accountants.