Babcock International has just revealed their concept for the Type 31e Frigate competition. Arrowhead is the latest design to emerge from a British naval design house and will be formally unveiled at DSEI next week.
Babcock describes the design as a “cost-effective general purpose frigate designed with flexibility and adaptability at its core to meet the needs of modern navies worldwide”. Arrowhead 120 is a conventional approach and is very similar to the Spartan concept released by Steller Systems in November 2016. The key similarities are a stern ramp for boat and USV deployment and reconfigurable mission and payload bays. Both would be propelled by a Diesel-Electric CODLAD arrangement.
Babcock’s potential advantage over the BMT Venator and Stellar Systems Spartan is that they are not just a design house and have their own shipyards and a track record of ship building and repair for the Royal Navy. As with all of these concepts, it is difficult to assess their individual merit as most of the equipment fit is not defined and can be selected by the customer. It would appear that Arrowhead would meet the broad specification defined by the RN announced yesterday. Whichever concept is selected, there would be considerable work to be done to select the best weapons and equipment available within the £250M price limit. The detailed design work would need to be completed by 2019 when first steel must be cut.
- Arrowhead 120 (Babcock International)
- Shipbuilding Strategy for the Type 31 Frigate announced – a great day for the Royal Navy? (Save the Royal Navy)