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It is a good design as long as it has enough weapons etc. We shall see.


I think Babcock have a fair chance to win this, it looks like the T31 bid is highly competitive, compared to what else is on offer. Cost and local development benefits will no doubt be key issues for Greece. The only weakness for UK offer is the interim solution.


You can hear it now can’t you, a conversation between a Greek matelot serving on the ex HMS Montrose and a British matelot visiting Piraeus onboard the brand spanking new HMS Glasgow. “Once upon a time the Greek navy used to get the worn out useless warships and the Royal Navy got the state of the art, though admittedly usually under armed, latest bits of kit, haven’t times changed”

Brian Aitkenhead

HMS Glasgow is a Type 26 frigate, it will be superior to this type


Thanks Brian, my mistake. I did of course intend the British warship to be a Type 31 but I have forgotten the names of this woeful class already.


I think one is called Arthur and one might be Bill but apart from that, I’m at a loss for Inspiration.

David Broome

Woeful? The only thing woeful are comments like this and a lack of armament like at least 32 seaceptor; a towed sonar array (Captas-1 even), ASW torpedoes and SSGW. That’s not the fault of the ship, it’s a failure of the Ministry to build for but not with.

Meirion X

Yes the T32 has the potential to be an ASW platform for taskings, if equipped properly with a decent hull sonar and etc.



Meirion X

A mistype, should be T31, sorry.

Last edited 6 days ago by Meirion X

Well, no, not really.
The HMS Montrose will by then be even more worn out than it is now.
The HMS Glasgow, on the other hand, will be brand new, with cutting edge sonar, sound insulation, CIWS, better PDMS, better systems and other bonuses such as Mk 41 cells, lower crew, more space and the multi-mission bay. Yes, it might lack AShM, but maybe it will have the IASM on board.

stephen ball

Guess it depends on which kit they’ll want to keep that can be refitted to the T31G.

Which make’s me think we got sale’s for Chile and New Zealand.


Indeed both good prospects.

Due to geography both need proper ocean going vessels (rather than OPVs), both have long ties with RN, have limited budget and are already Sea Ceptor users.

Makes A140/T31 an attractive proposition.


Geography means both need and already have OPVscomment image


Yep of course, all navies have OPV. My point was both Chile and NZ have huge, open-ocean EEZ, with crazy high sea states and very large distances to cover. So both have requirement for frigates too, even just for regional constabulary operations. T31 is ideal really.


OPVs as well as Frigates. But modern large ( 1900tons, 80-90m ) properly designed OPVs with efficient diesels can handle the distances (4000nm) and sea states. ( Which many navys have now realised) Even frigates need replenishment on those very longer voyages

Last edited 8 days ago by Duker
David Broome

The NZ ones were a design disaster that led to the icebelt being below the waterline that leaves very little top weight allowance. Rarely do they carry Seasprites and there’s no Unmanned Air System in the RNZN. The Type-31 would appear to be an ideal ANZAC replacement with the RNZN arming them in a similar way to what the RN proposes.


I very much doubt NZ would have any interest in a T31. The A140 though, is a different matter. You only have to look at their present ANZAZ frigate, which is much better armed than the T31. 127mm main gun, 20 CAAM (top weight limited missile numbers), hull mounted sonar, torpedoes, ASW helicopter, AShM, CIWS, high end radar. Why would they want to go backwards? There are good reasons Babcock is offering Greece the A140 & not the T31.

Meirion X

Chile has desires to start their own warship building industry by end of the decade.

Meirion X

A first T31 hull for Chile maybe built in the UK to gain experience of warship building.


So, locally built, as expected. Arrowhead 140’s Indonesian bid is the same.

Rosyth is not going to be building it, the same to RAN and RCN’s T26s not to be built in Clyde. Not clear for me is, what component from Britain does this ship carry? What contribution to UK industry this contract will provide?

Armaments, zero.
Propulsions, zero.
Radar/Sensors, zero.
CMS, zero.

Actually, its design is also imported from Denmark, OMT. So, design, no.
Integration of CMS will be done by Thales-Netherland, not Babcock, I guess?

So what Babcock is “exporting” is the modernized (from IH class to T31 class) version of the detailed design of the ship (may be CAD-based?) and “recent” know-how of building and integrating a ship. What else?

This proposal may be good for Greek. Also it will help Babcock design team and project management team. But, it will not contribute to the steel/welding workers, and also not much of the electric systems integration engineers nor CMS systems integration engineers.

Yes, if succeeded, getting export is good. But, this program does not have large British share.


Yes it’s fairly limited in terms of UK export – even less so than Hunter/CSC which has significant UK high value content, even if hull build is elsewhere.

BTW Indonesia is OMT bid does not involve Babcock at all.

For Rosyth, I think greater possibility is for RN vessels to be sold/exported after 10-15 years and needing replacement. Pricing, for quality second hand warships, will increase, because cold war surplus, is now all gone. Second hand T31, will be attractive to many nations, because it’s simple to operate, and cheap to start with.

So after sale, possibly RN can get new, updated ships, for a little more than cost of a refit. I think this is the plan. I think a similar scheme (export second hand, to support home market demand) worked to support Japanese car manufacturers?

But regarding Greece, IIRC Thales are moving all Tacticos integration to the UK, so any A140 project will support that base. And the use of T31 team keeps design and project skills alive, which can help sustain T31 program and support further export bids. So for UK as a whole it’s much better than nothing. Anything like the Greek bid, is just a bonus.

Last edited 8 days ago by Ben Robins


1: You are correct. Indonesian bid did not include Babcock, Janes report on 11 March was self-corrected on 20 April, thanks (

2: Thanks for TACTICOS. I checekd it. Those for UK and T31e is covered by Theles UK, so T31H for Greek will be integrated under Thales UK (not sure). But, Netherlands Thales remains to work on TACTICOS. For example, see “”

# I was wondering how can Rosyth survive in future, after T31 and possible T32 = after 2035 or so. Similarly, I’m start wondering how can Thales UK survive …


As understand the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and Thales Nederland developed/developing a completely new gen CMS from the ground up based on their experience with TACTICOS the Above Water Warfare System (AWWS) for the Royal Netherlands Navy for use in the new Damen Belgium/Dutch M-class frigates and will also be used in the much larger Damen German MKS-180 frigate, now renamed the F126.
Thales has also renamed the AWWS as TACTICOS though expect completely different product/software.

Glass Half Full

TACTICOS may be supported out of the UK according to past Thales PR.

“The UK Combat System Centre of Excellence will extend technical capabilities at our sites in Bristol and Crawley. This will establish a sovereign UK capability within the TACTICOS product line that will provide direct support to the RN and also the export initiatives for the Type 31 platform.”

Selling services for design, build and integration is important though, maintaining and building knowledge and capability. Babcock seem to be doing that in a number of countries on a number of different solutions.

Realistically there aren’t many big ticket headline items that the UK can provide even if a ship is built in the UK, if the ship not using MT30, Sea Ceptor, Artisan/Sampson or Thales sonar. Even then, many parts for the nominally UK labeled equipment may come from off shore sources. Its just the way of the world, no country does everything. MT30 seems to now be the turbine of choice for most naval designs around the world, MTU dominates diesels, major gun systems are mostly BAES or Leonardo, etc etc. One opportunity is naval radar, but it seems competitive and BAES don’t seem to want to compete. There may be scope for less glamorous components, if there aren’t Greek suppliers of similar solutions.


Thanks. On TACTICOS, thanks for your info, and please refer to my answer to Sonik-san above. (to avoid double post).

On British industrial items, to my understanding;
MT30 yes, CAMM/SeaCeptor yes, Artisan/Sampson yes, part of CAPTAS4 yes, electric motor for ASW frigates yes, BAE CMS-1 yes, and (main part of) T31’s TACTICOS CMS yes.

But, MTU is still Germany-based, just owned by RR. (like Swedish Bofors 57 mm gun nor US 127 mm gun are NOT of British, although it is surely of BAE).

In this point, T31H apparently lacks British things. In T31 for UK, OMT is the design house, Babcock-UK is the prime (project control), Babcock-UK Rosyth is the ship-hull builder, and Thales-UK is the CMS integrator, with BAE-Swedish guns, MBDA-UK SAM, and Thales-Netherland’s radar, and RR-MTU diesel generator, Renk the gearbox.

In T31H for Greek, OMT is the design house, Babcock is the prime, and Thales UK is the CMS integrator, with Italian and BAE-Swedish guns, US RAM/ESSM SAMs?, Thales-Netherland’s radar, and Hellenic yard is the ship-builder, diesel and gearbox, as well.

Getting design export order is nothing bad. But, this is a bit pitiful situation… BAE controlling (financing) several USA defense industry and getting USA order is NOT normally considered as “export”. For me, T31H is sitting in the middle of export and financing…

Sorry, anyway just a personal impression…

Glass Half Full

Sorry, I probably didn’t make my point clear in my earlier post. MTU, BAES and Leonardo are examples of companies that dominate certain naval sectors on a WW basis, not that they were British or had British content.

In other words, its hard today for most countries to produce a warship with a lot of domestic content apart from manufacturing the ship itself, when the big ticket items that go in and on it are dominated by a few WW players.

Also when tendering for foreign contracts, what is fitted to a ship may be largely determined by the customers. We see that with the T26 in Australia and Canada, and the Constellation class in the US, but it also applies at the lower end of the market. In the Greek competition France with the FDI seems to be pushing Sylver, Aster/Mica, which would align with your strategy of a company promoting national content. But Greece is an ESSM Consortia member, so we’ll have to see if the French strategy takes Greece down the path of French armaments. I’d bet against it because it seems Greece has other tendering options in the form of T31, Meko, Sigma, F110 and Lockheed MMSC that are based on Mk41/ESSM.


France not being flexible on what weapons/sensors to put on their FDIs is one of the main reasons for failing to get the contract.

In The Bin

the lights are British designed and manufactured, Babcocks decided not to use the Glamox/aqua signal package supplied to the original Danish design.


Donald, you keep banging on about Type 31 being designed in Denmark. OMT sold the IH intellectual property to Babcock who have modified it. it is now a British design. Type 31 is not designed in Denmark.

Last edited 8 days ago by RichardIC



1: But Indonesian bid does not include Babcock, looks like? (see

I myself is not clear what is a proposal based on Iver Huitfeldt class and what is a proposal based on T31.

To date, I see no such announcement as “OMT sold the IH intellectual property to Babcock”. To my understanding, Babcock says, it has brought the right to modify the design and build it for UK, as well as export as T31e. If you have any info about “sold”, which means OMT does not have any right anymore”, I am very interested in to see.

2: And also, “having T31 design” is only a part of the key point. “How can Babcock grew a British-based escort design team?” is important. To date, Babcock just bought the design. No one in the Babcock can design escorts with similar level maturity.

To enable this, I agree the simplest way is to buy foreign successful design (like IH class), build it (like Inspiration class), and what is more, design and build modified version based on its experience. This is exactly what the Indian shipyard did with T12M Leander frigate design. So, on T32, we will see the outcome of Babcock’s investment/power/strategy.


Regarding the T31/A140 design, I think you are probably right, the base IP is still owned by OMT, but BMT/Babcock own the IP for their modifications and have secured the right to sell the complete design, presumably with OMT earning a commission.

What’s less clear, is the extent of the Babcock/BMT modifications and how this affects value, Vs the base IH design. It appears that the basic hull and propulsion are essentially the same.

But there are various changes/updates to the systems, which is perhaps the more difficult/valuable part of the design. These are the things I can gather:

1) The basic propulsion scheme is the same, but has been updated, with newer engines, new controls and emission limits to latest standards

2) CMS, sensor and weapons fit is obviously different. Tacticos has been selected to allow flexibility of ‘open architecture’ which will appeal to export market.

3) There are minor structural modifications, for RN requirements. Notably new bridge wings and rearrangement of the boat bays.

4) There are updates and modifications to electrical and mechanical systems:
with particular focus on automation and asset management:
The scope of these modification is not so clear; base IH design does include automation (to reduce crew/watch requirement) but A140 can use newer technology. Digital asset management is also an area of significant expertise for Babcock, through their support work for RN.

Last edited 7 days ago by Ben Robins

Thanks. On item-2.

Iver Huidfeldt class itself uses TACTICOS. But, of course, it is vastly simplified in T31, for sure.


I’m confused as the OMT/DALO (Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization) presentation says IH uses the “Terma C-FLEX command, control, communications, computers and (C4I) systems, link 11 and 16, commercial and military SATCOM” with no mention of TACTICOS


Donald – you’ve been supplied with evidence of this on the UKDF, and your response was to deny the words that were being spoken actually meant what they mean.


Sorry if I missed something. Babcock never said OMT lost the design right?
Did they?

And also Indonesian bid is continuing with OMT = Team Denmark lead?

Last edited 7 days ago by donald_of_tokyo
Meirion X

We may sell the Greeks, the hull sonar 2150, or a restricted version, of it. But still small fry.
It is now being tested on HMS Portland.


There is perhaps an opportunity to sell Sea Ceptor to Greece. One of the main problems with the French bid, is the very high cost of Aster.

Ceptor is clearly not in the same league, but it does have active seeker and AD capability, and the Greeks may conclude it’s range is sufficient in the confines of the Aegean. They can purchase many more sets for the same budget.

And of course, regardless of the Greek bid, the integration of Ceptor with the popular Tacticos CMS on T31 opens up a much wider market for the missile. Besides interoperability, this also opens up the possibility of sharing CAAM stocks between countries, which can benefit both the UK and others who join the pool.

All speculation of course but you can see the possibilities. If it’s successful, we will start to see how the RN’s economy drive can pay dividends in interesting ways.

Last edited 19 hours ago by Ben Robins

Similar to the T31 but up gunned, bean counters strike again!

Bloke down the pub

<i>Details of how the Greek frigates could be equipped are unclear but would seem be more heavily armed than the Type 31. </i>

I’m shocked I tell you, shocked. A foreign vessel more heavily armed than the RN equivelant? Whatever next?


Their strategic situation is more high risk, with Turkey and right on their doorstep . If it wasnt for both countries being in Nato they likely would have a war/armed conflict by now, but Turkey seems to be less interested in Nato. This is the reason Greece spends 10% of GDP on defence.
Once the UK was the ‘protector’ of Greeces independence and its internal strife , but recently Macron has put France firmly on Greece’s side with Turkey, while UK is nowhere to be seen, and that for France is an economic advantage in defence procurement and will happen again for their new frigates


Britain still helps protect Greek Cypriots and cyprus though.


Perhaps we should cancel Type 31 order and negotiate to buy the proposed Greek Arrowhead export version instead! That way we might actually get a suitably armed warship……..


Can’t afford it.


Britain can afford it. It’s just we waste the money we have.


Exactly. £3.4bn (in 2010 prices) on MR4A. We could have properly armed the T31, put hangars on the River’s, filled the VLS cells on the T26 and put the extra VLS 16 cells on each T45 for that money.


Imagine one year’s overseas aid budget. Money we have to borrow and then pay interest upon. Heck! At least we keep the Mercedes S-Class production going with it…….


Foreign aid p****s me off.. 14 billion every year.. it’s crazy…


For very little return if any.


I don’t mind helping starving Africans or in disaster zones, but from what I hear lots of foreign aid is wasted on s**t….

Meirion X

Every country In the world has had some Government project failures including defence projects, in the past, and Britain is No exception.
And I am Not trying to justify failure of public sector projects either, it is a gross waste of Taxpayers money!
The MR4A project failure was even a failure of preparation of the project in the beginning, with No proper survey on the Nimrod airframe, which should have revealed that the airframe was obsolete, and the project Not began.

Also there are other better priorities to have instead of steel hangers on OPV’s, which is unnecessary because No helo will permanently attached to a OPV.
If a temporary cover is needed a tent made of Kevlar could be erected held up with steel poles. All done at a fraction of the cost of a permanent hanger!

Last edited 7 days ago by Meirion X

Actually, hangars on OPV’s are very handy things, even if they never see a helicopter. It’s basically a large enclosed all weather space with a very large door to the outside flight deck. Exercise area, people holding area, temporary hospital area, recreation space, shipboard BBQ etc. If you are only away from port a week at a time, not as useful, but not all OPV’s are used that way.


Imagine a type 45 with tomahawk and the like… a real beast.


I would be happy with the same sensors, weapons, and duration of an Italian Horizon…

Meirion X

The T45 is really a air defence warship, needed to defeat air or missile attacks against vessels in a group. Their are only 48 cells on T45 as it is.

I did proposed Tomahawk as a anti-ship warpon a few weeks ago, but another poster pointed out to me because TLM is subsonic it can be defeated. So Tomahawk could become obsolete before the end of this decade!

I think the RN needs to be looking at Hypersonic missles for future vessels like T83 or T32. They will require a bigger VLS like Mk. 57 or it’s successor with nearly 30 inch diameter cells.

Last edited 6 days ago by Meirion X

Yeah but surely our destroyers would be more useful having land atack capability… granted it would cost more but that gives us far more options than we have. We are almost an entirely defensive force, barely any offensive capabilty.

Meirion X

The T45 destoryers are much better at anti air. I am looking forward to what the new anti ship missile is going to be, it should have some land attack ability.

The Italian Horizons have No anti ship missiles! And same number of cells 48, and No A70 cells to launch land attack missiles! They may have better guns then T45, but still lack the ability to launch more missiles.

Last edited 6 days ago by Meirion X
Paul T

The Italian Horizon’s are equipped for the Teseo Mk2A Missile and the French Ships obviously use Exocet.


As long as there is a spare VLS cell (plus some other gubbins) TLAM can be hosted. It isn’t a question of building a ship for land attack per se. A ‘first day’ capability would be useful for a carrier group. That is why for the last few decades the first pictures we see from any war are TLAMs leaving Burkes (and further back Spurances). By choosing Sylver the MoD (HMG) did their normal trick of straddling the RN between stools; knowing full well we end up with the US but wanting to be seen as good Europeans. I very much doubt T45 will receive Mk41. But there will be lots of capacity in the incoming T26’s. There is are often a lot of talk on sites like this about modularity and often the VLS (like the helicopter) and its contents are often over looked as modules (just like the helicopter.) In the future if some cooperative engagement capability is implemented we could have missiles launched from one ship cued from another.

Last edited 6 days ago by X

The MoD does not know what is a frigate…


The T31 only has a chance if they improve the offer with a better radar such as the Thales SM-400 radar. They should also offer a CODLOG propulsion system and not a CODAD one. You can use CODAD on an OPV but not on a frigate.


Perhaps someone should tell Denmark. They seem to be under the impression that they have two existing classes of frigates utilising CODAD.


These are useless when it comes to ASW. The Belharra has the same propulsion system. The Greek navy wants a multirole frigate. A top of the line frigate does not use a CODAD propulsion system.


Denmark have decided to designate their Absalon frigates as ASW frigates & are adding a towed array. While I agree, there are are better ASW frigates out there (T23, ASW FREMM etc), this does not mean that they cannot be reasonable ASW assets. Both Danish frigate classes meet minimum NATO ASW requirements. There also things you can do to diesels to help, including acoustic enclosures & rafting of engines, plus there is the basic hull design. It also depends on what you want a frigate to do. Denmark’s IH frigates are heavy AAW frigates in the main. The UK T45 is an AAW destroyer. Of the two, the IH class seems the better at ASW (by a huge margin).


Indonesia selects Italian FREMM over an improved version of Damen Sigma 10514 that they already have, Babcock Arrowhead 140 and Japanese 30FF frigate.

Order is 6 FREMM and 2 upgraded Maestrales.


Damen did not offer an improved Sigma frigate to Indonesia. They offered their new Omega design. This design is simular to the MKS-180 design for the German navy. It baffles me why they choose the FREMM.




Probably because the Americans choose the FREMM hull design as well. The reason however baffles me because they are already using the Tacticos CMS. Now they have two different CMS systems. It would have made sence if they either choose the Omega or the Iver Huitfeldt (Type 31) design. But maybe the Italian incentives were more favourable……. 😉

Last edited 1 day ago by Erik

Italian ship is better.


I think i have read that in Jane’s. Thanks.

What drives the growth in “frigates” also drives the choices countries do. The ” AAW defensive” ship that can only defend itself against the weapon and not the vector so cannot hit the 30000 ft drone or fighter bomber dropping missiles above ship defensive missiles is dead.
Anyone wants long range AAW range missiles because area denial is crucial capability.

Second Indonesia is a 270 million country, they want to be pair with other similar countries. It is inevitable when tensions with China are growing with them too..

Of course FREMM fits much better with that vision than competition.


I don’t think it’s a better ship. The FREMM itself is a good ship, but when it comes to weapons and sensors, it’s mediocre at best. The Italian FREMM version has only 16 VLS cells for Aster 15 or Aster 30 missiles. During a saturation attack, it is a sitting duck after it has fired its 16 missiles. It will never survive such an attack. For example, the 11515 HN frigate proposal for Greece can launch 128 ESSM Block 2 missiles or a combination of SM2/SM6 and ESSM-2.

The Kronos radar on the FREMM has a range of 300 km. This rotary AESA radar is slightly better than the NS110 on the Type 31, but inferior in range and capabilities to the NS200 radar. The SM-400 radar proposed for the 11515 HN frigate and the Omega frigate has a range of 400 km and is much more capable than the NS200 and therefore the Kronos radar. Moreover, they are stuck with two different CMS systems. For Indonesia it will be better if they sell the Sigma frigates.


FREMM can have 32 VLS for Aster 30, CAMM is also possible to fit with Aster and increase the numbers. Aster/CAMM is better than ESSM/SM-2

Most countries have more than one CMS.

300km vs 400km is irrelevant and those are instrumental ranges and i don’t know what radar would be choosen.


Where you got the 128 ESSM? i only have 64 ESSM or 12 SM2+16ESSM


The renewed 1515 HN proposal is for 4 Mk.41. The ESSM Block2 are quadpacked. Therefore it will have 32 cells, each cell will have 4 ESSM missiles. This comes to a total of 128 missiles plus 21 RAM missiles for a grand total of 149 missiles. The Italian FREMM will only have 16 cells, not a single cell more. It will therefore only be able to fire 16 missiles. The ESSM block 2 is not inferior to the Aster 15. It also has a longer range.

The SM-400 has 4 fixed flat AESA panels. It has already demonstrated, during excersises, that it is superior to the radar of the type 45. It has also demonstrated that it is superior to rotating AESA radars. Range is relevant, why else do they want to increase the detection range? Longer range means more reaction time.

Last edited 16 hours ago by Erik

FREMM can go to 32 cells (even the current Italian ones), it just means loosing some crew living space (just like the T45 has room for more cells). See the Italian FREMM offerings to Australia & Canada – both came with 32 cells from the outset. I gather these Indonesian ones are based off the GP variant. There is some suggestion that the OMT IH frigate has not gone away & that we may be looking at 2 AAW frigates (IH) & 6 GP frigates (FREMM), with 2 gap fillers while they are being built.

As to the Italian’s, while their FREMM’s currently carry only 16 cells of Aster 15/30, they are also the ones paying for the development of the CAMM-ER, which is quad packable with an ESSM type range. They also have the option of fitting the optional 16 extra cells the design allows for. Even shifting 8 cells of Aster 15 to CAMM-ER would give you a load out of 32 CAMM-ER & 8 Aster 30 without adding any cells.