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The Whale Island Zookeeper

With no sonar it is a target……..
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With a towed array and a sonar dipping helo would it be have passable ASW?

Although it’s almost guaranteed that most of them will not have either, most of the time.

Last edited 5 months ago by Tumbleweed10101
The Whale Island Zookeeper

TAS is only of use at moderately low speeds. It something in the water that get in the way of other vessels and indeed the ship itself. When you put in the ASW cab in the air? When a sonar says there is something to ‘look’ at; it cannot be in the air all the time can it?


My understanding is that the towed array is more useful than the Hull mounted one. I’m just an armchair amateur though and can’t remember the reasons given why.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

TAS is for area surveillance. Hull mounted for more local search and attack.

Call me Sean

Supposed to be Sonar 2170? no?

The Whale Island Zookeeper

It’s a torpedo warning set not an ASW set.


So it is just a one trick pony

The Whale Island Zookeeper

This is an OK right up……..

I suppose you could action the helicopter knowing something was shooting torpedoes at you. Hardly proactive. Warships go to sea to do violence to the enemy first not to defend themselves. If only the latter why put to sea in the first place?


Your English is funny?


never heard of self defence system like Sea Ceptor then.
Should they discard those and only have Tomahawks and NSM as they are offensive not defensive like the Ceptor


Even Sea Ceptor can be used as an ad-hoc Anti Ship weapon…albeit a last ditch throw enough dung at the wall and hope it sticks in a combat situation lol No doubt CIWS is offensive to TWIZ^ too lol


A M3 missile with a +25 KM range is hardly last ditch.
Ignoring the small blast frag warhead, the kinetic energy alone is large enough to cause you issues if hit.

Supportive Bloke

The damage that 100kg travelling at M3 does to anything would be huge.

The bit missed in that conversation is how precise the targeting is thee days. If you want one in the bridge, one in the VLS farm, one in the main radar and one in the engine room it is likely doable.

That will take most warships out.


I meant compared to a dedicated Anti-Ship missile 🙂 I am happy the T45 is getting them as its more SAMs and with its dual roles an extra ASHM option. Its last ditch more because its primary role is still a SAM and will likely be spent taking out airborne inbounds

Supportive Bloke

T45 is likely to receive NSM.

My guess is that it will get 8 x FCASW (or whatever) it is called this week) in the SYLVER VSL. Being French it will have to go into SYLVER.

Plus the 24 Sea Ceptor: which might be a mix of standard and ER.

There is the option of keeping 8 x NSM as well.

So that is a big load out of really good systems by any standards.


The Type 45s Armament woes (when initially launched) have been given a lot of attention recently with NSM and Sea Ceptor 😀 It will soon no longer be a 1 trick AAW pony but will also have some anti ship bite in depth. They are still vulnerable to submarines but at least now it can cover 2 of the 3 major roles (AAW, ASuW and ASW) My only qualm now is what will they do with the 4.5 inch Mark 8….Either replace with 5inch Mark 45 MOD 4 or a 57mm/76mm with 3P (makes sense for its main AAW role) Sylver has S35 for MICA, S50 for MICA, Aster 15/30 and S70 for Full Strike Length land attack missiles and the 3 SAMs mentioned. Difference between cell types is pretty much Length.

Last edited 5 months ago by Samuel
Capt. Fung

Last-ditch, that depends on what is attacking.
Fairey Swordfish 25km in about 6m30s
Excoet 25km in less than 80s
Hpersonic AShM 25km in less than 15s

Last edited 5 months ago by Capt. Fung


Last edited 5 months ago by Sean

As you point out below, it has a torpedo warning system, like every other warship we operate.
Hull mounted sonar is only good for ASW when you’re actively pinging and chasing a sub at relatively close range- this is virtually never done. Most ASW “chasing” is done by the ASW helicopter using sonobuoys and dipping sonar, plus other aviation assets like P-8A (and in future, hopefully STOL Sea Guardian??). Why? It keeps the enemy sub at arms length, allows for much greater range and breadth of detection. Also, subs can sprint underwater at 30+ knots, then go silent, change depth, direction, etc. Trying to follow that with the sonar on the hull is going to be hard- because I’m willing to bet that you’re not going to be hearing much if you’re trying to match speed with a sprinting nuke boat. There’s a reason the primary fit for ASW on our ASW-specialist frigates (and everyone else’ ASW specialist vessels) is a towed-array. Besides, you can’t just sail the sea pinging away active all the time- it makes you an enormous target.
TAS is how everyone goes after subs from a surface vessel perspective, I presume until we can get drones that can help. Can we put tails on a T31? Probably, although not sure how much benefit it is, with the hull as it is because the entire crew has to also be able to carry out their tasks in a way that doesn’t mess with the hunt either. One of the biggest problems they found with the US Littoral Combat vessels was trying to get a generalist crew to do a specialist job.
If you aren’t an ASW-specialist, actively running with TAS in the water, or an asset in the air, then I’m not sure how much extra gear is going to benefit you; because if you’re merrily sailing from point A to B, then the torpedo warning system is likely what stops you being “a target” in the end anyway.


Relatively close range???
Never done?

Using 2050 during a CASEX we held subs in excess of 50K Yds, and it was a fairly large “In excess” and it was a regular occurrence.

You do know that S2087 is an LF Active towed array? It pings. Using it at various stay lengths and speeds allows you to vary the depth of the receiver array. The active part you can vary by the winch. This takes care of thermoclines and environmental factors.


Thank you for the correction- I have clearly a very much outdated or just plain wrong view on what’s achievable. Maybe I should ask if I was right about any of my post…?!
My understanding was that moving at speed through the water made it very difficult for a hull mounted sonar to pick anything up hence the comment about relatively close range and almost never done. Even when the T23s were following Russian subs at very close range, they were using TAS rather than hull sonar- or so I thought?
Yes, I knew that S2087 could operate in both modes- I thought (again it would seem wrongly) that they normally run in passive mode until they find something before they start going after it.
I don’t know if NL take guest articles, but would be very interesting (to me at least) to get an idea of how ASW is actually done these day- one that wouldn’t fall foul of official secrets act of course! Not sure if you’d have the time or interest in doing so, but there is always a massive discussion in the comments about whether it’s beneficial to have all vessels kitted for ASW and suchlike. Understanding what’s actually required, and how it works would make those comments, and mine certainly, more informed!

Supportive Bloke

If an SSN sprints at 30kts you will hear it with a hull sonar in passive mode if you are moving slowly and have a decent set.

Faster = nosier…..simply more energy.

What you do pick up from hull sets is fast transit.

You can also, if you are clever, pick up the reflections from the sonar buoys. That have been dropped by a UAV etc.

So in a CSG situation a frigate might go quiet and shut its main engines down and listen, on hull sonar, for a following sub as the sub would have to be moving at CSG speed and would therefore be sonar blind. If the frigate heard something then it could deploy some sonar buoys or send up a dipper.

As @GB says you don’t ride the oceans bonging away unless you want a big ???? painted on yourself. You would guide every enemy sub to your position by doing that.

In the medium run the dipper and buoy dropping activities will be drone based.


Thanks SB, some interesting insights there. From what you say, I’m still struggling to understand how anything other than a well-trained specialist crew can get a lot out of a hull sonar for ASW- except for the active hunt bit, where everyone is after an ID’d sub. I think that’s the crux of my point- I’m struggling to understand why you’d put more than the basics on any vessel that isn’t specc’d and trained to do the role.
Yes to the drones doing the dipper and buoy stuff, those renders that GA put out of Sea Guardian I found very interesting, although I think that rotary-wing platforms are gong to need to be bigger than we’re currently looking at to be useful. Although I saw something about Leonardo and a 2-3 Te class rotary UAV the other day…

Harry Nelson

With a sonar it’s a target!


   My understanding passive sonar is now near operationally ineffective in able to track one of the new gen of very quiet subs and  why ASW frigates now use an active VDS with the a passive TAS to listen for any returns.    
So for a non-dedicated ASW frigate e.g.T31 an active VDS or HMS is the only option if tasked with escorting a Tidesurge tanker or one of the new FSS ships.   
Fincantieri with the design of the Abu Dahbi-class corvettes, conducted a study to investigate the optimal trade-off (cost vs performance) to fulfil the noise requirement needed for the proper operation of its HMS aThales Kingklip and was able to meet the noise requirement with carefully designed single-resilient mountings for its diesels, instead of the double-resilient mountings which are heavier, more expensive and consume more space. Another limitation in the design of the T31 due to be being built to the lowest possible cost. 

Supportive Bloke

In reality you sans tide the area behind a CSG by using the dippers when the CSG is moving fast and deliberately going over your own sonar sensor lines that are designed to pick up a tail.

The shut down sit and listed technique is old hat but will pick up a fast moving submarine with a hull sonar.

The issue is training a whole crew in noise hygiene as well as having a ship that can do noise hygiene is not simple or cheap.

But you can tell everyone to sit still fit 15 mins and don’t turn anything on!


Is not the Australian plan for 9 Type 26, not 15? Canada has a plan for 15 CSC/Type 26.


Correct Australia plan is 9 not 15.
But rumours say that it will be reduced to 6.
With RAN favouring well armed corvettes to increase the ship number.


I also saw the rumour about the reduction, but that the RAN favoured a well armed Type 31 variant which could be procured alongside New Zealand Australia, New Zealand could work together on potential navy frigaget (


It is interesting to see a general strengthens around the fives eyes and more of willingness to see it as important


If past is prologue, the RNZN will go for Type 31/AH 140 if the RAN does, and if the RAN builds them in Australia. This makes sense to me as a proper replacement for both countries ANZAC (Meko 200) frigates


If anyone thinks Canada is going to buy 15 type 26…. You might want to rethink that….

Phillip Johnson

I fully expect that it will come down to 12. All these deals (Canada and Aust) are not contracts but heads of agreements against which actual contracts are placed in batches likely to be 3 at a time.


Presumably given the Mk. 41’s it would make more sense to equip them with the FC/ASW or whatever its abbreviation is now than the NSM. They have the VLS for it, and it seems a punchier missile makes sense for ships which may be ‘lonely’ in threat environments, vs. the Type 26’s being part of the CSG and letting the aircraft handle strikes, or patrolling the North Atlantic looking for submarines.

Hopefully developing a quad pack for Sea Ceptor in the Mk. 41 will go smoothly, fast and then be useful for other derivatives.


Looks like Mk41 to me as you can see hatches opening before missile launch. In contrast in dedicated Sea Ceptor cells the missiles “burst through” frangible covers.

I assume SC cells are outboard of the Mk41 as per the ESSM cells on the Iver Huitfeldt class (they are not visible in the animation though – note it’s marked “A140” not “T31”)

Last edited 5 months ago by Alex

See photo for missile arrangements on the IH class (source

Iver-Huitfeldt-class-FFG-05 (1).jpg

When Mk41 is put it, from my understanding there won’t be any space for sea ceptor either side as that space is now taken up by boat bays (below)

Last edited 5 months ago by Oli

You are reading way way too much into this generic CGI clip. Babcock have had this clip made for PR use and to run as a backdrop at trade shows.


Yes. There’s a big clue that the ship in the CGI is definitely not 100% representative of a T31 configuration since it has been stated that T31 will have 2 boat bays on the starboard side and 1 boat bay on the port side whereas the ship in the CGI has 2 boat bays on both sides.


The ‘mushroom farms’ on Type 23 were created out of necessity because Sea Ceptor stands taller then Seawolf in the old Seawolf silos. I would expect Sea Ceptor silos on Type 26 and Type 31 to be of the correct depth with hatches.


The mushroom farms are so that the missile can punch out without waiting for a hatch to open


Even with Sea Wolf the tops of the silos protruded and didnt have a ‘hatch’


Mushroom head is taken of when they shoot CAMM. For example, when transiting Red Sea, T23 frigates always have their mushroom head taken off.

I’m not sure if, in emergency, CAMM can be launched by penetrating the mushroom head. I’ve never seen such example… It is always taken off by the launch.

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Last edited 5 months ago by donald_of_tokyo

Yes you can shoot through but that also depends if the missile fire control unit that connects to 8 missiles (There are 4 MFC units on T23 and are similar to the ones used for VLSW which also controlled the launch and interface to 8 missiles) are connected up . They allow the system to interface and launch the missiles inside the VL Silo mag. You only connect up usually in a threat area.

Look at the picture.
The small square in the spool piece is the SC launch canister and the cannister is exactly the same as the one for Sky Sabre…its even painted green!
On any new build (Not legacy T23) you can have SC Cannisters flush with the deck, packed closer together so fitting them in a far smaller space. Future new build fits wont look like a T23 fit.


Thanks for that. Yes it’s a cold launch now hot launch like seawolf


With one caveat. There’s a difference between the VLSW and Sea Ceptor missile canister configurations on the T23 – and it’s to do with the launch method.

That particular logic is likely to determine whether you do bespoke SeaCeptor “launchers” or something like a Mk41.


Could you enlarge on that please?


Lockheed martin spells it out . It needs an ‘adaptor’ , so a min of 3 Mk41 are configured for Sea Ceptor – they have quad pack in each cell
All because Sea ceptor is cold launch , SVL, not a firing of the rocket motor but a gas charge
The MK41 have the conventional hatch covers which need to open rather than punch out


Nope. That’s not it….


Basically, no CGI of T26 and T31 shows Sea Ceptor farm with hatches. Although they don’t poke much like T23, the mushroom cover probably remains.


How as NZ done it for their frigates with Sea Wolf which replaced the Sea Sparrow and its modules ?


Typo Sea ceptor .
Hard to find a vertical pic but twitter said this is Te Kaha F77 alongside AOR Aotearoa


To see how RNZN handles CAMM launchers, enjoy this movie showing the detail of HMNZS Te Kaha. Clearly, it adopts “mushroom” heads. 20 cells are there.

Last edited 5 months ago by donald_of_tokyo
Paul T

On the T23’s Sea Ceptor used the existing (empty) Sea Wolf VLS Tubes as the easiest cheapest option,for T31 and T26 they will be bespoke SC 6 pack Tubes.


Spot on.


To be honest, it makes more sense to fit NSM straight to Type 31 as they commission when you consider we may only have 5-6 Type 23s actually active at any one time if we’re lucky, and they are being replaced by Type 26 & 31.


But the T23 will make up a big part of the carrier’s escort force for 5/10 years. Unless plans change the T31’s will be on longterm deployment to the Gulf, India and Pacific Oceans rather than being at high readiness around the U.K.


Well as of right now the Royal Navy could get one to sea for carrier escort…. And I’m guessing that’s not going to get any better as the years go by.


A lot will depend on availability, its unlikely we’ll be able to get more than 5 – 6 of the remaining 10 Type 23s to sea at anyone time, so Type 31 will start to take up the slack as the 23s gradually go out of service, I suspect at a more rapid rate than planned. Westminster’s cancelled refit means yet another 23 has bitten the dust.

Last edited 5 months ago by Paul42

I doubt it. The T31 is built and equipped as a patrol frigate not as a carrier escort. I suspect as time goes on the T23 force will spend all its time providing towed array patrol ships and on high readiness to escort the high readiness carrier. Everything else will go to other ships.

Supportive Bloke

The wiring will almost certainly be in all the ships.

11 sets is the likely number that could be in service simultaneously out of the 19.

Why waste VLS tubes on quad packing when you can keep the VLS for other things?

It is much more likely to soft launch across the whole fleet out of the same tube sets.

Martyn B

Would be nice to have separate 24 cell Sea Ceptor and 8 Naval Strike Missiles.


Yes we can always dream.

Paul T

Quite likely – the official line is ‘up to 24’ Sea Ceptor but all renders show 12,NSM will be a no brainer i think.

Supportive Bloke

Particularly as RN have publicly contracted for 11 sets of NSM


32 Mk41 cells provide the option to quad-pack up to 128 of these [ceptor] missiles, although a mix-and-match approach with other weapons is more likely.
4 x 8 cell MK41 launch modules
this was an official announcement , not checking on the computer graphics

The Whale Island Zookeeper

T31 should have an extra hangar door too.
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Of course it should have , like Type 26 should have had too. But unfortunately a bad design decision with serious consequences.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Yes. Just because a ship has a hangar and a flight deck doesn’t mean it needs to be furnished with a helicopter. But if there is need the facilities are there. Everybody here bangs on about modules and you don’t get much better module than the helicopter.
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Actually, even on the T31/IverHuilfeldt classes, if you abandon the aft-boat alcove in the port-side, you can add a Wildcat-capable area there. But, dual Merlin is impossible, because of the enlarged funnel to achieve 30 knots top speed.

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Last edited 5 months ago by donald_of_tokyo
The Whale Island Zookeeper

Yes and no. It could have been made to fit. One of the advantages of using donks is the uptakes can be smaller than GT’s.



I’d rather sacrifice a couple knots for a full 2nd hangar with 2 independent doors. The redundancy and flexibility 100% of the time is far more important than the 5% of the time that I’m steaming at 30 knots.


For the future we are not talking only about helicopters but also drones, so the air vehicles number needs can get bigger easily.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Yes. But consider to do useful work a drone won’t necessarily be small. To lift a torpedo or two, perhaps a dipping sonar, fuel etc. you are going to end up with something as big as manned helicopter. (Never mined maintenance.) Why everybody here thinks drones will be tiny things I don’t know.

Toby Jones

Because a control/comms chip for a drone is much smaller than crew life support, which makes less lift needed, which means smaller airframe/engine. Look how much of the volume of a Merlin is taken up with pilot, crew, seats, windows, etc and imagine an aircraft without any of that


Top and tail through a single door if its wide enough inside ?


Yes, if there is space inside for one to not block the other getting out it is possible by that needs necessarily a longer hangar.


Dual Merlin hangar was a trade off for 30 knots speed. The “doubled” diesel engines needs exhaust and intake. Simple. You cannot get both.


You can have hull exhausts like French FREMM and several other warships. This is very common with corvettes.


You are right. It is just that,

Babcock avoided re-design from IH class as much as possible, and did never toughed the drive train. Actually, Babcock gas almost zero experience in the detailed design of a warship, and that was the only practical solution.

Also, this approach resulted in the cheaper cost.

There is plenty of good reasons why T31 has such hangar.


Almost everything about the AH140 version that became the T31 was driven by the need to meet the contract price. The RN made it clear that saying “but for only a couple of million more you could have a much better ship” wouldn’t work. It was meet the price or lose the contract.

Supportive Bloke

Thank god for that too.

That way RN got 5 x decent big frigates that are now heavily armed with Mk41 and NSM.


I think you mean “may in the future be heavily armed with Mk41 with ? missiles loaded and possibly also NSM”.
Remember non of this is under contract. With what the CDS said last week about working within current budgets and with the need to sort out recruitment and retention I wouldn’t be surprised if “up arming” the T31 stays a wish for quite a long time.

Supportive Bloke

NSM is contracted.

Mk41 has a budget line.

Pressing ahead with those is probably why a T23 refit has been scrapped to create budgetary headroom.


1SL announcement 6 months back:
Hence the decision to ensure the Mark 41 Vertical Launch Silo is fitted to the Type 26 and, I am delighted to say, we intend to fit it also to our Type 31 frigates.


That was the plan then. It’s an open question what the plan is now. If the new SoS has told the CGS that there will absolutely not be any extra money between now and the next defence review/election then plans will need to change in light of high inflation and a recruitment/retention crisis.


The plan was ‘fitted for but not with’ but changed 6 months back actual install.

if I was the new Defence secretary I wouldnt be spending time on reversing previous decisions but future plans which have enough pitfalls as it is
The day to day of Defence Procurement is actually done by Minister of State James Cartlidge whos been in that job since April…when the MK41 fitting was announced

So that shoots down your strange claim that it will be reversed .


If there is both a need for more money for “personnel costs” and no extra money added to the budget the SoS and the minister for procurement will have no option but to look at changing decisions they have already made. Plans that aren’t yet under contract and therefore carry no penalty cost to cancel will inevitably be looked at first. That puts Mk41 on the T31 very much in the frame to be at a minimum delayed or outright cancelled.
To me the most likely outcome is a kicking down the road of any decision to spend or not spend till after the election. The political pressure to avoid controversy will become ever stronger as the election gets closer. Many people think the new SoS was chosen as much for his skills at not rocking the boat as his ability to push forward defence priorities.


No evidence for that at all. Plus it very expensive to chop and change while a build is underway. First you claimed it was because of new defence secretary until I pointed out the Minister for procurement had been in office longer.
So now you double down for T31 being outright cancelled – yet that contradicts what really happens in lead up to elections
All quite silly stuff and the amounst involved barely drops in bucket of £50 bill annual budget


I’m not in any way suggesting the T31’s will be cancelled. I am suggesting the post build fitment of Mk41 to them is at risk of postponement or cancellation.


Rubbish. They had to meet all the required standards.
 NATO shock protection certification (STANAG 4142, 4137 and 4549), nuclear, biological and chemical protection (STANAG 4447) and vital area armour protection (STANAG 4569)”

Do tell us the actual hull-structure standards that were missed to make it cheaper. You cant can you.

No gas turbine was cheaper but thats a rational choice not a lower standard


Have you actually read the STANAGs in question? Had you done so, you might be aware that they primarily specify testing methods and minimum levels for equipment. Minimum levels are not necessarily the same as national standards………

Nor do those STANAG cover damage control (in particular fire-fighting) provision.

It’s also fair to say that none of them deal with primary hull structure – they are more to do with arrangement, equipment and function of systems, rather than structural strength.

Structural strength is primarily done via Class society rules these days. Iver Huitfeldt was designed to DNV Naval Rules IIRC, whereas the RN uses Lloyds Naval Rules. The devil will be in the detail of those rules, not least in the notations applied.

Doesn’t mean he’s right, but a gentle reminder that the internet is not necessarily a font of truth.


Yes. I knew I was just throwing acronyms around to counter the lesser quality claims
As for Huitfeldt designed to DNV rules , as navy Lookout said the Arrowhead T31 was “designed to modern and more stringent Lloyd’s Register Naval Ship Rules, NATO ANEP-77 Naval Ship Code and the UK DEFSTAN 02-900 General Naval Standard.”

To me that sounds like the LLoyds Naval rules design standards apply
(fingers crossed that Defstan isnt just a document standard !)


Again – while this site has some interesting information, it’s not necessarily accurate. DS02-900 is actually the brainchild of someone who is now a BAES chief engineer.

It’s in many ways a checklist and method. The NATO ship code is similar. Doesn’t mandate national requirements, rather the method of compliance.


Yes your expert eye would pick out the discrepancies but for the vast majority of people here the build standard is the same as T26


The RN was offered a hybrid propulsion alternative for T31. The design would have been by OMT, a partner of Babcock’s. The offer was turned down, no doubt due to cost per response by @ATH


What is your source on this?


Babcock gas almost zero experience in the detailed design of a warship, “
All unfoirtunately quite misleading.

It was Babcock led Team 31 who won the Contract.

A team which included ship designers BMT and Thales
Maybe you could try reading a reliable source about the T31 instead bar talk.
A source like
The team of BMT and Thales is mentioned, who know about ship detail design

I see other are pushing the bad/cheap design theory in this post . They should know better but perhaps they are just being ‘influencers’ for BAE ?

Time to stand down ‘influencers’ as you have been rumbled
 rise to a myth that the Huitfeldt does not meet full warship survivability standards. This is not the case and the design meets NATO shock protection certification (STANAG 4142, 4137 and 4549), nuclear, biological and chemical protection (STANAG 4447) and vital area armour protection (STANAG 4569). The ships have also passed the Royal Navy’s stringent FOST assessments ..


The Babcock Team 31 was actually a spectacularly successful method of collapsing a competition. The Thales element is entirely related to combat system design and supply. That BMT were on the team was a classic example of being made an offer they couldn’t refuse.

If you recall back to the time of the T31 announcement, the front-runner was actually BMT who were pushing the Venator “design” as the optimum solution. Unbeknownst to them, Babcock had been conducting a covert campaign and had managed to get OMT on board, giving them access to the IH design. They had also got over the idea that it had to fit in either Appledore’s dock (which would have forced a small ship) and FRC in Devonport which has other constraints. They had also been listening to the then D Ships who wanted growth potential, which didn’t equal a small ship.

Which is why within a month or so of Babcock breaking cover with Arrowhead, BMT Venator essentially disappeared and they joined Team 31. BMT don’t have a huge amount of detail design experience, their strength tends to be at the early stage, which is why, having been outflanked and seen the way the wind was blowing, they jumped aboard.

The eventual choice between the A140 and the “Leander” was really quite stark, with Venator having been much closer in concept to the Leander. It’s a little ironic that the previous D Ships was actually on the Leander team for Cammell Laird.


Thanks for that . Its filled out the background. I suppose Babcock could have hired experienced ex BAE detail design/build design people who worked on the T26 and didnt go into the Dreadnought work.


Detail design is not the issue. Early stage design is where you get the ship – and cost – right.

Supportive Bloke

This is the bit that always makes me chuckle.

Costs are generally driven by the headline design concept. Which, as you say, is set early on.

Detailing the concept only fills in the blanks.

So the die is cast very early on in the process and ‘cost engineering’ can only do so much.

That is where a small team who:-

– Really know what they are doing; and
– Can communicate up and down; and
– Have the stuffing and backing to say stuff off when the good ideas club visits

Is the way fowards…..

Last edited 5 months ago by Supportive Bloke

It used to be there was a winch system that pulled the helicopter into the hangar in a straight line, but these days don’t the helicopters get put on some kind of platform that can drive them in any direction? If so does a second door matter all that much?


How do you take the other helicopter in or out if the other is blocking the only door?


You take them both out and put the one you dont want back.


If the helicopter that is blocking is movable, if the deck rails allow it, if all answers to that are positive now try to do that night, with rain and bad sea state…then explain to the fleet admiral why the helicopter did not departed in 10 minutes…

And you need to verify if the deck allow for 2 Merlin…


Wouldn’t the admiral ask why you didn’t put the helicopter that you need to work on at the back. Why would you put a helicopter that you needed out quickly behind it? Tetris takes place when you put the helicopters away and you aren’t in a hurry, or after you completed maintenance work and want to swap which is the next cab out.

And in particular circumstances where you have to get off the deck quickly, need you put the cab in the hangar at all, much less behind the one you are working on?

Last edited 5 months ago by Jon
Supportive Bloke

Tetris on a wet slippy deck in a hurry with two expensive cabs – anyone?


That is the difference between amateurs and professionals?


A professional works with what they have, not what they wished they had in ideal circumstances. It’s we amateurs that are playing fantasy two-hangar-door fleets.


We used to call this a quality problem. That we could have two Merlins for each deployed escort!

The hangar door on a Type 23 is wide and if you are fantasizing about making the hangar wider to admit the second Merlin we can’t afford, why wouldn’t you fantasize a slightly wider door to match? As for the narrower hangar of a Type 26, the cabs would go one behind the other, protruding into the mission bay. That’s where Tetris would come into it’s own — if we had enough Merlins.


Ridiculous. That is not professional, that is hack.

USA and Italians have a large or 2 doors in their Constellation and FREMM for example. Drone use will mean that space for air operations will be even more profitable, instead RN invest in space for slow UUV devices and similar.

Michael Dawes

It’s interesting what will happen with the NSM. The ISD for the ???????? ???????? FC/ASW is 2028 . It would be odd if this first tier weapon was assigned to our ASW T26 frigates only.

Eventually I would like to see NSM fitted to batch 2 river class with UAVs providing third party targeting. All frigates and destroyers should stick with dual role FC/ASW only using cross decked NSM as an interim.


The B2 Rivers are pure OPV’s not intended for combat. You would need to add a lot more than a drone to make them viable combat ships. Most of the stuff you added would make them worse OPV’s. Best to add an appropriate drone for recon and leave it at that.

Supportive Bloke

I agree.

You start upgrading B2’s and you run out of space T21 style to do a proper job.

If you put things that go bang on a River it becomes a warship and HMG will say you have enough warships.

You end up being forced to use a River in a shooting war – which is nutty and dangerous.


Agree, keep the constabulary vessels looking like constabulary vessels…no. More no less.


Til the balloon goes up. Isn’t Ukraine teaching you anything? Creating limits by design sounds great til someone removes all limits. Then you are a 90m warship with no hanger, 30mm gun & no hope. Big enough to warrant a HWT torpedo, AShM or naval artillery shell & nothing you can do about it. That’s not to say you need to be outfitted completely to compete at that level today, but if you can’t be, then you will be used as is. History is pretty clear on this.

Ukraine used an Australian ‘cardboard’ logistic drone to take out multiple modern Russian aircraft on a Russian air base. It’s not what it was designed for, but it was within its design limits. The designers are taking the Ukrainian feedback onboard & updates are already on the way. Warships are not ‘cardboard’ drones. You can’t build a 90m modern warship in 90 days. You could modify one though, provided it wasn’t limited by design.


New Zealand is also a potential customer for AH 140 and this could even see them built UK as they lack domestic warship-building capacity.”

They do build vessels and this was one of the Anzac modules built in NZ shipyard


No. Whangarei NZ shipyard just built some blocks.

They built the 4 Island class Inshore Patrol Boat, and then has been closed.


I don’t know the details but vessels in general , it’s an island country

The picture is of a warship block
Check your facts before claiming otherwise

Someone Who Knows

Donald’s facts are correct. A number of blocks for the Anzacs were built in NZ, then shipped over to Aus for assembly. Also, can confirm that the yard which built the Inshore Patrol Vessels has closed. NZ at this time has zero ability to build warships (and no suitable yard to do it in). We do have a limited yacht and small boat construction capability though.

Commonwealth Loyalist

Yes as a NZ-born person I know we have limited but not zero capacity in this field. There are lots of famous NZ naval architects see NY Yacht club records) but the govt has usually veered towards pacifism in the last few decades since I left.

Their most likely scenario in a future war is the same as the last one, they are totally unprepared and the USA moves in and does whatever it wants, using it as a base while setting up symbolic committees etc to “consult”. Fine but the next war might be at a much faster pace, not sure how that would develop

But it does beg the question of how NZ could be more help, I gather at the moment it is only of any value for the Five Eyes intelligence and its special forces that are apparently fairly good. No chance of them buying the 26 but maybte the 31,




Thanks. As I noted elsewhere, Babcock NZ (Calliope dock) is handling repair and upgrade works for RNZN ships, merchant ships, and even French Navy frigate.

And, as T31 is Babcock, and NZ’s Calliope dock is operated by Babcock, I think they can so some work on T31-for-NZ.


Cue daft comments about T31 not having
+ the sub-hunting abilities of T26
+ the air-defence capabilities of T45
+ no 15” guns for naval gunfire support

And of course, the U.K. not ordering 100 plus of them.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

The problem is T31 HAVING NO ASW CAPABILITY. NONE. NOTHING. Nobody here would argue for an ASW ship to go to sea without air search radar. That would be stupid
A frigate is by the RN’s own designation an anti-submarine platform. The main naval threat to the UK at the moment is Russian submarines. China is building more and more submarines. Other states are acquiring submarines. Two thirds of the planet are covered in water. ASW is still the most difficult sphere of naval warfare. Do the maths.

You are very angry person with a tendency to hyperbole. It smacks of attention seeking. Nobody here has said anything about those points you raise. Nobody. Why do you have to attack others all the time?


I agree it is “better” to have ASW capability on T31. By the way, in RN naming, there are 3 types of escorts, not two types.

Destroyer = AAW oriented escorts
Frigate = ASW oriented escorts
GP Frigate = Patrol oriented escorts.

To my understanding, Frigate and GP frigate are different classes. Originally, GP frigate came out of re-naming the “Tribal-class Sloop” to “Triba-class GP Frigates”.

In short, GP frigate is a Sloop.

Last edited 5 months ago by donald_of_tokyo

Forget it . Sloop isnt coming back, nor is cruiser for the RN. The 50s were a lifetime ago.
I dont even yatchies use the term anymore


Doesn’t matter. Royal navy themselves defined the T31 GP frigate without any ASW capability. At the same time, they say frigate is an ASW escort.

This is fact. This is what I mean.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Yes. I agree. The RN have built a sloop. But as I have said here many times now the RN decided to build only GENERAL PURPOSE ESCORTS when their original plan to build 3 specialist classes failed.

These would be:

Type 41 Leopard class – AAW frigate [Diesel]
Type 61 Salisbury class – Fighter Direction frigate [Diesel]
Type 12 Witby – ASW

The RN realised as big as it still was that it could never guarantee having the right mix of ships available. Technology meant all those roles could be combined into one hull and so onto the Rothesay and the the Leander. (Plus diesel technology at the time was still unsatisfactory for frontier warships.] But all those original specialist ships had ASW capability and they all had AAW too. It should also be mentioned this is also a time where the RN saw a need for fleet escorts, destroyers and cruiser, and frigates for secondary duties.

I think we need to mention the Type 14 Blackwood class too; the second rate ASW ships. These were specialist ships designed to increase the submarine screen and originally were designed to be built on a ratio of 2 T14 to 1 T12. They would operate under the cover of the first rate ships. But their main purpose was to tackle the most slippery of foes the submarine. There was no second rate AAW ship sans sonar. The closest would be the third rate east coast gun frigates which were never built. But T14 was seen eventually as too limited and a drain on resources; it could be argue that the helicopter eventually replaced.

But perhaps this is where the RN went wrong with its misuse of the term GENERAL PURPOSE? Perhaps it should have talked of ‘first rate’ and ‘second rate’ escorts? So a first rate ASW ship would have a hull mounted sonars, a TAS/VDS, a ASW rocket, and one, but preferably more than one large ASW helicopter. [You could add into that quite propulsion systems.] But it would still have a PDMS / local AAW missile system and CIWS. A first rate AAW would have a number of AAW radars, a large VLS filled with a variety of AA missiles from extended range area missiles down to a high count of PDMS, it might have multiple 76mm or 57mm covering all arcs, and multiple CIWS. It would only carry one helicopter so that a large hangar didn’t impinge on upper deck space and so weapon arcs. But it would still have a hull sonar, the helicopter would still be an ASW cab, and it would still built to some extent built to be quiet. A second rate ship would have a hull sonar, PDMS, and CIWS. So where as first rate ships offer an ‘area capability’ a second rate ship can only deal with local threats. It might provide if big enough as I have said above an extra flight deck and hangar which may or may not have a helicopter permanently. But could provide a refuelling point for fleet cabs. Or indeed in war carry helicopters beyond ASW, for liaison, ASuW, or even ASaC.

Obviously that throws up some anomalies. A T23 without 2087 is still it could be argued a first rate ASW hull. T45 doesn’t have a general purpose capability and is a specialist aerospace defence ship. If that is what the RN wanted from the get go why build it with a hangar as it will sit next to a 70,000 tonne carrier all its working life? And by the same token T31 cannot be a general purpose escort because it cannot prosecute submarines. The Chinese and the Russians are just going to build more and more submarines. And these will be based well away from those two states. We are at the stage where if FFBNW was meant to facilitate rapid re-arming well we should be fitting those systems right now as the crisis is here. The cost of a sonar as a part of the whole package is small. Warships are sent to sea to fight. And T31 cannot do that. We so few hulls we cannot afford them to go to sea under armed. T31 with no sonar. T45 with no sonar. T26 will be better armed but needs to be able to launch Aster 30; shoot the archer not just the arrows.

I am no fan of the modern Royal Navy. The stupid way the organisation used the term GENERAL PURPOSE smacks of an organisation that doesn’t know its own history and has probably swallowed too much of its own so clever doctrine. It is a confused organisation bereft of funds and politically inept.

I am not going to discuss Type numbers for destroyers. 🙂

Talking about ASuW too just confuses matters.

As for sloops. Well the Tribals went to sea with T177 search and T170 attack sonars; two even took a VDS set to sea.

Finally I will say that the reason why this issue rankles so much is because the base design is fantastic. The RN needs large ships that can deploy worldwide and integrate into carrier task groups. The choice of gun systems is sensible. I was scared when this went out to competition that the RN would buy the other smaller design which would have been fine for the Gulf but of little use elsewhere and nowhere as versatile


Does anybody know what the cost (roughly) would be to upgrade the T31 with a hull sonar and basic quietening?


Hull sonar would be cheap. Quietening is a continium from low to extremely expensive. How quiet do you want to go? How much money do you have?


Thanks Grinch. I guess ”good enough” quietening in order for the T31 to be meaningful for ASW. The total cost for the T31 including these upgrades must be significantly lower than a T26 otherwise it makes no sense. The question is how much cheaper such a version could be in comparison to the T26?

Supportive Bloke

Add about £150M per hull to do a semi decent job.

Add £250M per hull to do a top end job.

As somebody above said: it is a continuum of costs from not a lot to achieve not a lot of ASW to eye watering!

There is a reason that T26 costs what it does. And there is a reason that T31 is a fraction of the price.


Thanks Supportive Bloke!


He contradicts even more authorative information about the core design quite clearly laid out in Navy Lookout.

If I was a suspicious type I would say influencers are at work for the ‘other warship builder’, but I have nothing to back it up


Not the reasons you think
Construction costs are largely the same
For T26 it was the usual long drawn out evaluation and feedback from the RN design process which is expensive and all done with BAE ‘grand designs’ overheads

The T31 short circuited all that and it was bring us an modified existing design that will match our broad requirements …you tell us how your design meets the (fixed) requirements rather than the other way round.
the rest of the cost is the propulsion, weapons systems, sensors combat systems etc

Its quite silly to suggest its a low grade hull and superstructure build.
Intentionally mischievous in my view since the core design source was Danish, who have same North Atlantic requirements

Supportive Bloke

I’m not suggesting it was anything if the kind.

I find it slightly amusing that you are suggesting I’m anti Babcock and Pro BAE. I was not previously known as much of a BAE fan. I’m very straight down the line on this. Babcock made BAE a much more competitive player. That said I don’t think Babcock good BAE bad either. Let’s hold judgment until T31 trials start.

IH was, rightly, reversed into a costs window.

T31 has relatively cheap machinery. RN specs were not high – except speed. Which indicates to me it is intended for CSG use.

If you have diesels connected to a commercial gearbox that is different to T26 using a submarine derived gearbox or using electric prime movers. All of those are obvious extra complexity / costs line that have zilch to do with BAE’s approach to design.

Fitting a 5” gun is more expensive than fitting a 57mm gun.

Not fitting a Mk41 VLS kept the contract price of T31 lower.

Having a cheaper radar fit kept the costs down.

Not fitting quietening and decoupling on all motors, pumps, pipe work, bulkhead doors / hatch retaining clips all keeps T31’s costs down.

Basically as with every contract under the sun the more ‘bits’ you add the more expensive it gets.


The Danes will tell you, and has told us, that the base T31 design already has sufficient quietening for meaningful ASW.

Ignore @Supportive Bloke’s numbers, they’re fresh from his ass.


And it wouldn’t surprise me if the T31s were given hull mounted sonars. We heard a few months ago that we were buying extra 2150s for the second batch of the T26s rather than porting the new ones from the T23s. Look how they are likely to add Mk41s:

“To maintain Type 31’s build schedule, Mk 41 VLS fits can be installed during subsequent capability insertion periods” Rear Adm Parkin, DSEI 23

Venturer isn’t even in the water yet. It’s far too soon to rule out HMS being added in “capability insertion periods”.


I agree.


For me, I think the USN Constellation class is a very impressive and well-rounded ship, the only negative point may be having 32 VLS cells that have to be shared between Standard SAM, ASROC, and TLAM.
But it has an additional 21 RAM and 16 AShM


And she has no hull or bow-mounted ASW sonar, a serious deficiency for an ‘ASW’ frigate in my opinion. Nor does she have ship-mounted lightweight torpedo tubes. She will rely solely on her towed array and VDS and her helicopter. An aft missile strike to her flight deck/towed array area will leave her defenseless against sub-surface threats.

That is a truly avoidable mistake that could cost the ship and her crew.

Last edited 5 months ago by DaSaint

But type 31 by comparison does not have any whatsoever sonar at all, which is an open invitation for submarine attack.


Wrong, the Constellation class is a multi-mission guided-missile frigate not just for ASW. 

The U.S. Navy want the ship to be able to:

  • Destroy surface ships over the horizon,
  • Detect enemy submarines,
  • Defend convoy ships,
  • Employ active and passive electronic warfare systems,
  • Defend against swarming small boat attacks

Furthermore besides towed array sonar and CAPTAS-4 Low Frequency Variable-Depth Sonar but also SVTT shipboard torpedo launchers


And so it should be at the price it costs. The Constellation class are derivatives of the FFREM class a high end ASW frigate with much more in common with the T26 Ruthann with ships like the T31.


The Royal Navy defines GP escorts as those without a specialism. As in common English usage, general purpose means something that doesn’t have a specific purpose.

GP does not mean no ASW, AA, or ASuW capability. It merely means the ships does not specialise in one of those disciplines.

Also General Purpose doesn’t mean all purpose as many assume.

Note that specialist classes doesn’t mean they lack other capabilites. In fact the RN insists all escorts have reasonably well rounded capabilities (limited by cost) hence the T45 has a 4.5″ gun, helicopter etc. And the T26 has a mission bay and 5″, etc.


Usually ranting and accusations has begun.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Yes. But who starts it Sean? Who says to other commentators here they need to do X and Y to be taken seriously? That post you have just made about T31. Does it add to the conversation? No. You are just getting at others for pointing out problems they see with the programme. You do it all the time. And when somebody pulls you up about it you play the victim. I don’t come here to attack others. But I am not going to sit and quietly being attacked either.


Do not get provoked, there is nothing to gain here.

troll is a person who posts or makes inflammatory, insinceredigressiveextraneous, or off-topic messages online with the intent of provoking others into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating others’ perception, thus acting as a bully or a provocateur


The biggest cry baby victim on the site is yourself. Can’t handle anyone posting anything you don’t agree with, you launch into ad hominem attacks as your first response, because you know you have neither the facts nor the debating skills to articulate a response.
Which helps explains why you subscribe to so many conspiracy theories, facts are not your strong point.


But as Einstein has pointed out, common sense is actually nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind prior to the age of eighteen. Every new idea one encounters in later years must combat this accretion of “self-evident” concepts.

Good on you for having your mind made up on what are facts


An officer and a gentleman


Not the greatest movie, must be said.


An officer and a gentleman


Do not provoke, there is nothing to win here.

troll is a person who posts or makes inflammatory, insinceredigressiveextraneous, or off-topic messages online with the intent of provoking others into displaying emotional responses, or manipulating others’ perception, thus acting as a bully or a provocateur


As a conspiracy theorist, The Whale Island Zookeeper can give brief you better on the practical side of trolling.

Commonwealth Loyalist

Gosh all such insulting comments that nobody would say face to face. Let’s at least respect each other, none of us is perfect.


Type-31 mod for NZ is very important opportunity. They need hulls around 2036-38, not earlier, nor later. Babcock NZ operates the dock at NZ. The company did

  • upgrading the ANZAC frigates ship-systems, including replacing the main diesel generator to a much powerful alternative
  • got order to do mid-life overhaul of a French Floreal-class surveilance frigates. Parts and documentations were provided by French, but actual work is done by Babcock NZ.

I think there is a good chance for Babcock NZ to “join” the T31-mod build. For example, some part of the outfit can be done at NZ.

Iver Huitfeldt class is specifically designed for “easy systems integration after”. It enables the Danish navy engineer to lead the fighting systems integration on their ships. Yes, navy engineer did much of it, not the shipyard. And it was done after the hull is completed. It means the design has large space for cable wiring and easy access to equipment onboard. (In other words, the design holds significantly larger space compared to other designs, which means the “density” of equipment may not be able to be so high).

Anyway, how to involve Babcock NZ will be very important factor when proposing T31 derivative for RNZN.


Agreed. 31 has always seemed a good fit for RNZN but what RAN decides to go with will play a big role. ‘If ‘ the chatter is right and they cut Hunter order to 6 or unbelievably even 3.


BAE themselves have already made the suggestion of dropping the Hunter numbers to 6 & adding 3 Hunter based destroyers (should Australia want more missiles at sea sooner). Note that at the end of the projected 9 Hunter class build, the (3) Hobart destroyer replacement build was intended anyway. BAE don’t care so long as they get the work (& a potential 12 ship build is better than a 9 ship build).


A sixth T31 would be most welcome from this hot production line. I wonder what the latest possible date to add one would be, if a favourable price can be negotiated.


Until the RN can sort out recruitment & retention there is no point adding ships.


Sadly is the truth….


To build a small reserve for rotation, to be able to sell a couple of older models to New Zealand cheaply around 2036 (ten years old — fixed price bargain), to keep Rosyth working and the prices at Govan competitive. There could easily be a point to it even if we weren’t expecting to operate extra.


Exactly where is the money coming from to sell and replace 10 year old ships? The U.K. taxpayer is not in the business of subsidising the New Zealand defence budget.


I didn’t say we had the budget, merely that there might be a point to continuing the build. Nor would it be subsidising the NZ defence budget to sell a second hand ship for less than the build price. Depreciation is a thing. Futhermore overseas sales often include extra payments for refit to their spec and onward component sales for the lifespan of the ship. We’d both get a good deal.


NZ will want a hull mounted sonar at a minimum. They also currently have 127mm main gun on their frigates. T31 makes zero sense for NZ. A140 makes a lot of sense for NZ. T31 could have been, should have been, won’t be.


You would want to cut first steel early 2027 for the best price, but I’d guess single line production will still be going until at least a year after that.


The Type 31/AH 140 is an incredibly flexible design. In addition to hauling around a platoon or two of Marines, it can be a good ASW frigate, if provided with a hull-mounted sonar, torpedo tubes, a towed array and/or VDS, in addition to 2 or 3 air assets, either helicopter or drones or a combination thereof.

She can also have 2 independent helicopter/drone hangars, which is more important than 28-30 knot speed. I’d rather resiliently mounted diesel-electric propulsion than ‘high speed’.

She’s a perfect platform for the RN (5-10 units), RAN (6-9 units), RNZN (3 units), and RCN (6-9 units).

Just don’t overthink her. A simple 57mm forward with whatever the host country wants as a CIWS gun, a couple stabilized 30mm units P/S, and 32 VLS with whatever the host country wants (Sea Ceptor, ESSM, VL ASROC), plus 8 NSM, and whatever host country CMS is required.


Yes, but does the Type 31 have the toughness & resilience to enemy action that the RN requires of war fighting escorts?

Remember that the T31 requirement was for constabulary and flag waving duties. Any military threat would be addressed by the ship running away.


I think that’s baloney. These ships are quite large as frigates go and they are already being upgunned from their originally intended configuration. I suspect that this was the Admiralty’s plan all along. They never intended for the T31’s to be essentially overgrown and not very well equipped corvettes.


Yes. It has the toughness and the resillience. The Iver Huitfeldt is an AAW frigate that went through FOST testing long before the T31 requirement spec. Do you think the Royal Navy paid extra to design out resillience when it ordered them? Sure it was rejigged to fulfil modern standards, I believe the Stanflex modules were designed out, and some of the features became FFBNW. Nothing that affects the ability of the T31 to fight when equiped.


Yes. Its designed and built to same naval standards as the T26. Not as completely equipped and cheaper propulsion with no gas turbine is some of the less expensive choices made
a T26 5 in gun alone probably pays for all the other guns on board the T31


“It’s designed and built to same naval standards as the T26”

The T31 is most definitely NOT designed & built to the same standards.


Reliable sources say
Arrowhead T31 was “designed to modern and more stringent Lloyd’s Register Naval Ship Rules, NATO ANEP-77 Naval Ship Code and the UK DEFSTAN 02-900 General Naval Standard.”

Which code was bypassed ….. enquiring minds are asking for the facts not assumptions


I think this thread has demonstrated your paper thin knowledge of anything to do with naval architecture.


Thats a quote You offer nothing while I quote the *experts own writings* on Navy Lookout
So I guess your claims arent backed up even by your good but misguided self
Lloyds Register naval Ship Rules isnt made up, applies as much to T31 as T26 and indeed T45
Glad to be of help in sorting it out for you


It is also a minimum standard to meet the classification required. You can exceed it all you like (depending on the question you ask). Does the IH frigate already meet Loyds? Denmark doesn’t care – it meets theirs. To assume from that that it doesn’t is not sensible. In an organisation like NATO, it makes sense that certification authorities talk to each other. Babcock wouldn’t have gone with an OMT design if they thought a massive redesign would be required. But there are multiple classifications. Loyds also have classifications for patrol boats (more than one). Loyds will classify just about anything if asked. It is a more a case of can you live with the answer. If Loyds classified the T31 as an oversized patrol boat, it would still meet Loyds naval rules, just not the ones you wanted.


Interesting that this quietly makes the fact that the build schedule has slipped from Venturer “will be in the water in 2023” to sometime “probably in Q1 2024” official. Which is no surprise when you see the level of outfit and how many units/blocks still need to be erected on the ship.


Absolutely. I wonder at what point Babcock is liable for late delivery penalties if there are any in the contract. Would it be triggered at key stages in the project or just on the final handover after sea trials?


Most shipbuilding contracts have cardinal stage payments, whereby major cash payments are released at certain points (eg Keel laying, launch, contractor sea trial etc). So even if there are no delay penalties, cashflow will be felt.


Interesting, thanks.


Has the RN been playing shuttlecock with the design details yet ?


I don’t believe so – standfast the Mk41 and potentially UK vs RDN certification.

This is much more likely to be Babcock learning how to be a shipbuilder. Lets be clear – its 2023, that’s six years since fabrication work finished on PWLS and even that was limited to the sponson modules.

It remains the case that Rosyth has never built a ship from scratch. They’ll be learning all sorts of lessons as to scheduling, organisation and what can and does go wrong.


Would it be correct to say not just cashflow but also revenue will be impacted?

My experience is in the IT industry dealing with some pretty high value projects. After a number of scandals in the industry in the 1990s everyone became very twitchy about revenue recognition. For example if someone ordered 10 mainframes and paid for the whole lot up front the selling company couldn’t simply add £100 million or whatever to its revenue that quarter even though all the cash was in its bank account. It could only gradually book that £100 million to revenue based on internal assessments of the progress of fulfilling the order all the way through to formal customer acceptance of all 10 mainframes.

At one point in my career I was on a panel of senior managers at one very large computer company that did the due diligence to determine for each of our major orders in progress how much additional revenue from that order could be declared as revenue that month based on progress made towards order completion (yes, those monthly meetings were as tedious as they sound!). I would be very surprised if similar mechanisms aren’t in place in other industries that deal with high value orders that can take years to fulfil.


Quite possibly, as in most companies, revenue recognition is an internal programme/accounting issue.


I originally thought Venturer’s build profile would be like the first Type 23, but between laying down HMS Norfolk and its launch was only about 19 months. The Iver Huitfeldt had been built at a similar speed (21 months). Venturer is starting to feel more like HMS Daring at 34 months, which would see a launch in summer next year.

Let’s hope it doesn’t continue that way, or we can expect first stage sea trials at the start of 2026 and handover in mid 2027, two years late.


Norfolk was built in a yard that had been building T22 for about ten years and T21 before that. Daring was built in a combination of a completely new yard and one that hadn’t built a ship for around six years. Rosyth has never built a complete ship from scratch. That makes a difference.

What will be really interesting is to see both the level of outfit in Venturer and just as importantly how much of it has been inspected and tested at the right time. One would hope that their installation inspections have been scheduled correctly and properly conducted – you can’t leave it too late, or in some cases you can’t actually get at the item you’re trying to inspect, because other systems have been run past it.

If they’ve got it right then slippage shouldn’t be too bad. If they’ve got it wrong……..the whole test, set to work and commissioning programme (which usually requires a fairly select set of people) goes to ratsh1t.

Last edited 5 months ago by N-a-B

It sounds like that schedulling is still in play. We are told the “schedule could still be subject to change as they consider the balance between outfitting in the hall and what needs to be done after launch.” We’ve all seen the photos and thought the blocks look a little empty compared with the T26. Perhaps this is an attempt to alter that pre-post-launch balance, at least in part.

As I recall the A140 design is supposed to be easy access for maintenance, and hopefully that means if they don’t get everything spot on right with inspections, they will still have better than average access for remediation.

Fingers crossed I’m just being pessimistic in projecting the Daring dates.


This is all great and everything, but how about some more Type 31’s for the ROYAL NAVY along with all of these export customers???


Let’s get the first one’s built, tested and evaluated before ordering more. Something of a pig in a poke right now.

Richard Beedall

Although the RN badly needs these warships, the UK must follow the example of the French and Italians and make clear to potential exports customers who need quick delivery that ships already under construction for the RN are available for sale for the right price – with replacements then being ordered for the RN. That is the only way that the revitalised UK shipyards can get the economies of scale associated with the optimal “drum beat” of building one escort every 9-12 months, long-term.