Today the MoD announced it has agreed to fund three bids for Competitive Design Phase of the Type 31e Frigate competition.
National Shipbuilding Strategy
Unable to follow up their success building OPVs for export, and with no other orders forthcoming, last week Babcock made the sad announcement that the Appledore shipyard will close in March 2019. Here we examine the background and potential impacts of this decision.
Today the MoD has announced the award of the Future In-Service Support (FISS) contracts worth a total of £1Bn to provide maintenance support for 17 vessels of the naval service. For the RN this is broadly good news, efficiently sustaining a large part of the fleet, strengthening shipyards while offering greater competition and diversity amongst its suppliers. More
on 20th July the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) agency informed UK industry that it has halted the Type 31e frigate programme. Although the objectives were always recognised as being highly challenging, there was growing enthusiasm across UK industry to be involved in the project and this sudden announcement is something of a shock.
Today Babcock unveiled the Arrowhead 140, a revised design as their candidate for the Type 31e frigate competition. This new concept reduces some of the potential programme risks as it is based on the Iver Huitfeldt hull form, currently in-service with the Royal Danish Navy.More
Cammell Laird and BAE Systems have teamed up to compete for the Type 31e frigate programme with their ‘Leander’ concept. CL will be the prime contractor with BAES providing the design and systems integration expertise. More details of the Leander design have emerged and it appears CL and its suppliers are determined to make a very credible bid. From the RN’s point of view it is encouraging to note there will evidently be stiff competition between CL/BAES Leander and the BMT/Babcock Arrowhead.
Plymouth MP, Luke Pollard, suggested last week in Parliament that “the debate around the Type 31e Frigate could be resolved simply if we renamed if from a frigate to a corvette“. This proposal is unlikely to be welcomed by the Navy, the MoD or industrial partners but does raises questions about the Type 31’s capabilities and results from the general confusion over how surface combatants are to be classified.More
In a previous article we discussed the importance of the Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships to the future of the RN. Here we focus more on the industrial aspects of the project and look at why building these ships in the UK is the only sensible way forward.More