The UK Department of Defense’s Type-31 frigate program has completed the comprehensive design review phase, which is an important milestone in its development. The ship’s preliminary design review includes 10 days of virtual reviews by 15 experts. These reviews are regarded as important indicators in terms of suitability, maturity, and engineering risks as they move on to the next detailed design stage. The relevant ship preliminary design review will be used by an independent board to review the design and test the engineering team. Participants from the UK Department of Defense are also included in the review.
Progress in the Type-31 frigate program continues at full speed. Babcock’s Rosyth plant has received significant investments over the past decade. A new process of digitizing facilities and systems has been created to bring efficiency to the production and assembly process for frigates. This phase includes the installation of additional advanced manufacturing capability and the construction of a new assembly area that can accommodate two Type-31 frigates.
Type-31 (Arrowhead 140) Frigates
This frigate was designed as a new class of ships with a proven capability to provide a wide range of economic and employment opportunities to both the Royal Navy and UK communities and supply chains, as well as providing a range of peacekeeping, humanitarian and warfare capabilities. It is based on the Iver Huitfeldt class frigates designed by the OMT company and adapted to the Royal Navy requirements by Babcock and BMT companies, which have previously proven themselves in the Royal Danish Navy. Thales company has undertaken the supply of the war management system of the frigate.
Type-31 is a general-purpose frigate with a displacement of 5700 tons and a length of 138.7 meters. The ship has four Rolls Royce / MTU 20V 8000 M71 (8.2-MW) diesel engines, four Rolls Royce / MTU 16V 2000 M41B (900kW) generators, one MAN Alpha VBS MK, five CP propellers, two shafts and one CODAD. It can reach a maximum speed of 28 knots and has a range of 9,000 nautical miles. The ship’s weapon systems consist of VLS Sea Ceptor anti-aircraft missiles, 1×57 mm Mk 110 main cannon and 2x40mm Mk 4 secondary cannons. The sensors and processing systems onboard are the TACTICOS battle management system, Thales NS110 3D radar, SharpEye navigation radar, 2 Mirador Mk2 EOS and Vigile-d ESM. In addition, the frigate is capable of carrying between 80-100 crew members, one Wildcat or Merlin helicopter. It also houses 4 decal compartments for unmanned surface and underwater vehicles. The ship also has a helicopter hangar and a flight deck.
The Babcock company has confirmed that it has made a £ 1.25 billion (£ 250 million per ship) deal to build five Type-31 frigates for the Royal Navy.