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Babcock could be preferred bidder to build new fleet of Type 31e frigates for British Navy


According to the British Website Newspaper "The Telegraph", consortium led by defense supplier Babcock is set to be named as the preferred bidder for a £1.3bn contract to build a new fleet of Type 31e frigates for the Royal British Navy.


Babcock could be preferred bidder to build new fleet of Type31e frigates for British Navy 925 001 Drawing of Babcock Arrowhead 140 design for Type 31e frigate program. (Picture source Babcock)


In December 2018 Atlas Elektronik UK, Babcock, and BAE Systems were each awarded competitive design phase contracts, worth GBP5 million (USD6.37 million) apiece, to mature their candidate design, build strategy, and commercial proposals over a seven-month period. Bids for the design and build phase were received by DE&S (Defence Equipment and Support) on 24 June.

The Type 31e program calls for the acquisition of a class of five globally deployable general-purpose frigates geared towards forward-deployed maritime security, presence, and defense engagement operations.

The Type 31 frigate, also known as the Type 31e frigate or General Purpose Frigate (GPFF), is a planned class of frigate for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy intended to enter service in the 2020s alongside the more capable Type 26 frigate.

In November 2017, it was announced that BMT Defence Services and Babcock signed a co-operation agreement for the Type 31. In late May 2018, Babcock, partnered with BMT and Thales Group announced the "Arrowhead 140" design, based on the hull of the Danish Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates.

According to Babcock brochure about the Arrowhead 140, this frigate is capable of fulfilling and supporting maritime security requirements worldwide. The design can accommodate a range of mission system configurations to meet your operational and capability needs.

The Arrowhead 140 can operate in all states and conditions with a Ship’s Company of less than 100 personnel. With dedicated accommodation for 160+ personnel and additional temporary accommodation, the platform can carry a significant number of Embarked Military Force, including Special Forces, littoral maneuver troops or additional command and control personnel.

The armament of the Arrowhead 140 includes medium Calibre Gun options up to 5” (127mm) for maritime interdiction, self-protection and engagement of surface and land targets. As well as small Calibre Guns up to 40mm caliber can be located in
predesignated upper-deck weapon positions. In option, the frigate can be armed with a provision of up to 8 canister-launched SSGW (Surface-to-Surface Guided Weapons), VL missiles (SAM/SSGW/Land Strike/ASW) up to 32 cells and Close-In Weapons Systems.

The flight deck is designed for a wide range of naval aircraft and air systems, with a hangar that can accommodate an organic medium naval helicopter or lighter helicopter combined with unmanned air systems. Dedicated aviation magazine facilities to store and prepare air-launched weapons including ASW torpedoes and Anti-Surface missiles are provided. In addition, a fuelling system to provide HIFR capability from a proven NATO flight deck is incorporated. The large flight deck provides the flexibility to launch and recover non-organic aircraft up to 15t in weight.