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Thales will provide the Royal Navy with advanced mission systems


Thales, as part of Babcock Team 31, has been selected to deliver the digital heart of the UK’s next generation frigates. Thales will be the mission systems integrator for the Type 31 programme, delivering the combat system, communications systems and the navigation and bridge system. The T31 general purpose frigate programme will provide the UK Government with a fleet of five ships, at an average production cost of £250 million per ship.


Thales will provide the Royal Navy with advanced mission systems Type 31 frigate (Picture source: Thales )


Following a comprehensive competitive process, T31, a capable, adaptable and technology-enabled global frigate will be the UK Royal Navy’s newest class of warships, with the first ship scheduled in the water in 2023.

At its height, the programme will maximise a workforce of around 1250 highly- skilled roles in multiple locations throughout the UK, with around 150 new technical apprenticeships likely to be developed. The work is expected to support an additional 1250 roles within the wider UK supply chain.

Building on our global successes Thales is expanding its capabilities in mission systems delivery in the UK. This will generate new jobs and technical skills in Crawley, West Sussex where the new team has been established. A new naval combat management centre has also been developed to provide a space for customers, employees and end-users to train, test and see how our solutions deliver operational benefits and to continuously gain customer feedback.

The Type 31e frigate, also known as the Type 31 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. The armament of the Type 31 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.