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Babcock completes Type 31 whole ship preliminary design review


The Ministry of Defence's Type 31 frigate programme has passed a significant milestone in its development, with a comprehensive review of the ship’s design having been completed.
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Babcock completes Type 31 whole ship preliminary design review 925 001 Rendering of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 general purpose frigate. (Picture source: Babcock)


What is known as the Whole Ship Preliminary Design Review (WSPDR) was completed, virtually, by 15 experts during ten days of scrutiny, which provided a key indicator of the compliance, maturity and engineering risk in proceeding to the next Detailed Design phase.

The WSPDR was carried out virtually over a period of ten days by an independent board to review the design and quiz the engineering team. Contributors from the British Ministry of Defence also attended the event.

The independent board were impressed with the rate of progress made since contract award in November 2019, and the level of technical maturity of the design. The Engineering team in particular, and all contributors to the successful WSPDR, are to be commended for their efforts.

Progress on the Type 31 programme continues at pace. Babcock’s Rosyth facility has seen significant investment in the last decade and is embarking on a new era of digitising facilities and systems to bring advancements and efficiencies into the manufacturing, build and assembly process for the frigates. This includes the installation of additional Advanced Manufacturing capability and the construction of a new assembly hall capable of housing two Type 31 frigates. Groundbreaking for the new hall took place in April, signalling the commencement of the civil works programme.


Babcock completes Type 31 whole ship preliminary design review 925 002 The new assembly hall for the Type 31 frigates. (Picture source: Babcock)


About Babcock Type 31 frigates:

The Type 31 (Arrowhead 140) will offer the Royal Navy a new class of ship with a proven ability to deliver a range of peacekeeping, humanitarian and warfighting capabilities whilst offering communities and supply chains throughout the UK a wide range of economic and employment opportunities.

Arrowhead 140 will offer the Royal Navy a new class of ship with a proven ability to deliver a range of peacekeeping, humanitarian and warfighting capabilities whilst offering communities and supply chains throughout the UK a wide range of economic and employment opportunities. Arrowhead 140 is based on the proven Iver Huitfeldt-class of a frigate of the Royal Danish Navy, designed by OMT, and adapted to Royal Navy requirement by Babcock and BMT. Thales will supply the combat management system of Type 31.


Babcock completes Type 31 whole ship preliminary design review 925 003 Rendering of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 general purpose frigate. (Picture source: Babcock)


General characteristics:

Type 31 is a general-purpose frigate with a displacement of 5700 tonnes and a length of 138.7 m (455 ft). The ship is equipped with 4 x Rolls Royce/MTU 20V 8000 M71 (8.2-MW) diesel engines, 4 x Rolls Royce/MTU 16V 2000 M41B (900kW) generators, a MAN Alpha VBS Mk 5 CP propeller, two shafts and a CODAD. It can reach the maximum speed of 28 knots and has an endurance of 9,000 nautical miles.

The armament of the ship comprises VLS Sea Ceptor anti-air missiles, 1x57 mm Mk 110 main gun and 2x40mm Mk 4 secondary guns. Sensors and processing systems onboard are the TACTICOS combat management system, Thales NS110 3D radar, SharpEye navigation radar, 2 Mirador Mk2 EOS and the Vigile-D ESM.

The frigate can accommodate an 80-100 crew, 1 × Wildcat or 1 × Merlin, 6 TEUs and 4 boat bays for RHIBs and USVs/UUVs. The ship is also fitted with a helicopter hangar and a flight deck.


Babcock completes Type 31 whole ship preliminary design review 925 004 Rendering of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 general purpose frigate. (Picture source: Babcock/savetheroyalnavy)