UK MoD announce frigates competition25/08/17Defence
The UK is preparing to launch a competition early next month to come up with a design for a new class of light frigates for the Royal Navy.
Shipbuilding specialists and other executives have been invited to a meeting in London on 7 September to be briefed on the outline of the Type 31 light frigate programme by ministers as well as officials with the Navy and the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) agency, according to the government’s Defence Contracts Bulletin (DCB).
The Type 31 programme is a focal point of the Conservative government’s yet-to-be-published national shipbuilding strategy.
The MoD declined to comment on the timing of the shipbuilding strategy’s publication or offer any details on the Type 31 programme announcement; however, it said: ‘The National Ship Building Strategy will make clear our plan for Type 31 and will be published in due course.’
The government announced plans to build a fleet of at least five light general purpose frigates in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, or SDSR, and has since been conducting early concept and other work on the Type 31.
The DCB said the programme would be innovative and agile.
A report on the shipbuilding strategy produced for the government last year by industrialist Peter Parker recommended the warships could be block built by shipyards around the UK and assembled at BAE System’s yards in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Type 31 frigates and eight new Type 26 anti-submarine warfare frigates are planned to replace the Royal Navy’s Type 23 fleet by the mid-2030s.
Babcock International, BAE Systems, BMT Defence Services and design consultancy Stellar Systems are the companies likely to submit designs when the competition opens.