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Babcock Team 31 selected as preferred bidder for Type 31 frigate

Warship: October 2019Babcock

Babcock will now enter a period of detailed discussions with the Ministry of Defence and supply chain prior to formal contract award expected later in 2019.


Led by Babcock, and in partnership with the Thales Group, the T31 general purpose frigate programme is intended to provide the UK with a fleet of five ships, at an average production cost of £250 million per ship. 


Following a comprehensive competitive process, the Arrowhead 140 frigate will now be the UK Royal Navy’s newest class of warships, with the first ship scheduled for launch in 2023.


Babcock said that at the 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 1,250 roles within the wider UK supply chain.


With Babcock’s Rosyth facility as the central integration site, the company said the solution “provides value for money and squarely supports the principles of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.” It also builds on the knowledge and expertise developed during the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier modular build programme.


The announcement follows a competitive design phase where Babcock Team 31 was chosen alongside two other consortia to respond to the UK Ministry of Defence’s requirements.     


Work on the fleet of five ships will begin immediately following formal contract award later this financial year, with detailed design work to start now and manufacture commencing in 2021 and concluding in 2027.