The Avenger, a lower end concept which is essentially a Batch 3 River class, is one of the options touted by BAE for the Type 31 Frigate.
Plans to acquire a new class of “more affordable” Type 31 Frigate were announced as part of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
It is understood that the Type 26 Frigate will primarily support carrier task group operations while the Type 31 is to be deployed for a range of less high-tempo operations.
The original planning assumption for the Royal Navy was for thirteen Type 26 Frigates (eight ASW and five GP), replacing the Type 23 frigate fleet like-for-like. However, it was later announced during the November 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review by then Prime minister David Cameron that only the eight anti-submarine warfare Type 26 frigates would be ordered.
The funding for the remaining five general purpose Type 26 frigates is instead to be spent on developing a new class of lighter and more affordable general purpose frigates.
This general purpose frigate will be designated as the Type 31 frigate.
The Avenger, a lower end concept which is essentially a Batch 3 River class, draws on BAE experience with those vessels and features an enhanced combat system, aviation facilities and more substantial weapons magazines. The design is 111m in length compared to the Amazonas-class/River-class Batch 2 at 90m.
Avenger appears to have weapons cells in the superstructure amidships and a 127mm gun.
Offering a high standard of accommodation, this ship has sleeping quarters, dining and recreational facilities for up to 70 crew say BAE, but is capable of operating with a lean crew of just 36. It also incorporates additional cabin accommodation for up to 50 other personnel such as trainees, special forces, scientists or medical teams.
There is very little information available on Avenger, however given the negative reception the vessel has had in defence circles, that isn’t surprising.