Babcock Team 31 has today unveiled Arrowhead 140 as its design for the UK Ministry of Defence’s new £1.25 billion Type 31e general purpose light frigate programme.

Launching the new platform, ‘Team 31’ – led by Babcock and Thales, OMT, BMT, Harland and Wolff and Ferguson Marine – underlined  the vessel’s established, ‘at sea’ design baseline which can be developed to meet global requirements.

According to Babcock:

“With UK engineering  at its core, and developing  OMT’s Iver Huitfeldt hull form currently in-service for the Royal Danish Navy, Arrowhead 140 will lower programme risks through its tried and tested  baseline design and is engineered to minimise through-life costs whilst delivering a truly leading edge frigate.

At almost 140m the platform will optimise operational flexibility. This ‘wide beam’ ship is easier to design, easier to build and easier to maintain due to its slightly larger size. And with embedded iFrigatetechnology able to deliver digitally enabled through life support, it offers extensive value for money – all within the same budget.”

Craig Lockhart, Babcock’s Managing Director, Naval Marine said:

“Arrowhead 140 is a proven, capable, and adaptable general purpose frigate design that, if selected, will meet the UK Royal Navy’s and global customers’ expectations both now and in the future.

Arrowhead 140 will provide increased survivability, operability and capability – compared to a standard 120m design. When you consider that this ship can be delivered at no extra cost and that it will support improved radar performance, increase platform stability and facilitate better helicopter operations in bad weather, whilst enhancing crew comfort – we believe it will bring a significant edge to modern naval capability.”

Arrowhead 140’s distributed build and assembly approach,  comprising Babcock Appledore in North Devon, Ferguson Marine on the Clyde, Harland and Wolff in Belfast with integration at Babcock Rosyth, Fife, optimises the partners’ first-class UK facilities, innovation and skills whilst cleverly ensuring capacity for parallel programmes remains say the company. All of which is geared to generate a genuine resurgence in shipbuilding across the UK and when coupled with the virtual design alliance between Babcock, OMT and BMT it squarely supports the intent of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Image result for ARROWHEAD 140 DESIGN

Craig Lockhart continued:

“More than just building a ship, Babcock Team 31 offers a unique opportunity for global navies to tap into the complete design, build and support capability for the T31e frigate. Individually all of the Babcock Team 31 members have exceptionally strong portfolios of activity and collectively we are able to introduce to the market Arrowhead 140; a general purpose light frigate package that we believe is second to none.” 

Incorporating the latest iteration of Thales’ TACTICOS combat management system with fully open architecture sets Arrowhead 140 combat systems apart. And with extensive procurement required throughout the lifetime of the project, opportunities predominantly for UK based small to medium sized enterprises will be available to help to meet time, costs and quality standards. Interest is already strong in Team 31’s bid with more than 100 supply companies meeting Team 31 representatives at a Society of Maritime Industries facilitated suppliers’ conference in Fife.

Based on Arrowhead 140, Team 31 can build modern platforms that navies can use to tailor to their own specifications and when you add world leading experience in naval platform in-service support with a deep understanding of support cost drivers, Babcock Team 31 offers a glimpse into an exciting new world of UK and international ship build delivery and intelligent ship support with Arrowhead 140 say Babcock.

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Martin
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Martin

Looks amazing but I have a hard time believing we can get this for £250million when T26 is coming in at £1 billion.

Chris
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Chris

I tend to agree with you seeing as they have gone for quite a large design (5,700 tonnes which is some 1000 tonnes heavier and lighter than the T23 and 26 respectively) but my guess would be they are going to try and save the money on the armament with the concept video only showing forward naval gun (or guns I couldn’t quite tell) and a small amidships missile silo and anti ship missiles + reusing as much quiptment as possible from the T23 (sea captor, artisan etc). However having said that they wouldn’t have bid unless they thought they… Read more »

Phillip
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Phillip

I’d guess the size is to ensure it is future-proofed – from all I’ve read thus far, it seems that these are being pushed as modern day equivalents of something like the old Tribal-class, so they may end up having a fairly limited weapons fit, but a lot of space on board, and we’d see them on long-term deployments away from Europe – say the Caribbean or the Middle East – to operate as a visible British presence that can be quickly reinforced as necessary. A good size would then (as I see it) allow for any potential future role… Read more »

Steve M
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Steve M

It would be very nice if they built in a lot of extra power generation capacity to prepare for Dragonfire, however far off it may be. Wish listing again 🙂

Martin
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Martin

That’s much the same plan for T26 weapons and sensors though, no issue with cross decking for T23 good systems than can be updated mid life. T31 should be very much fitted for but not with given it’s limited role. If they do deliver for £250 million serious questions need to be asked of BAE. I only hope it’s not the normal BAE selling tactic of they say it has to be £250 million so just go with it until it’s too late then deliver 3 for the same price as 5. By tak8ng out BMT they became the only… Read more »

Rob
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Rob

As it is based on an existing design we may well be able to get this for around £250m but not with the same armament as the Danish vessels. Expect to see no VLS except for SeaCeptor, a single phalanx, 30mm canon, and main gun – probably 76mm. The embarked Wildcat will provide the main anti-ship capability. I just cannot see the RN getting any more for the price and this is after transferring much of this from retiring T23s.

Ben P
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Ben P

The Dutch frigates that this is a copy of cost £243m per ship

Rob
Guest
Rob

That contract was signed over 10 years ago and they used armament from retiring ships to save money. An equivalent now would be more like £315m.

BB85
Guest
BB85

The Danish ships also have significantly more expensive armament and Radars, so 10 years or no 10 years, they should easily be able to deliver these for the £250mm price tag with a modest armament with plenty room for FFBNW VL silo’s.

Joe
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Joe

All depends on the spec (or lack thereof)

But as is often said, air is free, steel is cheap.

Bob the unbuilder
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Bob the unbuilder

Should be doable if they skip the cumbersome weapons, they only make it more expensive to train the crew and we hardly ever bother using them. Maybe borrow a couple of machine guns from the Marines to look hard and a bull horn to yell at Spanish fisherman and pirates

Geoff
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Geoff

Oh, I dont know. BAES and their utterly abysmal value-for-money ain’t involved…

Chris
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Chris

Two questions.
1) Have they released any details of its proposed specifications (armaments etc) yet?
2) Is it just me or does their design look very Type 26 esque.

Ben P
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Ben P

I think just CAMM for the base. There is room for more silos, Harpoon, CIWS and Torpedoes on the design.

This is a slightly larger version of the Dutch Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates, which cost £243m per ship.

Lusty
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Lusty

The Iver Huitfeldt-class are in service with the Danish navy, not the Royal Netherlands Navy.

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David Stone
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David Stone

Obviously a good move to bring OMT into the group. The design is now based on a proven hull and providing they can meet the cost constraints I think we have a winner

Andy Cee
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Andy Cee

Based on the Danish Iver Huitfeldt frigate….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iver_Huitfeldt-class_frigate

Apparently the price of those was US$325 or so per unit. Armament isn’t bad either….includes a hull mounted sonar, and Mk 41 VLS. Mk 56 VLS as well….

Steve M
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Steve M

They did re-use a lot of the weapons systems according to the wiki. I wonder how far we could go with that strategy. Sea Ceptor, 4.5″ gun etc etc?

Andy Cee
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Andy Cee

Sea Ceptor is an obvious one, and its radar agnostic, I understand, so no need to develop too much to make it fit rather than ESSM.

Its not going to be particularly quiet as a sub hunter though thats a secondary role – CODAD propulsion gives it range but makes it noisy.

If they stick with the Mk41, transfer the 4.5″ (plan to upgrade later to 5″ perhaps) and Sea Ceptor, then the only “extra” over the T23 is a Phalanx or two

Might even get it in close to the £250m for the base spec…..

Pete
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Pete

Remember.. T23 also has Harpoon

Andy Cee
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Andy Cee

Good point but isn’t it going out of service this year?

Marc
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Marc

And the hull and superstructure were built in Lithuania and Estonia so there’s a major cost saving.

Andrew
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Andrew

I was always neutral at best re the concept of reducing the type 26 order and ordering 5 lower cost frigates…..
However, i’m coming round to this… from my limited knowledge, am I correct in thinking the Arrowhead 140 design is potentially larger than the type 23?
Sounds like plenty of space on board, to perhaps up arm in the future when there is more money available in the kitty…

Chris
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Chris

Yep its about 1000 tonnes larger.

Stephen G.
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Stephen G.

If we order a relatively large number of Type 31s to bulk the fleet numbers up it will be a good idea.

Expat
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Expat

Yep, if Babcock win this you can see the MoD possing the question ‘How much to turn this into a capable ASW platform’ If throwing another 250m per uint at it does the job that makes it almost half the price of a t26, partially built on the Clyde and Rosyth ticks a few other boxes.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

I am not a naval architect but my understanding is that ASW capability has to be designed in from day 1. It drives both the hull form and the propulsion architecture. The Iver Huifeld hull is, like the T45 an AWD ship and will probably not make a decent ASW ship.

Expat
Guest
Expat

Interesting, Navantia are pitching this approach for sea 5000 in Australia, their offering a converted AWD. I’ve read some of the articles on it and most say whilst it may not be as good as the T26 that its up agianst for ASW it would be good enough. We would be making the trade offs more hulls for slightly less capable ASW frigate. We would of course still have some T26 say 6, but could then have 4 more Arrowhead ASW hulls instead for 2 T26.

https://navantia.com.au/capabilities/f-5000/

Paul.P
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Paul.P

I don’t have the in depth knowledge to say what would be ‘good enough’. And it is likely some of the finer points might of submarine detection might not be common knowledge. Type 45 for example has a bow sonar and I would expect T31 eventually to have one too (the adaptable requirement calls for FFBNW bow sonar). So it could ping to do active searching, WW2 style. But with a towed sonar array I think the idea is you are so quiet in terms of both engine vibration and through the water hull turbulence that you detect the sub… Read more »

expat
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expat

Good points Paul, my point was hypothetical. But Babcocks offering my give us more choice in future. I don’t believe it would ever be as good as a T26 for ASW and that’s the general consensus in Australia also.

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) – While I am very pleased that Belfast would at last get the work it deserves if this is the chosen design then all we will be doing is giving Sturgeon an even bigger lever against rUK with Carriers (mainly Clyde & Rosyth), Type 26 (Clyde) and now possibly Type 31 (Clyde, Rosyth). She will still call it a betrayal of course … Can someone please explain to me why 8% of the UK population are entitled to some 90% of new naval shipbuilding while major facilities elsewhere in the UK get comparatively little? By continually giving in… Read more »

Alan Reid
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Alan Reid

“Can someone please explain to me why 8% of the UK population are entitled to some 90% of new naval shipbuilding while major facilities elsewhere in the UK get comparatively little?” Happy to try, Chris ….. The Clyde is the historic centre of excellence for ship-building within the UK, just as Warton & Filton are key sites for aerospace, Derby for aero-engines, the West Midlands for car manufacturing, Port Talbot for steel production etc Last time I checked, the Scots were full UK citizens, and entitled to the benefits of UK citizenship – including not being discriminated against for government… Read more »

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) Alan Reid – well first off I never intimated that any Scot was less a member of the UK than anyone else did I? But the fact we are all equal makes the inequality of naval shipbuilding spending even more unacceptable plus I am not sure how giving Scotland some 90% of all available work is somehow ‘discriminatory’? As for history well Chatham and Portsmouth were building ships before the Clyde. So much for history when Portsmouth shipbuilding was sacrificed on the altar of devolution and the 2014 ‘Indyref1’. And I do hope you aren’t saying that the… Read more »

Andy Cee
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Andy Cee

If you take into account ALL defence expenditure, and not just Shipbuilding…

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/652915/UK_Defence_in_Numbers_2017_-_Update_17_Oct.pdf

See page 16.

However, the NSBS does indicate a need to spread the workload around more yards, so from that point of view, a modular build approach is more in keeping. And final assembly will be at Rosyth, so the ships will be built in Scotland, much like the Carriers….

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Andy Cee – Yes I saw this elsewhere. But two things: These are figures for 2015 / 16 not today. And can you explain why the ‘South West’ got £810 per head to private suppliers when Scotland got £280 per head and they both have similar populations? or why the ‘North West’ got £290 per head despite high tech and expensive suppliers building submarines and Typhoon fighters (Barrow and Warton)? And of course this doesn’t include funding for places like Faslane pr Lossiemouth which are military bases and therefore not private suppliers. And don’t even get me started… Read more »

Andy Cee
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Andy Cee

Not disagreeing Chris…. I think its more a point that statistics can pretty much be displayed to prove anything 🙂

The NSBS seems a solid approach to me. I see also Babcock are trying to put together a consortium (inc BAES) to bid for the FSS contract as well….if that was to happen, I think it would be a great coup

Pete
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Pete

Well put

Marc
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Marc

Have you seen the junk they build my god if they are platers or welders then i’m a horses head.

Martin
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Martin

So you would strip Scottish yards of the ability to win the contract for simply being Scottish. Are you racists or an idiot?

You do know the UK is governed by laws right?

FYI about 8% of MOD spending is in Scotland, sure they get more naval work but very little in aerospace and nothing in land systems.

Also it nowhere near 90% of naval work, I’m not sure if you are aware (probably not) but barrow is actually in England (north of watford anyway) by far the biggest chunk of UK ship building Budget is going there.

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) Martin – I got as far as you calling me a racist and realised what a total bellend you are and not worth the effort of a reply …

Marc
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Marc

Being a sweaty sock is a nationality not a race surely?

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

The MOD need this group of companies to sign in blood that they can deliver this design for £250 million each. Then rapidly order at least 10 ships asap.
Job done

Rob Collinson
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Rob Collinson

Well said. I could not agree more.

Rob
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Rob

I’m sure they can deliver the design for £250m or they wouldn’t have put it forward (you would think), it just won’t be armed with much!

Rob Collinson
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Rob Collinson

Considering what their role is planned to be, I don’t think the big ticket weapon systems would not be the primary concern. Basic constabulary roles. I am sure that if they were needed to be upgraded in a hurry for a conflict they could be upgraded with an emergency purchase aka the upgrades to the land inventory in Afghanistan or the introduction of the Reaper system. This product seems to be planned to be upgraded in the future. What we need are the hulls in the water. We need to protect our way of life. How many times have the… Read more »

Rob
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Rob

That’s fine, I agree with you. Mr Bell has listed what he thinks the 31s should be fitted with on numerous occasions, I was just telling him that they will not be highly armed as he thinks they should be. Correct me if I am wrong Mr Bell.

Andy Cee
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Andy Cee

Would make sense to have the T26s armed with the 4.5″, same as the T45s as they are likely to be operating together. The 5″ guns could then go to the T31s which are more likely to be risked for NGFS

However, thats bordering on playing fantasy fleets. If the T26 design now is changed, no doubt it’ll cost millions in redesign work.

mocc187
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mocc187

I really like the idea of having a general purpose frigate for the RN, but one concern I can see is that this design uses a different command system to that installed on the QEC, T45 and T26 ships. From an operational perspective it is is not an issue to have different CMS on the ships. However, the main area impacted will be that of support-ability, training and also the drafting of personnel. This may seem to be a minor point but it will place a bigger burden on training and also the utilisation of the available manpower pool i.e.… Read more »

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

Now this is interesting…ref the construction of the Danish vessels… “The frigates were constructed simultaneously in the same dock in a phased manner. The first phase included assembly of all welded steel blocks into a ship platform, while civil equipment was installed by the shipyard and its subcontractors in the second phase. Following delivery from the shipyard, the frigates sailed to Naval Station Korsor where military installation work took place in the final phase.” So it could be possible to assemble 2 at a time in the dock in Rosyth. Bringing in the fitted out Mega blocks from the satellite… Read more »

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Interesting. Do you know if Cammell Laird could build 2 Leanders in parallel?

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

quick look at the figures for Cammel I would say no. The dock length and breadth are not large enough for a two at a time build even if you stagger the ships in the dock.

Lusty
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Lusty

What about Belfast? Large building dock, with two large cranes in support.

Only real trouble there would be that H&W is largely focusing on offshore platforms now.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

I am not a naval engineer but their web site shows a constuction hall and 4 dry docks. They looked pretty busy when the aerial photos were taken. I wonder that if pushed they could, but not be able to do much else.
https://www.clbh.co.uk/facilities/construction-hall
The way they structure their web site they seem set up for refit work and the odd specialist vessel. It might suit them for Babcock to get the T31 order provided they get some module construction.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Wow! A fascinating move by Babcock. Really going for it by proposing a proven ‘foreign’ hull design and a much larger ship. Seems the original Arrowhead US cutter based hull and Venator have been abandoned. Maybe the BAE Khareef / Leander jibes about ‘must work out of the box’ have had their effect. If they can do it for £250m a pop what’s not to like? Masses of future development scope. Gives a whole new meaning to FFBNW. That said, what propulsion is proposed? Who owns the intellectual property for the design? Will OMT be able to commission export builds… Read more »

Andy Cee
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Andy Cee

The danish frigate that is the basis of this design is CODAD, MTU diesels, same as T26 is planned to be, although T26 with have Gas Turbines as well.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

But presumably without the Gucci ASW engine mountings?

Andy Cee
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Andy Cee

Yeah, the Danish design is optimised for Air Defence. The T31 will be noisy for a primary ASW role, but presumably that is the T26’s job. Like the T45s, the T31 will have some ASW capability as a back up.
Its primary role is to operate in the forward presence/flag waving role and able to defend itself until the Carrier Battle Group can deploy.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

6500 tons is a big anti piracy flag waver.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Yep, thats true…. maybe it doubles as a mother ship for MCMVs and OPVs? Thats what the mission bays are for….

Ron5
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Ron5

Andy, you are incorrect. The type 26 is gas turbine or diesel electric. The Arrowhead 140 is direct diesel. Big difference.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Hi Ron,
Sorry, my post wasn’t very clear. The MTU diesels will be used in both T26 and T31, but you’re right, ArrowHead 140 will be diesel only, while T26 will have the much higher end setup of Diesel Electric and GT….

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Diesels driving a Controllable Pitch Prop. Thats the only way to do pure direct drive diesels. Engines into a gear box with a CPP on the end of the shaft.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

For comparison Khareef has 2 5.4kw diesels. I am guessing Leander will be similar. Iver Huitfeld has 4 8.2 kw diesels.
How would the fuel consumption of Leander and Arrowhead compare?

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

If the Type 31 is going to be this size then they should probably make shore the hanger can accommodate a Merlin. That way if we need a anti sub capacity and have no type 26 available, then a type 31 with a Merlin would make a good stand in.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

According to the base spec, it can fit a Merlin. All that is needed would be to upgrade the handful of HM.1 Merlins to the current spec and the Navy could pretty much run an all Merlin fleet. Maybe move the Wildcats to the AAC to replace the Gazelles and Lynx that are end of life

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Err no.

8 extra Merlin does not replace 28 Wildcat HMA8.

Do let’s upgrade the remaining Merlin if they have not been cannibilised to bits as we need them, but leave Wildcat/ Martlet Sea Venom as is for our escorts, T31 especially.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Apologies Daniele,
Not sure where my maths went there! You’re right, both the Merlins and the Wildcat HMA2s are needed

T.S
Guest

My thoughts exactly Paul. Whilst the platform is supposed to be good, and the obvious benefits of additional size is an interesting addition, I am left wondering if in some ways this is an opportunity missed. A primary point of the T31 is exports. We will be offering something almost identical to the Dutch/danish offering on the market. In a way, it would have been nice for BMT to produce their own offering. The Venator was something a bit different to the others out there and would have been good to have a third offering. I was hoping that we… Read more »

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Sea Ceptor can be quad packed into each Mk 41 Cell, so maybe thats the sensible option? Fit the T31 with 16, 24 or 32 Mk 41 cells and then you have the flexibility of Sea Ceptor and hopefully in future some next generation Anti Ship missles for offensive punch.
Incidentally, Sea Ceptor quad packs in the Sylver VLS on the T45 as well, doesn’t it? Maybe thats a way for the T45s to bulk up their operational defensive capability – run a mix of Aster 30 and Sea Ceptor in place of the Aster 15.

Julian
Guest
Julian

I still think the best route for T45, if the design allows it, is to accept that it is a specialist AAW asset, give up on any thought of fitting Mk41 in the FFBNW/gym space, and instead fit some 3-cell specialist LM ExLS units to give a dedicated Sea Ceptor silo thus freeing up the existing Sylver 50 silo predominantly for Aster 30 potentially including BMD variants and maybe still a few Aster 15 since I believe they are more agile and energetic than Sea Ceptor so might still have a place in the mix (not to mention the fact… Read more »

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

In an ideal world, I agree, Mk41 on the T45 – potentially to provide offensive capability in the form of a future AShM, as well as Sea Ceptor to bulk up the missile count.

ExLS is a standalone unit, isn’t it – you don’t need it if you have Mk 41? Or have I got that wrong…?

Julian
Guest
Julian

There are two versions Andy, one is an adaptor that slots into a Mk41 tube and the other is a through-deck-mounted stand alone unit comprising 3 cells (tubes) each of which can quad-pack Sea Ceptor. If you only want to host Sea Ceptor it’s a bit of a waste having all the cost and complexity of the Mk41’s got gas exhaust venting when it will only ever take cold-launch canisters. The version I am suggesting is the stand-alone 3-cell version that doesn’t need Mk41 to host it. Here’s a very good four and a half minute show-and-tell video complete with… Read more »

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Thanks Julian, thats useful…. seems to be a sensible compromise for T31. That and maybe some scavenged Harpoons from the T23s until a new missile is procured…..
Its the Skoda version of a launcher rather than the Audi one 🙂

Ron5
Guest
Ron5

If you only plan on Sea Ceptors, ExLs is also a waste of money. It’s value lies in being able to launch many types of missiles.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

A good point, and no doubt it’d come down to cost, but ExLS gives a cheaper variation on FFBNW – if they are included, then there is an option later to expand the weapons load.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Point taken Ron. Out of interest, what else can ExLS fire? It’s soft-launch only I think so, with my very myopic UK-focussed (scant) knowledge of missiles I’m struggling to come up with anything else.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Check out the Arrowhead 140 website. It shows the VL is located behind the bridge and mast and forward of the hanger. Not the bow.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

I think the Leander rendering hints at the same idea.

M Heron
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M Heron

I would have preferred if they built the Type 31’s like the Absalon Class Support Ship. The added flex deck would have gave the ship extra adaptability options like a light amphibious vessel, mothership (for unmanned vessels or CB90’s), humanitarian relief, hospital ship or mine layer/sweeper. The design being based on the Iver Huidfeldt class would save on costs for a batch 2 “Absalon variant”.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Yummy!

Get them built.

RN need ships in the water.

Now watch RN / Mod make a pigs ear of it!

Harry Bulpit
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Harry Bulpit

Would be good. But personally I’d say a need more then 8.

Stephen G.
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Stephen G.

I would personally like to see Cammel Laird/A & P Tyne get the Type 31s and the Rosyth consortium, with their large dry dock and gantry crane, get the fleet solid support ships. That would really revive shipbuilding around the U.K.

Ron5
Guest
Ron5

I agree. That would be a neat solution.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Wow. This is quite a big surprise and a not unsurprising flurry of comments. I’m not sure I’ve seen a comments section grow so quickly so soon after an article is put up. This is very different to the Venator/original-Arrowhead that I was expecting and puts real clear water between it and the BAE Avenger/Cutlass designs unless BAE does a bug stretch on Cutlass. Is this a knock-out blow for the Babcock consortium at least as far as the BAE designs are concerned? For reference Meko 200 is 3,400t & 118m long with the South African Valour Class variant, a… Read more »

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

The theory with the T26 being cut to 8 was because it was too big and therefore perceived as expensive because of that. The Arrow 140 design is only 10m shorter. Hopefully this doesn’t become an issue when it is considered.

And yep, we all know that air and steel are relatively cheap, so size isn’t in fact that important when it comes to warship cost. Hence my use of the word “perceived”.

The more space in a ship at the start of its service life the better; then it can be upgraded more easily in the future.

Julian
Guest
Julian

“The more space in a ship at the start of its service life the better; then it can be upgraded more easily in the future.” I agree, and it’s also a good angle for export and maybe something of a differentiator vs competitors for countries that might like to posture – offering something that is big and imposing but still affordable just might be a winner. I do hope we can configure ours to be more substance and less posturing-through-size though, even if that has to evolve over time. I am also still concerned about what build standard compromises might… Read more »

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Hopefully the spec includes a hull mounted sonar (2050s from the T23s?) – the Wildcat has no sonar, so if they don’t have that, their ASW capability will be negligible

Trying not to get too carried away 🙂

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

The T31 RFI ‘adaptable’ requirements call for FFBNW a bow sonar.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Good point Paul, the basic £250m spec is basically an OPV with a hangar, longer range, higher speed and a med calibre gun and a CIWS

Andy G
Guest
Andy G

Block building is meant to increase quality while reducing costs.

Martin Bandholm
Guest
Martin Bandholm

“One thing that does concern me if the price point is met is how much compromise there might be on construction standards. I would hate this to be a paper tiger with a glass chin (talk about mixing metaphors!), a sort of floating snatch Land Rover that potentially puts our service men and women’s lives at increased risk.” A valid concern, however the Danish ships were not compromised in their construction, and one of the ships took “Peter Willemoes” part in and passed with flying colors, the RN Fost (Flag Officer Sea Training) program, and afterwards took part (as the… Read more »

Ron5
Guest
Ron5

Good comment Julian. I like your “glass jaw” analogy. Very apt.

Rob
Guest
Rob

I am not expecting there to be much in the way of armament on these ships, but as many of you have said there is plenty of space for future upgrades.

That said, can anyone name an instance where something was “fitted for but not with”, then actually fitted for it later?

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Harpoon on 4 of the T45s… crap example, but it’s there. Taken from the last of the T22s, I think….

Rob
Guest
Rob

Damn you!

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Can’t think of any other examples though….

Ron5
Guest
Ron5

Bad example. The T45’s were not FFBNW Harpoons any more than the Type 23’s were. The canister Harpoons are designed to be dis-mountable and are installed based on mission.

And no, I can’t think of any FFBNW that were later installed. I imagine the Treasury saying every time: “you’ve done without it so far, so let’s continue”.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

As I said – “crap example” – totally in agreement. I can’t think offhand of any other examples

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Just as a reality check this is what was being asked for.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/645149/T31e_RFI.pdf
4000 tons, around 115m a crew of less than 100 and a range of around 6k nm. What Babcock are proposing is more like a Type 45 successor; Iver Huitfeld is an AD hull form at 6500 tons with 4 diesel prime movers rather than 2, a crew of 180 and a range of over 9000 miles.
Has the requirement changed or has the method of contruction and leapfrogging RN and MOD long term strategy assumed a higher importance than what is being constructed?

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

This isn’t the place for reality. We were all getting carried away 🙂

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Yeh. We need to decouple what is being built from how it is built.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

If they can at least hit the crew requirements and the £250m base price without sacrificing too much, this size design might still be a winner.
In that base was a medium calibre gun (4.5″ from T23 – except they will presumably go with the T23 GPs when we sell them?), a CIWS, hangar and space for a Wildcat and that was about it…..no sonar, no VLS, no AShM…. they were all to be Nice-to-Haves

Julian
Guest
Julian

AH, you got there before me as I was typing my much longer reply. Interesting to see you mention crew as well Andy. That does seem a concern with this big a vessel.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Thank Paul P re my comment about the crew. He mentioned it first 🙂

Type 26, incidentally will have a crew around 118, with room for 208….so I suspect it is doable, just about.

Julian
Guest
Julian

And Paul bought it up in the forst place. Paul- Wikipedia (groan – I know!) says complement 165 and crew 117 so I’m assuming the 48 difference is spare bunk space and maybe whether a helicopter is embarked or not and what other Stanflex systems are onboard.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Yet more crossed posts Andy. We are all getting carried away. I think I’m going to go and have a lie down 🙂

Rob
Guest
Rob

page 24 is the relevant one for armament. So no anti-ship, has hull mounted sonar, limited point defence and main gun at least 57mm. Helo and embarked ribs to pack more punch. Hope the point defence includes Sea Ceptor, which will hopefully be able to target enemy fast boats at some point. Yes Paul I am struggling to see how the crew requirement has been met, although the range and tonnage exceeds the requirement so I wouldn’t think that would be a problem. The document talks about maximising export potential, but as others have said, how does OMT’s involvement affect… Read more »

Evan P
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Evan P

I doubt there would be competition between the designs. The Iver Huitfeldts are a class of highly advanced AAW vessels. T31 is obviously going to be a much more basic general purpose design, so even though they are in the same weight class, their roles vary significantly.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Why use a SeaCeptor at say 200k a pop to kill a Boghammer?
Remote control 30mm guns and Phalanx can do it for a lot less money. Its a lot easier to shoot a boat up and unlike a missile that is radar homing, you can see what you are hitting with a gun.
A Fire and Forget Radar homer can hit a ferry just as easily as a fast attacker and once it goes pop and whoosh out of the launcher that’s it…you cannot shift target

Julian
Guest
Julian

Gunbuster – What are your thoughts on the Sigma mount adding LMM/Martlet to a 30mm installation?

Rob
Guest
Rob

Thanks for that Gunbuster – always nice to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about 🙂

I wonder why the RN is bothering to look at the anti-ship capability of SeaCeptor though?

Evan P
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Evan P

Rob, I didn’t think it was due to budget?

Julian
Guest
Julian

It’s a very good point Paul (as is Andy’s – I’m getting a bit carried away myself :)). Surely though Babcock and BMT have enough contacts and skilled sales people working this very big bid to be in touch with what is going on. Either they think there is scope for the RN to consider this bid seriously or they are getting messages that in what we thought was the previous bid space of 110-120m 3,000-4,000t vessels they have pretty much lost already against BAE and so are trying a last ditch bid to win the deal by redefining the… Read more »

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

I think you have hit it. I suspect this is a last ditch attempt to redefine the playing field. Leander is wholly British and based on a proven Khareef hull which has an electric drive option for some additional ASW; desirable for the RN and export potential. The combat hardening work done in converting Amazonas into River 2 and the T26 mission bay experience will give a good idea on additional costs of morphing Khareef into Leander. Venator was probably too expensive to build. It was probably neck and neck on construction costs Arrowhead versus Leander so Babcock decided to… Read more »

Shades
Guest
Shades

Page 7 of the brochure (available at http://www.babcockteam31.com) under the heading “Accommodation” says “The platform will operate in all states and conditions with a Ship’s Company of less than 100 personnel”

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Good spot. Nice brochure.

Andy G
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Andy G

Judging from the marketing departments ..”embedded iFrigate™technology” .. i do hope sales is up to it.

Ron5
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Ron5

Paul, that document is an RFI: request for information. Designed to give interested parties an idea of what the MoD has in mind. Not a specification for bids.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Point taken. I accept it was issued I believe in the spirit of ‘ we have £250m per ship to spend and the minimum requirements are…let us know what you think; happy to be surprised’. So give or take the use of a Danish hull here is what can be done …if you build it this way. I confess this proposal has pressed my buttons. I would have preferred the UK to build a UK designed hull. What happened to complex warships being designed in the UK? Why could not Venator be built the same way? Why could not the… Read more »

M Heron
Guest
M Heron

In order to keep the costs low for construction will the Type 31 will they be using a Stanflex module approach in regards to the ships weapon systems?

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Stanflex could be a useful component to introduce with these ships. Potentially then the MCMVs, Survey vessels, patrol boats of the future could be a single design, with StanFlex slots available…

Evan P
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Evan P

It sounds nice but LCS has put me off modularity within warships completely. The US have made the mistake and are spending vast sums of money to rectify it, I see no reason why we should make the same mistake.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Seems to work for the smaller number of ships in the Danish Navy…. we aren’t going to have many more than them soon!

M Heron
Guest
M Heron

If the MOD is aiming for 5-10 ships. The first 5 (Iver Huitfeldt variant). The next batch should be based on the Absalon. The added “Flex Deck” will boost (temporarily) the reduced capability gaps with the loss of HMS Ocean (and other fleet losses). The capability of a 24 hour conversion to a personnel/vehicle transport (300 troops/55 vehicles or 7 MBT), hospital ship or whatever is a no brainer. I just hope they have a reduced acoustic signature to make it a capable general/ASW platform.

Martin Bandholm
Guest
Martin Bandholm

That the USN (or its procurement part) made a mess of things, does not mean that the modular system is bad! I am Danish, and served for 5 years, in the Navy, on a number of ships with StanFlex slots, you would be amazed of how much time that system saved us, on a few of the older ships, where we had troubles with old equipment. Take it out, put in a new, send the packed back to base and let the specialist take care of it, while the ship is at sea… Upgrades, repairs and time saved in the… Read more »

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

M Heron – are the Absalon’s a variant of the same design?

Only downside I could see is that there would be further design/development costs for a different sub class?

M Heron
Guest
M Heron

The Iver Huitfeldt is based on the Absalon class. The Absalon Class was built in 2003-04. The Iver Huitsfeldt Class was built in 2008-2011. The class is built on the experience gained from the Absalon-class support ships, and by reusing the basic hull design of the Absalon class the Royal Danish Navy have been able to construct the Iver Huitfeldt class considerably cheaper than comparable ships. So hopefully if they go for a Absalon variant for batch two they could do the same but vice-versa.

Andy Cee
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Andy Cee

Thanks MH, useful info

Rob
Guest
Rob

This probably won’t be popular but my money is still on Leander. Solely British design and distinct in the export market. It also uses the same combat systems as other RN ships. If both designs are similar in terms of cost, armament and flexibility then I can see Leander being preferred.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

I suspect it is the most mature and combat oriented design.

Ron5
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Ron5

I wonder if this new Babcock design could accommodate the RN combat system. I’m guessing that’s not a huge change to make. Could be very wrong tho.

Andy G
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Andy G

I think politically its impossible. This team was going to win from the start. Deals have been done.

Ian23
Guest
Ian23
Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Thinking exports for a moment; T31 will be up against Belharra, the Navantia F110 and Finnmeccania PPA. And possibly more. All these are what you might call ‘intermediate’ frigates i.e. 4000 ton class. I would be a bit worried that a 6500 ton T31 would be a Morris Marina in a world of Ford Escorts ( showing my age ). DCNS will be first to market, as usual. There is an old saying you need to be first or best. Arrowhead would be a marketing gamble. The BAE alternative I suppose is the 90m River 2/100m Khareef/ 115m Leander ‘family’.… Read more »

Paul T
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Paul T

Paul P – without wanting to muddy the waters (no pun intended lol) I think the PPA will be the first to commission ,construction started last year.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Thx. I stand corrected. The main point of my argument stands though. In the export market T31 is not first to market so needs to be ‘best’. Arrowhead 140 is a distinctly different offering in that its shear size gives it a lot more configurablity than Leander. Its advantage export advantage is likely to be non UK systems and radar and faster build with more yards involved. I’ve not seen any proposal from CL regarding modular build i.e. Realising the national shipbuilding strategy. Funny old world, we will probably achieve a national shipbuilding strategy by building a Danish hull, Thales… Read more »

Helions
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Helions

Apart from the sizing, how does this U.S. Huntington Ingalls corvette built for the Israelis stack up? I’ve always thought it’s a neat design packing a lot of punch for its size. I’d think this could easily fill the requirement for a light patrol frigate with a few mods.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa%27ar_5-class_corvette

Cheers!

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Ok, so I am going to ask the question, what
was wrong with the all British Venator design?

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Not a proven design, is my guess? Thats why they got OMT on board, it meant they could match the Leander claim to be based on an existing design…..which of course means lower development costs (until MOD gets involved!)

OK, maybe slightly cynical!

Chris
Guest
Chris

Venator was the independent BMT design and now they’ve decided to consortium up with Babcock etc so have gone with a new design, hence Arrowhead 140.
There was nothing wrong with the Venator design just the consortium decided not to go ahead with it.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

So happy families then with Babcock, BMT and OMT?

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

I think Venator was a bit of a concept, but had elements of modularity that could maybe be including in this Arrowhead design. But I could be wrong.

AV
Guest
AV

The original Arrow head wasn’t far wrong, this model is the business!
Where do we sign?

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

I don’t tead things that way. I believe the original Arrowhead was an attempt by Babcock to reuse the VARD design work for the USCG Offshore cutter.

http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Coast-Guard-Eastern-Shipbuilding-hold-Offshore-Patrol-Cutter-ceremony-421194283.html

And that this hull was immature and therefore dismissed by customer. But since BAE Leander was the wrong political answer Babcock went away to look for a mature hull design and found one through OMT. So this submission has the same Arrowhead name but bears no relarion to the first attempt.
If this submission proves anything it is that BAE have forgotten more about warship design than Babcock will ever know!

Helions
Guest
Helions

Speaking of Frigate competitions – the Italians giving the USN the hard sell. Nice ship, note the EXPRESSO machine! 😀

https://news.usni.org/2018/05/30/fincantieri-marine-group-pitches-its-frigate-design-in-baltimore

Cheers!

Ron5
Guest
Ron5

Looks like it would be a fun ride if fire broke out. Distinctly lacking in fire proof fixtures & fittings.

Andy G
Guest
Andy G

Its got the most advanced fire detection system apparently. Every inch of it is covered in cameras.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

IKEA fire retardants?

Helions
Guest
Helions
Hao
Guest
Hao

If what MOD and RN really favor is a British-version Absalon (a large hull similar with type 26, good for RN), Arrowhead 140 could be a good choice. But choosing Arrowhead 140 suggests that a stripped (general purpose-version) type 26 is not a good choice really, at least means type 26 is a less effective and finance-friendly design, even unacceptable for RN. (Type 23’s way turns to 8 maybe the best but definitively super expensive type 26 + 5 cheap hulls) This may shadow type 26’s export on market further, even in the CSC and SEA 5000 bids. After all,… Read more »

T.S
Guest

Ok, so we have two solid, if slightly ‘safe’ options. Both with pros and cons. I am waiting on the following to pass judgement: •confirmation on required crew sizes for arrowhead. It’s vital these can be leaned manned to staff the numbers we need. •survivability and fire protection levels for each design. •confirmation of what weapons fit we get for the basic price, but also ffbnw allocations for future upgrades. Although they are lower threat environments they must offer space for a credible number of cells and box launchers. •potential levels of asw capability. We know Leander has electric drive… Read more »

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Solid and safe seems the way to go…kind of like the original plan for T26 – reuse existing tech to reduce costs. Interesting how that worked out!

The devil will be in the details as your bullet points show

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

Well, I wish my memory was perfect, as it seems to me the Danish presence was more than usual in the recent JW18 (the only JW tghis year), end of April. I did see the Esbern Snare, and it may have been her that was mooching off Ayr for a time, but I could be remembering wrong. Anyways, perhaps it’s coincidental, but it would have been a good opportunity to have a few show-off parties on-board. Sadly I wasn’t invited. Very impressive, and though this whole T26 thing is a betrayal of the Clyde workers as from the above comments,… Read more »

Simon
Guest
Simon

This looks like great news and although I was dubious on the cost at first looking at wiki it states that the danish ships reused parts from a corvette and patrol vessel I am no expert but neither of these previous vessels had what I believe are very expensive radars? Apar and smart-l which if included in the danish price would mean these costs wouldn’t be included in the Babcock design and could go on weapons etc. (obviously not if Babcocks from hull up design is more expensive although I would have thought aaw design would be more complex?)Also in… Read more »

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

This either highlights that we are over paying for the T26’s or that there is much not included weapons and sensors wise. The increased size is not going to drive the cost – steel and higher rated propulsion is not the expense – that is standard merchant ship stuff.
Not sure I like the rendered graphics however as the silos seem to be sitting over the midship hangars with nothing under them…?

Evan P
Guest
Evan P

Those mission bays are not the width of the whole ship, there is a space between them for the silo.

Simon
Guest
Simon

My understanding is type 26 design costs are all about making the ships super quiet extra damping etc. But no doubt as most have stated and hmg seems to be realising we have overpaid due BAE having a monopoly of course more steel costs more but steel is cheap compared to combat systems and it seems asw measures I am not sure about propulsion as wouldn’t the mtu be standard choice it could mean they are slower though?

Simon
Guest
Simon

Babcock have a YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPrwMQNen8A

Andy G
Guest
Andy G

The news we have all been waiting for. This is a world beater and will revive our entire navy and ship building industry. We are going to be churning these out by the cusomised blocks.

Manning is going to be crucial, can automation get us to a crew of 100? I believe so.

Surely there is room for 100 marines too?

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Danish world beater…fixed that for you.

Simon
Guest
Simon
T.S
Guest

Thanks for the link. So, they say provision for up to 32 strike length mk41, tick. Space for up to 8 asm launchers, tick. Crew of less than 100, space for up to 160 if needed, tick. ASW ‘can be easily added either during the build phase or during refit’ and a towed array can be added. That would say that it has reasonable inbuilt ASW performance, tick, but it doesn’t state any details on quietening methods. So in sure on the last point then, but overall things are looking good. Would be good if there was a aaw version… Read more »

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Wouldn’t Samson be a better option for a future AAW version, given its already in service?

Julian
Guest
Julian

Rob mentioned further up that he thought Leander was probably the likely winner and I also speculated above that Arrowhead 140 might be delivering so much more than the RFI guidelines, at least in size terms, because the Babcock consortium sales people are getting messages coming back from RN/MoD contacts that Leander has it in the bag and this might be the consortium’s last-ditch attempt to redefine the playing field to avoid An Arrowhead-120/Venator-110 class design losing to Leander. Given the above I had another look at Leander from the video of a presentation on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2H_iYr203Y&app=desktop). The initial things… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

Thanks for posting the link. Personally I think the Leander will win hands down unless the Arrowhead 140 is able to use the BAE combat system. I would certainly hope that there would be more than 12 SeaCeptor silos though, the render shows the soft launch cells, whereas quad packed VLS would surely be better even if there are only 6 cells. That might even mean money for VLS midships for ASM or more SeaCeptor depending on mission. A ‘family’ of ships R2, Corvette(Khareef), and T31 Leander with common systems would surely be better for the RN and export potential,… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

No problem Rob. I think as we (or at least I) get carried away with Arrowhead 140 it is worth comparing and contrasting with the BAE competition. Like you, the thought of the RN introducing a new combat system seems to me to be a bit of a stretch hence for Arrowhead to have a chance I would have thought that the consortium has to find some way to work with BAE to use their combat system. Then again maybe Gunbuster will wade in here to explain to us the issues (or perhaps non-issues) around multiple combat systems. It’s something… Read more »

BB85
Guest
BB85

I don’t think Leander has this anywhere near in the bag.
With Babcock spreading work across 4 locations (including Belfast) it will be much more appealing politically, the defense secretary did not Visit H&W for the first time in 20+ years because he wanted to go site seeing.
Now that the Babcock consortium has offered a credible and in my opinion superior design it has a very strong chance.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Right. It has been a political done deal from the start. And when in the first round the Leander hull beat the US Cutter based hull of Arrowhead Babcock were given time to submit son of Arrowhead. T31 is less to do with the ship and more to do with the ship building industry.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

The RN has run many combat systems at the same time on different ships.CAISS( T22) CACS( T22 B2), ADAWS ( T42), ADAWS 2000( LPD), DNA (T23) , CMS (T45)… Finally someone thought hang on…why not specify a single combat system for all future designs that is modular, uses COTs components and has easy upgrade paths… hence we have CMS specified for future use on complex warships. Using one system means operators, maintainers and spares support is simplified and you get cost savings over the mid to long time frame. Using a different combat system from Thales will mean a new… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

Thanks. Is it possible to say whether the BAE or Thales system is better or is it too complicated with so many different aspects to consider with one system better in some areas and the other system better in other areas such that it’s not really possible to call a clear winner?

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Standards reduce cost and improve reliability. I can’t imagine the RN agreeing to a fleet of 5 ships with an orphan CMS. As I see it BAe would have to be part of the Babcock consortium to do the systems integration. Not to mention Artisan which is also really the RN de facto standard large ship situations awareness radar.

Andy Cee
Guest
Andy Cee

Perhaps they’ll pretty much lift and shift all suitable technologies from teh GP T23s? 4.5″, Sea Ceptor, Harpoon, Sonar (do the GPs have a hull mounted Sonar?), radars, etc etc….

Essentially use a new hull and cannibalise the older T23s. Instant(sort of) refresh of the fleet…

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

If the RN are happy with the seakeeping, stiffness and resilience of the hull and economy ( 4 big diesels! ) and there is an electric drive option for ASW export customers and it has Mk8 gun, BAe CMS, Artisan and Sea Ceptor and the Rolls Royce (Leander/ T26) mission bay and this can all be done for under £250m a pop then I would swallow my objections to it being a Danish hull. The core T31 RFI calls for FFBNW bow sonar. Nice to have though.

Julian
Guest
Julian

With OMT in the consortium what do people think might be the commercial arrangements there? How might that affect export potential? Will the Babcocks consortium be licensing full rights to use and resell their derivative design(s?) for export purposes? Might rights on the original design plus any derivative works be being negotiated? Something else? What would the likely money flow be regarding OMT flows in both the RN case and if any export sales were made? I’m hoping Skeptical Richard is reading through this thread since he has so much experience of high-value commercial military contracts albeit in the aviation… Read more »

rec
Guest
rec

The CGI for both Leander and the 140 , look just what they are a sales pitch. The unanswered question is what is the weapon and sensor fit, build quality etc for the budget £250 million? Which one will deliver the better capability and capacity? These to me are the unanswered questions. Along with how does all this fit into a National Shipbuilding Strategy? Personally I would also like t see 5 to 7 SSKs built to supplement our SSNS, so that the hi cost low cost strategy applies to submarines as well. And the RN copy some of the… Read more »

Wads
Guest
Wads

If you want to break into a new market as Babcock does then you have to undercut the monopoly supplier and over-deliver on the specification. That it what Babcock and Thales and possibly Leonadro are doing. To break the BAE monopoly on Royal Navy supply is a big deal for these companies.You would expect them to price competitively. For the Royal Navy the weapons fit looks minimal and barely more than an OPV. However, depending on the gun it will match the GP T23, which is really all that has been asked for. Also when the T23 was first introduced… Read more »

Expat
Guest
Expat

Babcock have obviously done the maths and feel the extra tonnage can be offset. I would kinda agree. You pay more for the steel and a small % more to process (cut and weld) it but if you have more space in the vessel is easier to work on, making fit out easier (quicker). Extra space may also allow for more off the shelf equipment non combat , ie galley, waste processing, laundry etc.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Would be great to get at least a bank of Spear 3 included in the fit out. Ability to take out corvette craft (common in Asia pacific region) disable frigates or strike coastal sites)

Expat
Guest
Expat

Interesting point is Babcock, OMT and BMT have taken a capable existing full blown
frigate design and been able to remove cost to get what looks like a very good t31e design.

Whilst BAe have upgraded an OPV, why have BAe not looked to down spec the t26. The cynic in me suspects BAe could have done this but it would have exposed them to too many questions about what we are getting for 750m more for a t26.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Expat – was going to say something else but your post touches on my thoughts- to me the T31 is something of a Red Herring,i can understand the concept of it and it could (should) provide opportunities for exports but is it really necessary ? To me the simplest solution would be to let BAE build the 8 ASW versions as planned,then as you say down spec the design for a GP Variant and let the other Shipyards work together to build the other 5.If they can do this quicker and cheaper per ship than BAE then surely questions then… Read more »

John Cruickshank
Guest
John Cruickshank

The Danish “Thétis” class frigate (Thetis, Triton, Vaedderen, Hvidbornen), 3500 tons, commissioned 1991/1992, are due to be retired around 2022, and very likely to be replaced by 2/4 much bigger ships. The original Iver Huitfeldt hulls were built in sections overseas and assembled in Denmark. Might be an opportunity to export 2/4 ships to Denmark around 2022. Keeps the costs down and the Royal Danish Navy will have 5 to 7 Iver Huitfeldt class frigates in service so better commonality. The sections could either be built in the UK and transported over to Denmark for assembly or completely built in… Read more »

Bjorn Toft Madsen
Guest
Bjorn Toft Madsen

The Thetis class is built for fishery patrolling in Arctic waters, though, with a very different and very strengthened hull design and less armaments. Not sure a Ivar Huitfeld hull would work for that mission.

rec
Guest
rec

BAE are expensive but there are mitigating circumstances, namely:
1) A lack of long term planning and strategy by government Which means companies can’t plan ahead.
2) A slow and small order rate,, which leads to high unit costs
3) The insistence on a slow build rate, which means a low annual cost, but over the period of a build more expensive
4) R and D costs

BEE being a monopoly doesn’t help, but successive governments have brought it about. In order to overcome this there has to be more orders.

T.S
Guest

Having compared what we know about the designs I am behind the Babcock design. The extra size is key for me with all the upcoming off board systems we will need plenty of space. The space for 32 strike length cells is also key and looks more than the Leander and will be key to future export success. Batch one: make them as multi purpose as possible, no strike length cells, just some seaceptor and reuse 4.5” guns. Have as big as poss mission bay. Batch 2: asw focus, towed array, underwater drones in the mission bay. Small number of… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

I admire the ambition but at the moment we cannot afford the current equipment plan for 5 of these, let alone another 10. Batch 2 and 3 would likely be considerably more expensive too.

Still, I hope it comes true!

T.S
Guest

If we could build a asw or aaw version for £350-400 million I think it would be highly popular and a great sales success. With our budget we should be able to afford this, we are talking £2 billion every 5 years. It looks like we will only get a T26 every 3 years or so. That means around £3.5 billion each 5 years to renew our primary surface vessels. Astute builds are coming to an end so after the next 3 are finished no costs there for a while, carriers built, only small low cost vessels to renew on… Read more »

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

This is excellent news in my opinion. I am a massive fan of the Huitfeldt class it really is impressive. There is a mighty ships programme on the Peter Wilmoes that should be available on the internet and I recommend people take a good look at this Agree that 250m is a stretch but if we can pull this in at 400m I think it is a bargain. I do think however that they need to add some British design character and hopefully the Stan flex modules will keep cost down per unit as the can move missiles etc from… Read more »

Helions
Guest
Helions