BAE Systems will partner with Cammell Laird, who would ‘Prime, build and assemble’ the vessels at their Merseyside facility while the Clyde will focus on the Type 26 Frigates.

Cammell Laird would be main contractor with BAE providing design and combat systems.

BAE say the move will allow them to ‘appropriately support the National Shipbuilding Strategy’ whilst ensuring the delivery of the five Offshore Patrol Vessels and the first three City class Type 26 frigates currently on contract, ‘to time, budget and to the highest quality standards.’

Iain Stevenson, Managing Director, BAE Systems Naval Ships, commented:

“Type 31e is an exciting and important programme. Our expertise in warship design and engineering, combat management systems and export campaigns means we are in a great position to contribute to the success of this programme.

We are pleased to be working with Cammell Laird with whom we have a strong and effective relationship, having worked with them on the Carrier and Astute programmes.”

John Syvret CBE, Cammell Laird CEO, added:

“Cammell Laird has very much welcomed the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the Type 31e competition. We will offer a UK warship design, a UK combat system, a UK build and a supply chain with high UK content.

We will be working with BAE Systems and A&P to deliver certainty, speed and agility on this nationally important project. Cammell Laird is proud to be responding as a Prime Contractor for Type 31e.”

In a press release BAE say:

“In response to the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) evolving requirements as outlined in the National Shipbuilding Strategy, BAE Systems will bring together its warship design and engineering capability and combat systems expertise with Cammell Laird, the commercial shipbuilder, in a Teaming Agreement to bid for the manufacture of the Type 31e, an adaptable general purpose frigate.

BAE Systems is focused on the manufacture and delivery of the two QE Class carriers, the five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) and the first three City class Type 26 warships, as well as continuing to develop and upgrade combat management systems on all Royal Navy ships.Taking account our current and future workload, including Type 26, our shipbuilding capacity on the Clyde will be full until the mid 2030s.

BAE Systems has a capable workforce delivering flexible, next generation platform engineering and combat systems’ design, integration and security technologies that Royal Navy crew members can rely on.”

69 COMMENTS

  1. Good to see BAe respond in a positive spirit to the NSS and the Type 31e program. If they and Cammel Laird sign up to the £250m price they deserve a crack at it. Not seen any detail on the Cutlass design yet, assuming that is what they are offering.

    • The image used in this article is the one BAE released with the announcement on their website. It is a stretched version of the Cutlass. Looks to have a 127mm gun, a Phalanx at the rear and the same 12 CAMM silos at the front. No sign of a anti-ship capability though.

      • BAe will need to comply with the published core and adaptable specs like everyone else. A stretched Khareef with a 76mm OTO, 24 Sea Ceptor cells ( instead of the Mica) and a Wildcat hanger would do that. Khareef has Exocet launchers which the RN core spec does not ask for. But I think the Cutlass ( stretched Khareef) would struggle with the adaptive requirements like strike cells and 5in gun. Also would be concerned about meeting the endurance requirements and export modularity. But hey, if BAe want to take a shot at the order that’s fine with me as long as they sign in blood for the price, delivery and spec.

  2. Well that’s going to trigger Sturgeon and the SNP. God forbid that the English get to build ships, it can’t be allowed to happen.

  3. On the plus side the Scot Nats are going to go ballistic. On the down side it’s BAE ! I thought the point of the NSS was to break the monopoly they have used to rob the MOD blind for over 30 years. I may not like them but my god they’re hard to shake off. Like drug resistant gonorrhea !

  4. It’s amazing what a bit of market competition does improve the potential outcome of the T31 project. Looks like BAE UK shipbuilding have to start living in the real world as opposed to be dependent on cosy uncompetitive UK government cost plus contracts

    Any business monopoly whether in the public or private sector does not deliver value for money or quality.

  5. It’s up to the Scots if they wish independence from the UK, but the people of Scotland deserve better political representatives and government than the SNP.

  6. No company deserves this more than Cammell Laird.
    They understand the complexities of working with the MoD through the refits on RFA ships, and they have invested a lot of money in facilities, equipment and training
    And they have recently built commercial ferries and are currently building the sophisticated research vessel the Sir David Attenborough.
    Scotland has had the two carriers , 5 OPV’s and the 8 Type 26’s. The SNP can’t really whinge too much.

    • The SNP will always find something to ‘whinge about’, they keep on about being independent and who knows where we will end up, so IMO It’s very very important that ‘England’ ensures we still have the capacity to build RN ships.

    • Point well made, Jack …. but despite that strong order-book, it won’t stop the SNP!
      I’m already prepared for reports of “betrayal” in tomorrow’s National (aka the SNP house-magazine!).

      • Well, it is betrayal Alan, there were 13 promised which some took to be 13 T26 but those of us who knew the program took to be 8 full T26 and 5 GPFF. It’s still this year Fallon was promising the 5 T31 / T31e would be “assembled” on the Clyde, this would be a break of that promise. 5 OPV don’t cut it, they’re smaller, cheaper, less jobs. Only a spinner would say, there you go, that’s the 13 warships promised, as at least 2 maybe 3 of the OPV were already promised to fill the gap and honour the 2009 15 year TOBA with BAE.

        From a pure UK defence point of view, however, rather than politics, the NSS not only makes sense but is necessary, as naval shipbuilding should be spread over the UK, or at least spread amongst different contractors, even without the “Independence” question. But tell that to the workers on the Clyde who have been let down. Or us “Nats”!

        A possible political saver would be a Babcock build with Rosyth which seems unlilkely, specially as Babcock are diversifying into containers there. But I daresay there will indeed be a few sabre rattlers in the National 🙂

  7. I’m not sure if this creates competition within that particular economy. In fact I’m sure it is BAE trying to play fast and loose to stop competition developing. The MOD have never been focused on market development it’s why they are now stuck with the choice of monopoly or go extra National and lose sovereignty ability. If I was the commissioner (purchaser) I would be wanting to do my due diligence on how tied BAE and CL will become as providers of complex warship.

    In truth if there is no way for the MOD to develop a market place of provides and there is a requirement to keep a sovereign ability complex warship building needs to be placed in the public sector, private sector providers only operate effectively if they are within a market place. The public sector can be efficient and effective without a market place if the governance and oversight is good.

      • Ron5 thanks for the intelligent well thought out response, Im in awe of your brilliance and intelligence. I forgot that BAE and the private sector have been so effective at delivering what the nation has needed in a timely and cost effective way.

        It’s interesting Ron, some people with less intellect than yourself may have considered the fact that the ship building industry had suffered long term issues around interactions between union power and the UK government in the 70s which significantly impacted on the productivity of nationalised industries. They may even be fooled by the fact those interactions no longer exist.
        Someone with a lower IQ than an individual with such unique mind as yourselves may just be fooled by their decades of experience of commissioning complex contracts with both public sector and private sector into thinking that depending on a private sector monopoly is actual a really bad idea.

        Yes clearly I’m an idiot who does not have a clue about anything.

        Cheer

  8. Looks like once again Uk Government is going to select BAE once again over priced over due and nothing but stretched OPV. We really need Arrowhead 120 in First place or Spartan Second Place
    Once again BAE have lost work due to falling orders of EuroFighter and looking for the sympathy vote from UK Government We never learn do we always S*!t in S”*t out

      • With the 15 year 2009 TOBA between the MOD and BAE, the MOD were obliged to pay BAE so much per year even if no ships were being build, so I think Paul is probably right about that, BAE coould have used the extra money from the over-priced OPVs to support future designs.

        • Not necessarily a bad thing. Khareef may only be a corvette but the design investment in Cutlass may make it the most advanced of the designs on offer. And time is of the essence.

          • I’m actually surprised BAE are having a shot at this, they seemed to be very lukewarm a few weeks back. But then Babckock haven’t specified a yard, just saying they’d work with anyone, and BMT the same. Spartan is just a design so far, so here we get BAE with an outline design probably with a lot of detail and experience behind it, and a yard and a shipbuilder. That could put them ahead of the game.

  9. Naming the design Leander is obviously aimed at harkening back to the similar-sized frigates that served the RN so well for decades in the North Atlantic and elsewhere. If they would be built on Merseyside, where would the Babcock/BMT design be built if it were selected, or the Spartan design come to that?

    • Have to say for me the Spartan design seems to be the best, but also happy with BMT and Arrowhead designs.

      If we are looking at the export market then the design needs to be both innovative and at an unbeatable price point.

      Doable – but tough

      • Well, I did do a google maps and street view on their unit some time ago, small compared to the likes of BAE but probably sufficient.

  10. Who could Babcock or Spartan team with so they could build their superior designs in a UK yard? Sorry I mean an English or Welsh yard.

    The consistency of the concerns written herein by very knowledgable people should be read by the MoD staff who must be aware of the ever increasing level of concern about BAe products.

    • You have a very strange idea of “knowledgeable”. Most of the comments appear to be from Putinbots spreading idiotic misinformation.

    • Babcock would presumably build at their Rosyth dockyard. Spartan doesn’t have a dockyard partner (yet). H&W in Belfast have stated that they’re keen but seem to lack a design currently.

  11. With the reduction in promised investment by BAE on the Clyde with its cancellation of the planned frigate factory, and the stretched build program for the T26 to one every 2 years rather than 2 every 1 year, the only surprise here is that BAE are actually interested in a fixed price contract deal, as their efforts on the T31 design seem to have been a bit half-hearted so far. So if indeed the T31 is to be built in parallel with the first T26’s, then there’s no real prospect of them being built on the Clyde, something which was blindingly obvious since the NSS was published, let alone accepted.

    It is a betrayal of the workers on the Clyde though half of them seem to be down in Barrow on the Astute program, tand indeed the future of Naval shipbuillding on the Clyde as it appears no apprentices are being taken on any more, the question is, will the workers sack their union the GMB and get one more interested in representing their interests, rather than muttering about UK jobs? Or will they faithfully follow GMB into non-existence on the Clyde in the 2030s?

  12. Lets hope it is not Cutlass or god forbid avenger design. Both utterly shit and not frigates, the best you could say is,the Cutlass is a corvette. Unless they can build it with the requirements already published. 5 inch gun, sea ceptor 24 cell (although could a quad packed 12 cell vl system be equivalent?
    The ship must have a bow sonar and some torpedoes tubes to provide a rudimentary ASW capability.
    Type 31 also must have an anti ship missile fit. Can we at least get the Norwegian anti ship missile now please.
    Then the elephant in the room is numbers. The RN needs 5 ships in first batch completed and in service around 2024-2025. That is a moderately tight schedule but not impossible. What the big question is how many more batches of type 31e will be built? If this is to be an export success and a polyvalent unit, which the RN desperately needs, then ultimately 15+ ships are needed at circa £250 million each.
    BAE need to sign on the dotted line with no wriggle room on price, construction schedule and armament/ sensors no more fitted for but not with disasters.

    • Describing Cutlass as s&it is a bit harsh. Per my post above, given its common lineage with River 2 and Khareef, both of which are proven designs I would say Cutlass is a low risk option and a more mature design than the competition. Spartan is an out and out frigate and looks good but I doubt it is as mature a design. And isn’t Arrowhead is based on the USCG Offshore cutter. I am unclear that this is a better basis for a RN combat frigate than a Vosper corvette design. As regards Venator have Babcock and BMT agreed which design they are going to submit?

    • ASMs would be preferable however I wouldn’t right this off completely. Considering BAE is the developer being paid by the USN to develop extended range guided 5in shells.

    • Or Canadian, they’ve been recruiting on radio, TV and with a couple of hotels for interested shipbuilders, for a “definite” 30 year shipbuilding program and career. Poaching!

    • US no current equivalent but currently a trialing program is underway looking at available domestic and foreign designs to be placed in production at a price of $700-800 per unit.

      Current Japanese equivalent under construction Asahi-class capabilities:
      5000 tons
      LM2500 GE in CODLAG generating 2.5MW/3500hp
      Aegis combat system
      Mk.41 Vls x 32 defensive length
      ASM x 8
      Triple torpedoe launchers x 2
      Cost- $750mil

  13. Data point – Prince of Wales carrier built at Rosyth, planned launch this year (?), named, near completion, commission 2020. So Rosyth would be available for build of the T31e.

    • Rosyth should have been the place to build replacements for Ocean but hey – we’ll spend 15,000,000,000,000 on foreign aid instead

  14. What if any shipbuilding facilities are based in Portsmouth, Plymouth,Chatham on the Tyne and the Wear, why can’t we re establish these famous bases of ship building, cut foreign aid and gives the youth of the UK a job with a future – By the way BAe are leading a charge to build Australia’s next frigates if the type 26 is a great design.

  15. Be careful Cammell Laird. BAE has form in killing off families. The main (oe equal) focus needs to be the Fleet Solid Support Ships.

  16. Be careful Cammell Laird. BAE has form in killing off facilities. The main (or equal) focus needs to be on the Fleet Solid Support Ships built in the UK.

  17. There’s nothing to say that bow, stern, or midship sections is part of the plan for Govan or Scotstoun.

    But that aside, there have been mentions of the FSSS. If Babcock at Rosyth do a type of BAE, and are not interested in anything other than Aircraft carriers, and not interested in future long-term shipbuilding and main assembly integration. They still have load in/out facilities in which they could still build parts if it suites their business strategy and plan. But we could have musical cranes or the Goliath crane shuffle, in which say Cammell Laird get it in a deal, but the crane goes to Inchgreen (on the Cammell Laird website). Babcock says the crane was built only for the specific purpose, so they are selling it. I don’t buy that (pardon the pun) because unless someone else is building carriers of the Queen Elizabeth class, there is no use for this crane, so who would buy it? As for the skidding equipment, is it reconfigurable? But then, Cammell Laird are mating a section of Polar ship from the Tyne to the main hull without skidding equipment.

    There are so, so many exciting ideas and so much potential.

  18. […] This latest contract represents a continuation of the strong revival Cammell Laird has experienced over the past decade. As well as conducting a number of refits of RFA vessels the shipyard is also leading the construction of the new polar research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough and has recently joined a consortium with BAE Systems to bid for the Type 31e Frigate contract.  […]

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