Rosyth will build the Type 31e Frigates while the Clyde will build the Type 26 Frigates.

The Type 31e Frigate is expected to sit at 5,700 tonnes and 138.7 metres in length, for a more in-depth look at the design of the vessel please click here.

This means that, between 2015 and 2035, yards in Scotland will launch 18 vessels of three types.

According to Babcock in a statement:

“Following a comprehensive competitive process, Arrowhead 140, a capable, adaptable and technology-enabled global frigate will be the UK Royal Navy’s newest class of warships, with the first ship scheduled for launch in 2023.

At its 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 1250 roles within the wider UK supply chain.

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

Babcock’s consortium beat a BAE-led team and another led by Atlas Elektronik UK to clinch the £1.25bn deal for five ships.

According to the Financial Times in their analysis of this news in light of Babcock consortium partners H&W and Fergusons both going into administration in recent months:

“The Babcock consortium includes Thales, as well as H&W and Ferguson. Under the original proposal, the plan was to assemble the vessels at Rosyth using “blocks” built by H&W and Ferguson. It remained unclear if the role of H&W and Ferguson in the consortium would be affected by their predicament.”

Five vessels will be built at Rosyth. Babcock had previously warned that 450 jobs could be lost at Rosyth if it didn’t get the work.

“The company are extremely optimistic they can work with the recognised trade unions (Unite, Prospect & GMB) when they secure the T31e project to minimise the risk of potential future compulsory redundancies. To achieve this, in the meantime, the company shall look to release volunteers for redundancy under the current phase announced in February 2019.

However, whilst securing the T31e project will give the yard a future longer term there is still the matter of current surplus labour. It is for this reason the company and the recognised trade unions shall look to enter into a temporary mobility agreement to secure the skillsets required for the future. In the unfortunate event the company is unsuccessful in securing the T31e project it is likely we would be faced with the potential of 450 trade union members being made compulsory redundant, impacting all skill sets and all trade union collectives.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“The UK is an outward-looking island nation, and we need a shipbuilding industry and Royal Navy that reflect the importance of the seas to our security and prosperity. This is an industry with a deep and visceral connection to so many parts of the UK and to the Union itself.

My government will do all it can to develop this aspect of our heritage and the men and women who make up its workforce – from apprentices embarking on a long career, to those families who have worked in shipyards for generations.

“I look forward to the restoration of British influence and excellence across the world’s oceans. I am convinced that by working together we will see a renaissance in this industry which is so much part of our island story – so let’s bring shipbuilding home.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“These mighty ships will form the next generation of the Royal Navy fleet. The Type 31 frigates will be a fast, agile and versatile warship, projecting power and influence across the globe.

The ships will be vital to the Royal Navy’s mission to keeping peace, providing life-saving humanitarian aid and safeguarding the economy across the world from the North Atlantic, to the Gulf, and in the Asia Pacific.”

The first ship is expected to be in the water by 2023.

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When the contract to do the assembly of the carriers was awarded to Rosyth it was characterised by the tories as a bribe to his constituents by GB. I’m not saying this is a bribe by Johnson, I hasten to add.


Fair comment, but it’s worth looking at the differences in the situation then and now.

Back when the carriers were ordered, Rosyth didn’t build ships, it was a maintenance yard in the decline as the fleet shrunk. Now, it’s got thousands of experienced workers fresh off the carrier build. It’s also won this work in open competition against the arguably safer bid from CL and BAE, instead of just being handed it.

Andy P

Assuming that two wrongs don’t make a right, Maggie moved the submarine refits from Rosyth to Guz for political reasons, she had no chance of getting a vote in Scotland never mind Fife but there was issues with the Lib/Dems down the road and before you can say “You can only get them out at high tide” the submarine refits were moved to Guz.

Basically they’re all a bunch of self serving B’stards.


Good news about new ships to be built. But what a tragedy that it FEELS like we are losing shipbuilding from England. Surely this must be reversed soon?


Not sure I agree with an SNP owned yard getting blocks, the SNP stated Scottish shipbuilding did not need UK orders so they can now take the opportunity to prove this and reject the orders. Cammell Liard can pick up the blocks so we then have wider UK build. Ferguson will be propped up by Scottish ferry orders either way. You can guarantee if the blocks from Ferguson over run on cost then it will be the SNP blaming the Westminster and not their miss management of the yard.


Think it’s a bit disambigous to call it SNP owned. The yard has been nationalised and is therefore majority Scottish Government owned.

Calling it SNP owned is like saying we shouldn’t have Tory owned LNER running the East Coast Mainline.


So who will decide who the management team will be for the yard? It will be the SNP as the government of the day. So yes technically not owned by SNP but they control the yard. It’s not that its nationalised, its the ones who took the decision to nationalise have said that Scottish shipbuilding can be successful without UK defence orders. Its now within the SNPs power to prove that statement, make the yard successful with relying on the MoD.


Strikes by militant unions dogged our shipbuilding industry throughout the 70s, leading to the collapse of yards like Cammell Laird. I really hope that the unions don’t follow Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge, supporting strike action at yards like Laird’s, when in a short period thereafter, the matter was resolved by intelligent compromise. Our young apprentices would benefit from researching that period and seeing how Corbyn fits into that mindset. Don’t let history repeat itself! Otherwise, Great news for those historic yards! Shipbuilding is a solid industry within the U.K., methods of construction may change over time, but as an Island Nation,… Read more »


There were strikes because the owners treated their workers like dirt. British shipbuilders should be well paid for their efforts, made to feel part of the team, treated decently & then work hard, but now with globalisation & callous management everyone tries to get the most out of workers for the least pay.

I’d like to see the rest of the UK getting a fair share of our naval shipbuilding rather than everything being given to Scotland-not that I’ve anything against the Scots.


Really, back in the 70s most unions would not allow employee to do any form of multitasking. I worked in industry in the 70s and if a machines swarf bin was full the operator would just power down an wait for a labourer to come and empty it, sometimes he’d be idle for hours. If management asked if the operator could swap the bin the union rep was straight over threatening a walk out, some times they just walked out no ballot. Not saying the management were perfect but quite frankly the unions eventually cost a lot of British workers… Read more »


I’m not defending those sorts of abuses where unions & workers were disappearing up their own backsides. I’ve worked on a shipyard where I had to contend with many of my collegues trying to stop me working. But we need a better sharing of the wealth rather than treating workers like serfs or just a commodity. Silly games & politics should be avoided by both workers & management.


Wrong Arrowhead in title picture.

Dafydd thomas

Excellent win by Babcock


Meanwhile in todays Mail online we are told, in the headline summary that the Type 31 will enter service in 2020!!! One commentator opined that” They look rather bland and functional-for that money I would want something a bit more fancy”!!
A brighter colour scheme perhaps??


About time too! Sorry to see that there are only 5 mentioned – there had been reports that this was to be increased to 6…….


Only five, what happened to the idea of a cheaper frigate to increase more numbers of ships in the RN?


Only 5 so far as a first batch. Given the volatile state of parliament and thus potential budgets, it would be premature to go announcing additional ships at this time.

There’s also another consideration: in the event of more funding, is it spent upgrading the 5 current ships, or buying more hulls? I’d personally say hulls, but it’s an important decision for the MoD to make.


Given that Cameron’s specifically stated when announcing it that one aim of the T31 program was to enable an increase in frigate numbers I suspect the decision would, if a Conservative government remains in power, probably be for at least 1 extra hull to get us to 6 so that they could announce that they had achieved their goal of increasing escort numbers. After that I become less confident. I hate to sound like one of our seemingly now departed trolls (TH I think his ID was) because it was always one of his lines but I will … what… Read more »

Meirion X

I totally agree with You Julian!

peter french

It just shows the ignorance of our politicians when Boris shouts weve bought British shipbuilding back when Uk policy has always , always been to build Warships in British yards,
Oh dear


Yet they still plan to allow RFA vessels to be built abroad as they don’t count as warships……


HF google:
DSEI 2019: Navantia-BMT Team Unveil Their FSS Ship Proposal
Navantia-BMT team unveiled today at DSEI 2019 their proposal for the programme of design and build for up to three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships to be operated by the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary.


Well, I suppose it does make some sense to have our warship build centre in Scotland, we need more than just 5 though, 8, minimum.

The solid support ships have to be built in Cammell Lairds though along with the littoral strike ships, they will be losing jobs shortly as work on the R.R.S. Sir David Attenborough comes to an end.

If the warship building centre is to be in Scotland our R.F.A. centre has to be an English yard, Scotland can’t have every single R.F.A. ship on top of every single Royal Navy ship whilst England gets precisely zero.


Has anyone else noticed that when a non English shipyard is in danger of closing (Harland & Wolff, Fergusons, Rosyth, Clyde) they move Heaven and Earth to prevent it, yet famous English shipyard after famous English shipyard after famous English shipyard closes (Swan Hunters, Portsmouth, Appledore, etc., etc.) and they do precisely nothing to help?

This has to stop. If our warship building centre is going to be Scotland then our R.F.A. building centre has to be an English yard, with Cammell Lairds being the most obvious choice.


Harland & Wolff, Fergusons, Rosyth, Clyde and Cammell Laird are ALL British in my eyes – and I live in South East England. The point you try to make serves no one well, least of all, the Royal Navy.

andy reeves


andy reeves

how about h.m.s portsmouth, we’ve not had one of those for eons. maybe resurrect the names from the old colony class, india, pakistan, malta, canada, mozambique and my favourite ceylon(just sounds good


Good news, now can I start the name game?
How about Weapon class, Arrow or Arrowhead ( class leadship ) Broadsword, Battleaxe, Cutlass, Sabre, Claymore etc some historic RN names available and suitably military imho.
Famous RN officers would be good too, Cunningham , Hood, Blake, Cochrane, Woodward etc plenty to choose from there too.


If I was placing bets on theme:
1.Weapon class (calling the first ship HMS Arrow seems very likely)
2. F class (plausible, but more likely to be destroyers)
3. Leander class (seems less likely because of the BAE bid, but they’re still common RN names that haven’t been used in a while)

andy reeves

i’ love h.m.gibraltar, h.m.s port stanley as a finger to spain and argentina or maybe an ‘admiral class’ blake, cochrane,anson e.t.c

andy reeves

may as well call one BAE after all they’re part of every ship since the good old, and they were good old days of steam

Robin Jacobs

Weapon class sounds good but the thing is with these budget frigates is will they have any? At £250 million per ship the RN will need to use largely existing weapons to equip them. I reckon they’ll get a basic fit of a 4.5 or 5 inch gun, Sea Ceptor & some cannon. I doubt they’ll get any SSM and depend on their helo to deliver Sea Venom & ASW capability. Sonar? Without a proper one it isn’t much of an escort. BTW – Seeing as two of the yards building these ships are already in trouble I very much… Read more »

Sid morley

Type 21 was a budget class frigate, it perform very Bradley in the South Atlantic. Have we not learnt from our past lessons.

Paul T

Sid – In a theatre of War that the Type 21 was never designed or equipped to serve in it performed more than adequately,especially in the role of NGFS,yes one nearly got sunk by a Submarine and its Air Defence capability was lacking ( pretty much applies to all the Escorts used in that conflict) but the crews made sacrifices and put up a good fight.

andy reeves

other than the structural problems the performances were very good, i don’t know where you got the term very badly from, is it because we lost two of them? the pakistanis have only just retired six of them all ex r.n amazon,arrow alacrity, avenger,active, ambuscade during a time where their design would be almost ideal in working the gulf region we could get them all back in exchange for an already slated for retirement type 23

Steve R

To be fair even if they overrun and cost £350 million each that’s still pretty cheap.

With regards to weapons loadout I’d like to see the following:

– 4.5 inch gun – can be taken from existing ships they replace.
– 24 x Sea Ceptor
– 2 x quad canisters loaded with NSM or LRASM, whichever replaces Harpoon.
– CIWS, Phalanx, plus any other guns already on the Type 23s

I dont think any of that would be too expensive, even NSM/LRASM as we have the canister launchers, they just need to be transferred over.

andy reeves

may as well call oneH.M.S. BAE or HMS clyde yards.

Nick C

I would favour going to names that were had for the T 14 frigates, starting with Blackwood. They were all named after Nelsons “band of brothers” so the fact that they spent their time beating seven bells out of the French should chime with some!!


Without a proper weapons fit they will be about as useful as the old type 14s.


I still think:

Arrow, Alacrity, Antelope, Ardent, Ambuscade.

Gives the two lost 21’s some honour as being renamed in the fleet and brings the name of the project into play.

I think Arrow makes sense, but if they’ll follow with this convention is anyone’s guess.

andy reeves


andy reeves

h.m.s gibraltar, hms falkland one in the eye for spain and argentina and lets not forget anson, maybe woodward as a testament to 1982 war.

andy reeves

old well loved names like warspite furious, intrepid,or the old leopard class names, cheetah, lion, lynx, panther, leopard, tiger.

andy reeves

might need 13 of them adding anson, fisher, jericho, beattie to the list

andy reeves

don’t hang about, get them built

Harry Bulpit

Scotland should get no more ship contracts including follow on type 26 batches until the issue of independence is resolved.


Scotland should get 100% of R.N. and R.F.A. ship contracts say the government.

Harry Bulpit

Don’t be silly. Foreign yards including Spanish are entitled to thr RFA ships.


Scotland is part of the United Kingdom. End of. You cannot guess at what may happen in the future. We will make those decisions if that possibility sadly arises. Until then, there are more than enough ongoing orders for all those yards to share the business around. Don’t forget we need, RFA SSS ship, Argus replacement, Albion and Bulwalk replacements, Type 45 successors, new fleet of Minesweepers… plus more. Ultimately the fault of dwindling shipyard orders comes partly down to successive governments cutting the size of the Navy to the point where it has so few ships, it struggles to… Read more »


So do we know what the real cost per ship will be & what kit it will or will not have?

andy reeves

sea spear anyone?


Here’s my preference for names: Fearless, Formidable, Forthright, Fortitude, Falkland


Not Furious or Firedrake?


Ferocious, Fife,Falcon


How about naming it after the Tribal Class Frigates and Destroyers? I would suggest Afridi, Cossack, Ghurkha, Mohawk, and Tartar. However, there are several other well suited names from those ships that served in WW1 & WW2, as well as in the post WW2 era.

Col watts

Love all the names so far, alas I reckon the politicians will want it to have resonance with electorates so expect some ho hum, predictable city and town names. If they are aimed at the export market that should be a clue as to what to name them. thoughts anyone?


What about political names, good idea but each ship would have its own issues I suppose:

HMS Corbyn, would just steam about in a circle, with no working navigation system, always making way for other ships, while sounding its foghorn!

HMS Theresa May, straight after launch crash into a lighthouse, say that’s what the crew wanted, and sink!

HMS John Macdonell


What about political names, good idea but each ship would have its own issues I suppose: HMS Corbyn, would just steam about in a circle, with no working navigation system, always making way for other ships, while sounding its foghorn! HMS Theresa May, straight after launch crash into a lighthouse, say that’s what the crew wanted, and sink! HMS John McDonnell, secretly in command of HMS Corbyn by data link, telling the ship to do what he wants! Crew not paid, no expenses and little food onboard as money and economics not the ships strong point! HMS Sturgeon Sailing around… Read more »


I just hope they put the 5″inch gun on it.


Times is reporting

“Babcock International has warned there is no guarantee that the two struggling shipyards in Northern Ireland and Scotland that were part of the winning team to build warships for the Royal Navy will secure any work.”

“Babcock had won the bid on the basis of the work being done “100 per cent at Rosyth”, adding that with the exception of France’s Thales, “none of our members were risk-sharing” and the competition for work was open all UK yards.”

David C

More jobs for those ungrateful Scots why can’t they be built in Northern Ireland or England just think if SNP gets it own way these will be the first Royal Navy ships built by a foreign country they only got to build the Air Craft carriers to keep them sweet. They said the referendum was once in a life time must be short lived in Scotland.

andy reeves
andy reeves do this to our rivers ix BAE 57mm gun 2 more 30mm.behind the bridge wings maybe fit naval version of the new martlet system, tested on h.m.s sutherland last month(sea spear).


Just been reading about the Arrowhead 140 that is to be built in Rosyth and its weapons fit, 57mm, 2x40mm, 24xSea Ceptor, 8xAnti Ship(my addition as it make sense to use the five sets that are being bought as an intrim replacement for Harpoon), possibly 2x30mm with LMM, hanger for Merlin, Chinook capabile flight deck. 4 boat bays. Its sensor suite is to be the NS 110 or NS 200 4D AESA radar, Thales 4110 bow mounted sonar, Vigile D ESM, 2x Sea Ceptor data links and TACTICOS CMS, no CIWS. If that is the case it has turned out… Read more »