BAE Systems and Cammel Laird today launched a new website for their Type 31e candidate: Leander. This is despite the MoD temporarily suspending the acquisition process last month. 

‘Leander is at the cutting edge of modern warship design: stealthy, hardened/survivable, high endurance, a completely modern combat management system and bristling with enormous firepower’

New website

Pitched as the ‘epitome of UK naval engineering’ on the new website, Leander is intended to compete with Babcock’s Arrowhead design for the contract.

The attraction of the two designs is the ‘value for money’. In the words of BAE Systems for example, Leander will provide ‘a level of capability that is unheard of for her price point’.

The website states that Leander is ‘available in four sizes (99m, 102m, 117m, 120m)’. This information was previously unconfirmed. It is understood that if the contract went to Cammel Laird, the Royal Navy would select the 120m size.

Design

The below information comes directly from the Leander website. All previous unconfirmed reports are excluded. 

Leander has been designed to comply with ‘the latest Royal Navy standards’. Indeed the website states that the ‘design to cost’ approach has not led to a compromise in combat credibility.

Leander will utilise the ‘BAE Systems Combat System’. Because of the maturity of this system, the class should be operational ‘shortly after delivery’.

Future capability

Interestingly, the website states that in developing Leander, BAE has considered ‘all likely additional military roles’, including anti-submarine warfare.

Leander has also been designed to be highly ‘customisable’ with specific export partners in mind. This includes compatibility with ‘indigenous combat systems’.


The launch of this website is an interesting development. It affirms Cammel Laird’s and BAE Systems’ commitment to the Type 31e programme. In contracts, little has been heard from Babcock in recent weeks.

The website can be found here

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David Stone
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David Stone

Hope Cammel Laird have a better quality glue than BAE used on the new Rivers

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

And will they be offered with a spec consistent with the £250 million max the MoD have specified?

Slaine
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Slaine

If the things that can be fitted aren’t and the ‘space for’ aren’t filled this ship could come in at under £250m. The question is would such a ship be of much use? Of course it would help maintain the numbers of fighting ships.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

That is the thing. WHAT do we want these T31 to do? I believe 1SL already made that clear. We want them to be forward deployed chasing pirates and drug smugglers, fly the flag, visit foreign ports, and generally provide a presence a T26 or T45 with their cost and role are not IMO needed for. Does this have at least a rudimentary ASW fit? Those wanting an all high end fleet are forgetting HMG either can not or will not spend the money on 13 T26. I have no problem with the idea of a fleet of High end… Read more »

Julian
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Julian

“That is the thing. WHAT do we want these T31 to do?” Yes, the primary role is critical but isn’t the other big thing what do we want these ships to be able to step up to if required? Must a T31e be able to add some value to a CBG? Provide a credible escort for an LPD or critical RFA ship if no T26 is available? Go into some area that is much hotter than Med/E.Africa smuggling/piracy patrol areas? Etc? If the answer to all of the above is no, or that the T31e as envisaged isn’t capable of… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I agree Julian.

I think the problem could be that “stepping up” requires a spend greater than what HMG want to pay.

The ships stepping up may also not be British if it is an allied operation.

Your option seems good to me too.

We need ships! We need more mass.

However way we do it.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Good conversation. Say we were to buy Leander; we would get a ‘global’ endurance range 25knot ship with 12 Sea Ceptor, Phalanx (if you take the cgi at face value), RN standard systems, Artisan and a Wildcat. At 25knots it could keep pace with a carrier task force and contribute its AA point defences to the inner screen of the force; recalling that the carrier itself will not have Phalanx or Sea Ceptor. The Type 26 could well be hunting subs away from the task force with a slow towed sonar but with the ability to sprint back. Type 31… Read more »

Julian
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Julian

Good observation Paul. Sea Ceptor seems the critical part of the equation to me. That’s my biggest concern about the Leander design, at least based on the renders. If the maximum size of that VLS silo behind the gun really is only 12 then that seems a big issue to me for any “stepping up” roles. It’s also rather curious and disappointing when BMT’s Venator 110 forward silo was claimed to be configurable for up to 48 Sea Ceptor or 24 SC + 8 Mk41. Hopefully the Leander renders are a bit misleading here and it can fit more although… Read more »

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Julian, agree with your Sea Ceptor point. 12 is not enough. Leander should have another 12 or 24 launchers midships over the mission bay. My understanding is that Sea Ceptor launchers are nowhere near as expensive or deep or heavy as Mk41

BB85
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BB85

I’m not sure how Leander didn’t make it under the £250mm price tag unless the issue is they need two competing bids under £250mm to make it a competition. It’s definitely the safest and least risky option, the RN already uses the BAE combat management system, they can recylce Artisan Radars from the T23. The design is conservative and it will be at a single location that should reduce the risk of blocks being delayed at shipyards that have not build ships for decades. If the purpose is to deliver ships quickly and on budget this option makes sense, but… Read more »

Callum
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Callum

If memory serves, the exact wording was cancelled due to “insufficient compliant bids”. To me, that can be read two ways: 1) Out of Leander and Arrowhead, one or both of them failed to meet the specification in some way. Based on the information we’ve been given, we know they both meet the physical specs, so its either that the ships won’t be ready by 2023, or they’ll be over £250mn a platform. 2) That both Leander and Arrowhead were viable, but the government is hoping for more bids for added diversity (who knows, maybe they’re like most of us… Read more »

David Stone
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David Stone

The Arrowhead 140 details have disappeared from the Babcock website at the same time as the BAE Leander stuff goes online

henry_jones
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Henry Jones

Indeed – this came to light after my article was written, but is covered on my Twitter.

An interesting development indeed

Steve M
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Steve M

Que BAE monopoly comments.

Rudeboy
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Rudeboy

Could be that they’re launching their own website. Remember this Leander website would have been under development/design for months, prior to the stop order on the programme. I wouldn’t read too much into it, they’ll have paid a website design company to build it ages ago and probably thought they might as well launch it as they’ve paid for it.

David Steeper
Guest

Henry Jones. Interesting ! like terrifying ! If it’s another ‘quality’ BaE monopoly product we’re ‘flipped’ I feel like curling up in a dark room gently rocking backwards and forwards and mumbling ‘please don’t let it be true please don’t let it be true’

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) David Streeper – OK it isn’t true so why bleat on about this being a BAE ship? They are just supplying design and CAD 3D assistance and then Combat System design and supply. Cammell Laird are the main contractors and will be the sole shipbuilder.

Not sure why people seem to ‘forget’ this simple fact that is self evident on all reports and on the Leander wensite

expat
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expat

Design ownership issue which are not complaint with the requirements?

Que Arrowhead 120?

I actually like Steller systems Spartan design. It just looked right, shame its not more advanced. Would be to high a risk at this point.

http://www.stellersystems.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/07/PR63-NA-1-Project-SPARTAN-O-Final-Version-For-Public-Release.pdf

BB85
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BB85

I like Spartan too, similar to the Holland Class but will missile silo’s which is all the need really.

Evan P
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Evan P

Spartan was armed to the teeth, it would have climbed over £500 million without too much difficulty I reckon.

BB85
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BB85

Your probably right. I think the mission bay below the flight deck is a much better idea. It’s better for weight distribution as well as more aesthetically pleasing. They could have removed the VLS and CIWS from the rear, I wouldn’t even bother installing Harpoon fittings, 16 mk41 at the front would provide 32 sea ceptor and 8 future ASM. It would still be tight for a £250mm budget though.

expat
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expat

I thought it was modular so you could choose the config, some of the original info on the ship is no longer available, they’re no longer pushing the design for t31.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

My understanding is that Arrowhead 120 is a completely different hull form which has its roots in the VARD design for the USCG offshore cutter, the IP for which is probably owned by the US. In the same way the IP for the 140m Iver Huitfeld hull is owned by the Danes. Neither organisation is likely to sell to the UK.
Can the people at Babcock read? What part of complex warships are designed in the UK do they not understand?

Robin
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Robin
Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

It looks like Arrowhead 140 – the Iver Huitfeld hull – is dead, long live Arrowhead 120 – according to the brochure, a Babcock design.
This could solve any IP issues with the Babcock proposal.

Callum
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Callum

It’s petty, and obviously a lesser consideration, but does anyone else not like Leander because it’s just ugly? It would look great if they lowered that big flat section of superstructure that juts out in front of the bridge, either so it’s flat or as a raised forecastle like that on the Type 26. Like I said, it’s somewhat petty, but while it’s not as important as structural strength or equipment loadout, optics are still important for a warship. If your ship doesn’t look capable and intimidating, it’s going to be far less effective in its role as a visual… Read more »

expat
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expat

My concern is growth, the NShBS suggested we sell these on after 10 years instead of refit and build more. Will Leander design have the growth for the tech that will be around in 10-15 years time or will we have to switch to another design.

Callum
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Callum

Its certainly possibly that Leander lacks the capacity for future growth, although based on current projections and equipment we know will be in service, we can take a guess. We can rule railguns out almost certainly. Railguns will be operational by the mid-to-late 2020s, but their weight and power requirements will restrict them to bigger, purpose-built vessels, similar to traditional battleships, at least for the first decade or two of their operational service. Lasers should be no problem. BAE say on the Leander website that provision for laser weapons is included in the design, which basically means theres plenty of… Read more »

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Surely the politics of the NShBS dictate that despite the inefficiency more yards than CL will have to be involved in the build? I like the electric drive and the range of lengths on offer might make it more ‘exportable’ than the 140m Arrowhead for smaller navies.

expat
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expat

Actually, CL used A and P for the stern of the polar research ship and that was an international bid that they won, so I don’t think it has to be inefficient.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Didn’t know that. Thx. Two sounds reasonable. I was just thinking there has to be a point if you parse the build into a large number of yards/ modules that you spend more time corodinating than building.

BB85
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BB85

I would love H&W to start building ships again, but apart from the large dry dock and two cranes they have no facilities to manufacture ship blocks. It only would have made sense to outfit the aircraft carriers or larger RFA vessels there.
So splitting type 31 across two yards is the only option that makes sense. Anymore and the costs will needlessly skyrocket.

expat
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expat

I think using 2 yards you could offset the cost of moving the blocks. A yard can focus on efficiencies of producing a few blocks and do it well. But I don’t think it would make too much sense to go beyond 2 yards as there wouldn’t be enough work.

expat
Guest
expat

Having had a look at the polar research ship build, perhaps not as complex, but still complex and a bigger ship at 10000 tons for 200m. I think CL can do this for 250m. Its the BAe part I’m not sure about, BAe are always risk averse and pile on margin to cover themselves.

colin
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colin

This is the Ugliest Patrol ship ever.Will not hit the export market. If the Uk Government select this it will be overdue over priced and have major engine problems WHAT A LOAD OF JUNK
Please Please let Babcock build the ArrowHead keep BAE System away from building any more junk for the Royal Navy.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Don’t you mean ugliest credible GP frigate?

Chris
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Chris

(Chris H) colin – Oh nice rant but one problem – Its not BAE building Leander its Cammell Laird

geoff
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geoff

Nice paint job! 🙂

Peter Crisp
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Peter Crisp

It really doesn’t help with the stealth but at least they can’t lose the ship easily.

Geoff Caruth
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Geoff Caruth

🙂 🙂 and hopefully no danger of friendly fire!

Steve M
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Steve M

Who is ever going to buy a ship adorned with the Union Jack outside of Britain, what a waste of time, exports blah blah blah….is something I expect to see in the Express soon 😀

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Possible dig at Arrowhead IP issues?

Stephen
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Stephen

I think these will be chosen as they make sense on a number of different levels, they use more British systems, they use systems already in use with the Royal Navy and, very importantly, they will be cheaper. It will be nice to see an English shipyard build some Royal Navy ships again too. Give Rosyth the solid support ships and everyone is happy.

Rob
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Rob

Frankly if we can get 5 RN versions with the armament shown in the graphics for £250m each then we should award the contract now.

Artisan, phalanx and the GPMGs would surely be taken from the GP T23s. I assume Sea Ceptor could be too. Get on with it, time is short.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

I don’t think T23’s have CIWS but otherwise why not.

Rob
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Rob

Ah yes you’re right. Don’t know why I thought they did – maybe assumed given their role!

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Exactly.

Rob IMO all our surface escorts should have them as standard!

We have discussed this previously on here and I have been told assets deploying get the CIWS fitted, but that is my opinion.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Agee.
The RFI document shows about 3 more months of competitive design phase before main gate midway through Q4 of this year. If you take this web site at face value CL and BAE are good to go with a thought through, low risk, capable and exportable option.

Martin
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Martin

When the base line Khareef was delivered for £140 million fully armed it’s hard to believe Leander did not come in at £250 million.

But then river bacth 1 was delivered for £50 million and then BAE needed £250 million for the bact h two vessels.

Anything can happen when you involve BAE.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

The video and text show a ship with Artisan, a 57mm main gun ( I think) , decoys, Phalanx, a dozen Sea Ceptor, 30mm guns, a Wildcat and deck launched AShM canisters ( Harpoon successor? Royal Malaysian navy paid 124 million euro for NSM on 6 ships): plus electric drive and decent mission bay with option for future Mk41.
If CL and BAE can produce that package for £250m then I would say that’s a validation of the MOD RFI strategy.

BB85
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BB85

I actually think the gun in the video is a recycled 4.5 taken from the type 23. I really don’t see how BAe can’t provide this for £250mm or less so much of it will be recycled it’s basically a t23 with a stretched hull for the mission bay

Mike Saul
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Mike Saul

The winning design should incorporate existing RN computer systems, which means BAE CMS, and equipment, which means BAE Artisan. This will commonality across the fleet, saving time and money

The Arrowhead proposal should be amended to include such equipment.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

This is where I see risk of delay. Babcock need to rework their proposal costs to reflect BAE CMS systems and Artisan and possibly the BAE 57mm if the RN have decided to go with US comparibility. Not to mention negotiation of UK purchase of IP for the Arrowhead hull. All within 3 months till main gate. No wonder they seem to be reworking their web site.

Gfor
Guest
Gfor

Don’t you think BAe will be giving Babcock an overly inflated price for the combat system to price them out of the competition?
Babcock and BAe both know commonality is a big issue and an attractive selling point, so there is a reason Babcock have gone away from it.
I am quick to criticize BAe for trying to preserve its monopoly but I realise that you cannot blame a shark for being a shark.

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Absolutely. There’s no reason BAE should quote Babcock cost price, which is what the CL quote could well be based on. And no shame either. Business is business. Unless the MOD insist on transparency of cms parts and integration costs so they can compare Leander and Arrowhead by reading across the spreadsheet. Maybe thats what the delay is about.

Spyintheky
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Spyintheky

I was wondering that too, can’t blame Bae but equally can’t blame the MOD too, otherwise it will become incredibly difficult in the future to compete against Bae or find those willing to do so.

expat
Guest
expat

MoD could take common items out of the proposal and negotiate directly with BAe. for these. If BAe then inflate the price for integration into the Babcock design then a leak to the press highlight how BAe are preventing the MoD holding a fair competition. Why not all fair in love, war and business 🙂 . Who even wins this will have significant revenue for support contracts into the future, these ships are supposed to be sold off after 10 years or so. Any equipment will still need to be maintained and upgrade. There really should be no reason for… Read more »

Julian
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Julian

BAE would I hope have realised that the UK/MoD is a huge customer for them so playing the long game, i.e. not totally p***ing off one of your biggest customers by being unreasonable on supply and/or integration pricing were Arrowhead to have been selected thus sabotaging the RN’s preferred option for short term gain would have been a bad idea if it was at the expense of the longer-term customer relationship. Still, with the whole bid process undergoing something of a reset now and with the old Babcock Consortium’s web site apparently at least temporarily disappeared it looks as if… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Who’s that? Malta?

Since when did landmass size equate to political, diplomatic, cultural, soft, economic, and military power?

However, I myself have no problem with the RN having lower spec assets and even some of the Fast Attack Craft type vessels you promote. As long as we have a balanced fleet of other larger vessels too.

Rob
Guest
Rob

If you can’t see the difference between the needs of the UK and Ireland then there is little point trying to debate with you.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

I may be wrong but the way I read his post the small Island is actually us!

Apologies to TH if I am mistaken though.

Rob
Guest
Rob

That is the way I read it too!

Spyinthesky
Guest
Spyinthesky

I thought we all knew to ehi he was referring, has anyone suggested otherwise?

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Doesn’t look like it. I incorrectly thought Rob was thinking he meant Ireland.

Tony617
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Tony617

As mentioned above, it seems very odd that Babcock has removed from its website all references to Team 31 and the Arrowhead 140, but retains information about the Arrowhead 120 – largely an in-house design concept. A big downside of Team 31 seems to be the large number of junior partners (rather than subcontractors) that Babcock has to keep happy – Thales, OMT, BMT, Harland and Wolff and Ferguson Marine. It may have become obvious in the last few months that the cake was too small to profitably divide so many ways, but pressing the MOD to increase the T-31e… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Tony617 – I was with you until your last paragraph when you seem to have gone off on a ‘knock BAES’ angle and missed one key factor here. BAE are not the main contractors for Leander. its is Camell Laird on Merseyside. BAE are just supplying design and warfare system support. Maybe have a good read of the new website where it says:
“Team Leander is comprised of the trusted partnership of Cammell Laird, the prime contractor and shipbuilder and BAE Systems, renowned warship designer and combat system supplier.”

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

It does make you think. We have a perfectly good world class hull design that the RN own and fit the criteria in the T23. Why dont we reconfigure the design of this ships hull to meet the requirements of the T31 build. Are we really saying that a Leander hull is better than a T23 hull – I think not. It then means we can get on with reconfiguration of the core hull that we know we can build for 100m each, the rest is down to fit out. This can be done for £250m – I am sure… Read more »

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Nice idea. Problem is Type 23 hull is probably a pile of fading blueprints where Type 31 is 4 sets of 99m to 120m 3-D modularised virtual reality CAD files

Tim
Guest
Tim

If we standardise on a 5t ton hull (the T23) then we can have ships of various fitouts: high end inc ASW etc or low spec FFBNW. Those with less teeth can carry more aid, or Royals with boats and helos. It would be low risk as we know it’s good in blue and brown water and it fits inside our existing repair sheds. As for CAD files, one just needs to put a T23 in a dry dock, put some green dots on it and take a set of photos. We have a great film industry in the UK… Read more »

expat
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expat

We should keep an open mind on the T45 replacement hull. The reason is the T26 hull is designed to be built with todays manufacturing techniques, in 15 years time things will have moved on. Gone are the days where the designers just tell the manufacturing team to just make what they design. The designers now consider how to build the hull and maintain it for that matter, the T26 could be more expensive than a new hull in the future as it not designed to capitalise on new techniques and materials.

Pacman27
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Pacman27

Expat You are right of course, my main point is about recycling the intellectual property of the design down the food chain. If ASW is the pinnacle of our hull design and top secret when at the cutting edge – 15 years later it is probably advanced but not cutting edge, surely this knowledge should then be applied to vessels where this technology is still more than good enough to deploy. We should always deploy cutting edge to our high end assets – but for the T31 I would suggest a T23 hull is still better performing than a Leander… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Guest
Spyinthesky

Is that a window box with roses behind the turret? Wonder how much they are charging for that and surely they must know they wouldn’t survive in the salty atmosphere anyway.

Elizzar
Guest
Elizzar

I am trying not to feed the local Trollish population, but my inner pedant / data geek won’t allow me. By area GB (not including NI) is the 8th largest island in the world (not including Australia) and the largest island in Europe (Ireland would be third). And of course we are a permanent member of the UN security council, a founder member of the UN and NATO, and by most measures the 6th largest economy in the world. We (surprisingly to me) regained the top ranking soft-power title recently, too. That’s the facts now, without looking back at the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Elizzar. Quite.

Dan01
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Dan01

As long as they are 150 metres long and weigh 5000 tons and have a weapons fit to allow them to go into a hot zone, then by all means yes.

David E Flandry
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David E Flandry

Heck, the last Leander frigates, which served in the Falklands War, displaced 2500 tons. Not saying that would be enough now, but for a low-end frigate you don’t need a T26.

Slaine
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Slaine

What do we think about the top speed offered? Probably not really an issue given the 31’s purposes but is 25 a little low?

Chris
Guest
Chris

These vessels would likely never serve as a part of a carrier strike group so a high top speed to keep up wothbsaid group is not required.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Mmm. At 25knots they could keep pace with a task force and be a useful inner screen with Phalanx and Sea Ceptor – which are not carried by the carrier. But what they could not do despite their elecfric drive is hunt submarines with a towed array and then catch up with the task force. They launch their Wildcat to kill one though, if vectored onto the target.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) I have to say this has been my preferred bid from day one. I am not a warship expert so I have assumed both designs are great ships. But to me placing the next contract in one place outside Scotland is just the right way to go. And then just keep a steady drum beat of production with shorter service lives creating second hand sales or recycling of expensive equipment and systems. And that applies to Type 26 at BAE (if they can get quality right) and Type 31 at CL. As I have said before the 3… Read more »

donald_of_tokyo
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donald_of_tokyo

I think Leander is the best option to answer T31e requirement and 250M GBP cheap cost. We shall note their total cost of 1.25B is only 38% of French FTI. So it is more a long range version of a heavy corvette, than a light frigate such as FTI. Arrowhead 140, importing foreign design, will be nice to have, but it sacrifices a lot, e.g. pure import design, very tight cost limit. Only if T31 budget got increased by 1.5-2 B GBP, the merit of A140 comes in, and this means U.K. need to cancel 10 F35B, or 2 T26,… Read more »

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

Addition;
>Now as Leander has 12 knots electric propulsion mode, which is very good for ASW, I like it much more. It could be a better ASW asset, if needed in future, even compared to A140.

Of course far less than T26, but better than A140 and also FTI. In place, GP fighting capability such as AAW, ASuW, and land attack will be much limited. Anyway, even if ASW capability were added, Leander is surely a different class (less capable) of ship compared to FTI.

Tony617
Guest
Tony617

This site is consistently misspelling “Cammell Laird” as “Cammel Laird”. Charles Cammell is probably rotating in his grave! Maybe a spell checker needs correcting…

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Both offers for type 31e hopeless but senator better but again pie in the sky royal navy needs ships but governments botch builds, building few we do cost to.mutch because of low numbers built Leander’s last big class build in UK we have plenty of yards to build anything political will and funds to do so the problem would make better sense to build type 26 ships just don’t fit equipment not needed brains will and set of ideals specks and costings and watchdog to keep to cost mod simply clueless on keeping costs on target

Pongoglo
Guest
Pongoglo

Well I for one really hope we may appear to be writing off Babcock and Arrowhead 140 a tad too early. Whilst I prefer the new Leander site to the old and admire their tenacity in stamping ‘made in GB’ all over it , a clear swipe at Babcocks partnership with OMT, for me it is still by far the less exciting of the two designs. Smaller than the T23 it is supposed to replace, with 25 knots max it doesn’t have the legs to properly play a role in a CVTF , especially in the ‘Goalkeeper ‘ role. With… Read more »

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

Pongolo-san Two comments: 1: the web site info is good, but I looked in it and found most of the pages are dead. May be abandoned remnant? 2: Merlin is critical? It can made possible with small modification, but even if not, I think there is little problem. There is not enough Merlin. Even T23ASW carries Wildcat, sometimes. And if along with TF, Merlin will come from CV. It is the lack of ship towed heavy sonar, which an escort is expected to fill. For singleton ASW, yes Merlin is important. Anyway, it is a 250M GBP cheap vessel. Even… Read more »

donal_of_tokyo
Guest
donal_of_tokyo

Thanks for the web, but it looks all ingredients are non existent.

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

Thanks for the web, but all pages are dead, lols like. So it is abondoned?

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) – OK here is a shot at my first ever conspiracy theory:
1. The MoD have already selected Leander and why its website has appeared just as Babcock removes Arrowhead.
2. The MoD are now discussing a suitable way forward so that Babcock will build the 3 x FSS ships in Rosyth & Devon with A & P assisting without it ever going out to Tender
3. This will keep disruptive MPs happy and stick a finger up to Sturgeon
4. it allows a suitable set of words like “We have initiated the National Shipbuilding by ……”

Ron5
Guest
Ron5

The type 31e RFI requested a ship around 120m in length and 4,000 tons displacement.

Babcock’s submits a 140m design with a 6,000 ton displacement.

And folks are surprised Babcock’s were drop kicked out of the competition???

Whatever anyone says here or in Denmark, the MoD and the Treasury know that bigger ships cost more to buy and more to run.

God knows what Babcock’s is doing right now. I assume the competition is on hold while they scour the world for a new design that fits the criteria. Piece of cake.

Ron5
Guest
Ron5

By the way, most folks think it’s the 117m Leander that’s on offer to the MoD, not the 120m.

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

120 may be, I think.

ron5
Guest
ron5

All the graphics show the 117m that was announced earlier this year. Not sure why they would do graphics of a design they are not offering to the RN.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Maybe Babcock got credible whispers that the BAE/Leander bid was looking like a shoe-in so, rather than pitch something like Venator-110 into a competition loaded against it and allowing the MoD to say that it had evaluated similar competing proposals and selected the best, Babcock deliberately threw in the Arrowhead-140 curved ball to disrupt the whole process, deflect Leander at least temporarily from its path directly towards the win, and at least buy time to sharpen up a Babcock 120m/4000t bid or give itself a very outside chance of getting the MoD interested enough in the possibility of a >… Read more »

ron5
Guest
ron5

Leander is a Cammell Laird bid.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P
IKnowNothing
Guest
IKnowNothing

Now i know that I’ve read far too many Hornblower novels, but: Isn’t the other way to think about these vessels that they are going to be independently operating little ships of war? Stuck a long way from support and needing to have the weapons and equipment to deal with a wide range of tasks? As such shouldn’t they be equipped with a decent all round weapons/ sensors fit to be of any use beyond showing the flag?

Pongoglo
Guest
Pongoglo

Hmm – not good , it now looks like the Babcock Team 31 web page has totally disappeared. Was really hoping it was just being re-engineered to match the new UK centric Leander pitch. Great shame IMHO it had huge potential and was a really exciting design 🙁

donald_of_tokyo
Guest
donald_of_tokyo

May be it was too high spec for a 250M GBP budget, if built within UK (not Estonia).

I agree Arrowhead 140 is a nice design, but not as a 250M GBP ship. If the cost were 350M GBP average (total budget 1.75B for 5 hulls, or 1.4B for 4 hulls, or even 1.05B for 3 hulls), it would have been a nice option.

But, in the “1.75B for 5 hulls” case, the rivals would have been BMT Venator 110, or more thoroughly modified Leander, not the current Leander.

David E Flandry
Guest
David E Flandry

“You cain’t always get what you want, but sometimes…you must just get what you need.”

The RN needs about 6 serious but not invincible warships to increase the numbers of DD/FF. They should be big enough to accommodate new technology, have decent crew habitability, and weapons enough to make any one stop and think before attacking it. Trying to make it a destroyer will just ensure it never gets built.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

So it looks like we will with up with BAE Avenger. Compare the profiles. Leander is River 2 based Avenger with a Type 26 style mini mission bay midships.
https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/type-31-general-purpose-frigate-gpff/type-31-frigate-history/bae-type-31-avenger/

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

This could all turn out well. CL build Leander and Babcock build FSS.
http://marketcap.com/babcock-in-talks-with-bae-over-joint-bid-for-royal-navy-contract/
Keep the faith.

OldSchool
Guest
OldSchool

Personally I’d like to see something that is a viable convoy escort. The current discussion focuses on the high end carrier escorts (Type 26 and 45’s etc) but what about merchant ships – they’ll still be sailing and in need of defending if the balloon goes up .