A frigate factory for the Royal Navy’s next-generation Type 31 frigates has been unveiled in Rosyth.
Standing at 147 metres long, the hall includes 30 metres high, aptly named ‘megadoors’ and will be able to accommodate two vessels being assembled at the same time side by side.
According to a news release from Babcock:
“At a small Covid-19 safe ceremony marking the beginning of the steel structure construction, Babcock also announced that it has placed an order for PEMA welding and production panel lines to support the automation of shipbuilding. This is part of a £55 million investment programme currently underway on the site, on top of a further £100 million that has been invested over the last decade, ensuring Rosyth’s shipbuilding capability and capacity can be optimised to support further opportunities, with state of the art engineering infrastructure and digital innovation at its heart.
The Assembly Hall will initially be used for the Type 31 general purpose frigate programme and provides a modern, future-ready facility designed to assemble two vessels side by side. Free from weather disruption, the facility will enable productivity gains due to improved access and digital connectivity.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“Defence underpins a wealth of jobs and investment across the entire United Kingdom. Babcock’s ‘frigate factory’ in Rosyth demonstrates the huge footprint of prosperity that defence brings. This vast industrial facility will see Scottish shipbuilders build our latest warships that will take pride of place in the Royal Navy fleet.”
According to a news release:
“Ground-breaking for the new hall commenced in April 2020. The steel structures are now in place in preparation for Ship Assembly, which will commence in 2021. Equipped with state-of-the art manufacturing facilities and new digital systems, the programme represents a revitalisation of the shipbuilding industry. The unveiling of the Module Hall follows the substantial £16.5 billion settlement for Defence over the next four years that will modernise the armed forces, reinvigorate the shipbuilding industry and bring jobs and prosperity to every part of the UK.
Learning lessons from previous programmes to reinvigorate the shipbuilding capabilities at Rosyth, the new hall will have gantry stair access inside the structure to remove the need for scaffolding. This means personnel will be able to safely access the vessels without leaving the building. Type 31 will be the beating heart of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet, deterring aggression and supporting the UK’s national interests across the world. The programme employs more than 1,250 people across the UK, which will create a legacy of infrastructure, innovation and skills for the shipbuilding sector. Off the back of the programme, Babcock have also jumpstarted a further 150 apprentice roles to set the sector up for success in the next generation.”
John Howie, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Babcock said:
“The Type 31 programme is re-energising the UKs’ maritime capability through innovative, next generation, UK ship design and build. The infrastructure investment underway at Rosyth builds on our exceptional heritage, experience and engineering insight, delivering a very real step change in capacity and capability for modern UK shipbuilding. It’s great to see the progress being made across the programme as we invest in new infrastructure and technologies to support the build phase of these fantastic new frigates. I know the team are looking forward to working closely with Robertson Construction on the development of the new Assembly Hall and with PEMA on the installation of the panel lines.”
David Cairns, regional managing director, Robertson Construction, commented:
“The provision of this facility will further enhance the delivery capabilities of Babcock from the Rosyth site. We are pleased to be selected as the delivery partner of choice for the new Assembly Hall.”
Progress of the Type 31 facilities at Rosyth site follows a successful whole-ship Preliminary Design Review held in June 2020, which provided a key indicator of the compliance and design maturity.
The programme is currently progressing through the Detailed Design phase.