Progress on the Type 31 Frigate programme continues with work starting on a new build hall, or ‘frigate factory’, capable of building two frigates at once.
Babcock’s Rosyth facility has seen significant investment in the last decade and is “embarking on a new era of digitising facilities and systems to bring advancements and efficiencies into the manufacturing, build and assembly process for the frigates”.
The firm say that this includes the installation of additional Advanced Manufacturing capability and the construction of a new assembly hall capable of housing two Type 31 frigates.
According to well respected analyst SaveTheRoyalNavy.org in the article ‘Britain gets a new frigate factory’ here, the facility will be an impressive structure measuring 160m in length, 60m wide and 40m high.
“A prefabricated steel-framed shed can be usually be constructed rapidly, once the foundations are in place. The main internal feature will be two rail-mounted gantry cranes each with two hooks able to provide lifting cover to the full internal floor area of the hall. The cranes will be used to lift the modules into position as the ships are assembled. Both the north and south facade of the building will have two vertical-lift ‘megadoors’. Each door is 24m wide by 30m high with a demountable column between, creating a 48m-wide opening. The building is designed with flexibility for future shipbuilding operations beyond the conclusion of Type 31 construction.”
Groundbreaking for the new hall took place in April, signalling the commencement of the civil works programme.