It has been reported that the new general purpose frigates are to be known as Type 31.

It’s been reported that a concept study is underway and that the Royal Navy has decided on Type 31 as the number for “at least five” new general purpose frigates to complement the Type 26 anti-submarine warfare frigates.

According to DefenseNews and other outlets sources have confirmed said the decision on type number has now been made.

The original plan for Type 26 was 8 anti-submarine warfare variants and 5 general purpose variants. This is still the case with “at least” 13 frigates planned.

Minister of State for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said in December 2013:

“In the less than half a minute remaining to me, I will unfortunately not be able to address many of the questions that have been asked, but I would like to deal with numbers and commissioning. My hon. Friend the Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis) gave me due notice of his questions. We intend to place an order towards the end of next year, once the design is mature, which we expect to be for eight vessels initially.”

The Type 26 and 31 frigates represent the future backbone of the Royal Navy and a massive leap forward in terms of flexibility of surface vessels enjoyed by the service. They will replace the 13 Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy and export orders are being sought after by BAE. The programme has been underway since 1998, initially under the name “Future Surface Combatant”.  The programme was brought forward in the 2008 budget at the expense of Type 45 destroyers 7 and 8.

While it was previously expected that the “five lighter frigates” mentioned in November would be heavily stripped down general purpose variants of the Type 26 Frigate (and of course still might be), other contenders seem to be emerging.

One of the most obvious contenders for the UK’s future light frigate is an offering from BMT, the Venator-110 which is “designed to cover a multitude of general purpose and specialist roles”. Recent changes to the vessels marketing fact sheets and computer generated imagery show more or less what the Royal Navy want with a light frigate and the vessel quite clearly is now being pitched as a solution to meet the light frigate requirement. The full specification guide for the vessel can be found here.

Type 26 frigate order has been cut back from 13 to 8 in order to fund more of the immediate spending, a move that has been widely expected since 2013.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the five future light frigates mentioned in the defence review will be built in Scotland. This is in addition to the eight anti-submarine warfare frigates and two extra patrol vessels on top of the three already being constructed at the Glasgow yards.

David Cameron told the House of Commons:

“There will be eight of the Type 26’s and at least another five of the new type of frigate,probably more, and they can be built in Scotland if the conditions are right. The only way these ships wouldn’t be built in Scotland is if Scotland was independent and didn’t have the national resources of the Royal Navy.”

The original plan for the frigate fleet as mentioned above had been 8 anti-submarine warfare variants and 5 general purpose variants, this remains largely unchanged except for the specification and type of the later five vessels.

All will be built on the Clyde.

 

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Jim

This seems like a mistake, build two batches of type 26, incorporate lessons learned new technology and customise for role.

Daniel Adams

What is the decision making process behind assigning a number to a class of ships just out of curiosity?

Michael Ralph

5 or more

Daniel Adams

No sorry I mean why have they chosen type 31? Instead of for arguments sake type 36?

Charles Verrier

I wondered if it was a deliberate reference to position the class as a successor to the Type 21.

Michael Ralph

Lol I have no idea

Daniel Adams

On your comment though I’m hoping for the more option.

Michael Ralph

Yeah well because we’re getting 8 type 26’s instead of 13 and the light frigates will be cheaper the government said we can maybe have more lol but only if we keep labour out.

Neil Griffiths

There is no way we will purchase a frigate unless it has anti air anti surface and anti sub capability even if they are reduced

Michael Ralph

This light frigates has harpoon launches and probably anti air capabilities. Just leave the anti sub capability for the 8 type 26 frigates

Neil Griffiths

Sorry can’t see it by light they probably mean 5000 tons it will have to have CIWS , AA, plus ASW and AS capability

Daniel Adams

Just out of curiosity neil have you read the venator design specs?

Neil Griffiths

Yes and it’s a OPV at best

UK Defence Journal

It seems far more capable than that.

Daniel Adams

It’s got land and sea attack capabilites with a dedicated hanger for medium sized helecopter. Plus a medium caliber gun. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s no type 26 but come on man, it’s no opv.

Neil Griffiths

By land and sea attack you mean harpoon medium caliber gun !!! It’s not the answer

Neil Griffiths

It’s a well armed OPV

Daniel Adams

No i mean harpoon missiel

UK Defence Journal

It’ll have the strike cells and 5 inch gun.

Bloke down the pub

UK Defence Journal | February 12, 2016 at 20:30 It’ll have the strike cells and 5 inch gun. Not according to the specs that you referenced. Since its inception in 2007, work conducted on the Venator® family of designs has resulted in an optimum specification for a platform of this size. Whilst features such as a ‘strike length’ Vertical Launch Silo may be desirable the impact on the structural, power and space aspects of the ship inherent in such a system means this would be excessively detrimental to the overall balance of capability. The integration of systems such as this… Read more »

Neil Griffiths

No way it’s based on this design

Daniel Adams

Look at the design it’s all there

Neil Griffiths

It maybe but you name a class of ships that we have bought in last 40 years based on a off the shelf available design

Barry Larking

Type 21. That class was privately designed to ‘save money’. They were not a success. This looks a lot like a re-heated Type 21.

Daniel Adams

This is not a final design. It’s a design made by a company showing what can be made hoping to get the contract for a final design. If I remember correctly this company designed ship for the royal navy already. Can’t remember which one.

Neil Griffiths

Is this the company that designed the new fleet auxiliary?

Neil Griffiths

I’m talking warship

Daniel Adams

No they designed the aircraft carriers so i think they are quite knowledgeable

Jonathan White

It is Basically an LCS.

Barry Neul

You’ve all missed the elephant in the room, if you read the spec sheet, it says fully configured it will have 5″gun vertical launched AA missiles and 2 automatic 30mm guns (probably the same automated 30mm BMARC’S we already use) so no phalanx or goal keeper. But… when have we ever bought the full package? Costs will spiral and kit will be left off. The Bird class was a case in point, excellent little corvette, with a well proven 76mm Oto Malara gun, ruined by the Mod not buying the fire control system to go with it.

Daniel Adams

And that’s something that will be debated to death between now and construction.

Jamie Henry Norman

The BMT group provided the initial design for the new carriers which got carried into BAE. So I’d say this company has some sort of expertise in ships…Warships or not!

UK Defence Journal

T31 will not feature ASW capability at all.

Dave Crook

and the tide class tanker

Phil Jolly

The Type 31 the new General Purpose Frigate but RN still needs at least 4 further T45s & further 4 T26s to protect the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers when deployed,with its powerful air wing to protect the fleet.We are an island nation with interest across the globe therefore power projection is still vital.

Daniel Adams

There is more than enough high end fighting ships to protect the carriers. The whole point of these ships is to free up high end ships from policing duties in peace time as well as add over all hull numbers to the fleet in war situations.

Ian Nash

100% correct

Paul Linfield

The whole point – yes agree.
More than enough – not so much.

Daniel Adams

Okey more than enough may be overstating it a bit. But enough.

UK Defence Journal

There will be no more T45

Steven Bowers

It’s not just about defending the carriers, unless you plan on holding your carriers down to the speed your support ships can do you need additional high end destroyers and frigates to defend the RFA and amphibious warfare ships

Tim Fairbanks

Steven Bowers bullshit a carrier can’t go out without support ships on deployment u tool

Jason Ruddick

When these QEs deploy on operations more than likely a T45,T26 will escort them,also probably a US Navy or French Navy vessel will also be escorting her as well,it’s common practice for a RN warship to integrate into a US or French Navy Battle group.This will happen for the RN.We very rarely operate alone anymore

Rick Mundy

You don’t always need an expensive “super ship” for all duties. Spending a billion or 2 for a ship to police pirates is over kill. Sometimes you just need a presence, and some inexpensive ships with great sailors is more then enough.

Jason Bartlett

This is good news and i do hope we get the “possible more” the prime minister talked about.

Tobi McCrone

additional generic Harrier comment

Chris Power

5, 4, 3 2,1 “”I have been reliably informed/ someone close to this program has told me down the pub (ie I don’t have any inside knowledge at all) this will be a disaster”

Phil Jolly

Daniel Adams the system used dates back from the 1950s Type 11-30 anti Submarine Type 41-60 Anti Aircraft Frigate/Destroyers & Type 61-80 Aircraft Direction Frigates

Daniel Adams

Brilliant thanks.

Steven Bowers

Problem with the light frigate GP lean manned design because you don’t need a full blown expensive all the bells and whistles design where your going to use it is when it finds itself because there’s nothing else or what was a quite job has suddenly blown up in an area where you need all the bells and whistles, then it’s in trouble, I’m old enough to remember the type 21s

Paul Linfield

That’s really the difference in levels of defence. Lesson learned is that in days gone past even expensive front line ships were under-defended (pre-Falklands 42s, 21s, LPDs, RFAs, the lot!).
But you don’t have to spend a fortune providing a reasonable ‘get out of trouble’ defence on any class of ship, lean/light or full front line.
TBH, just stripping out the sub-hunting facilities removes an enormous cost, and in fact has always been the case any ways.

Keith Kellett

Basically a corvette type frigate…??
When you think the RN sent a River Class Patrol boat to the Caribbean instead of a full blown Frigate…why ever not…an all singing, all dancing frigate, is not always needed…if it means more surface warships, showing the flag and providing many RN duties that do not require massive capability, why ever not ??

Jonathan White

No More like a an LCS what we have in the USN

UK Defence Journal

With greater endurance and aviation capabilities.

James Beaumont

I was on that river class and that’s all it needed, it was a successful trip hence why we sent another one down there.

Mathew Staunton

Throber!

Alex Brown

With the way the world’s going, I hope the government decides to build more ships.

Bloke down the pub

Perhaps the Type 31 was chosen as a nod to the Type 21, which was a cheap off the shelf design intended to fill a gap before the introduction of the Type 22.

Nicky

The British should make a deal with America and Canada on the frigate

James Gale

No CIWS defence? If this is going down the same route as the Type 23 have we not taken notes from losing ships during the Falklands.
The Type23 is an excellent design but the lack of CIWS is unforgivable.

Bobby Abernethy

It’s a CGI mockup: they’re not going to show every single little antenna and gun. For the real thing not to have Phalanx or Goalkeeper would be idiotic.

James Gale

Bobby Abernethy With due respect Bobby I am fully aware it is a mock. To say it is idiotic is a failure to recognise the Type 23 doesn’t have them fitted and that CIWS is a very large piece of kit that requires a hefty chunk of the ships real estate.
There is concern that they may still not be fitted.

UK Defence Journal

The ship will have two Phalanx I understand.

Phil Jolly

The unforgivable ship type was the T21 which was a totally inadequate ship

Chris Lewis

Question now is how many. I hope at least 8

Chris Lewis

Not all of the 2010 sdsr cuts were implimented. I suspect as the world situation grows more tense we may see more bits added here and there over the next few years. An old squadron or ship extended in service.

Jonathan White

So its an Littoral Combat Ship?

UK Defence Journal

Not quite.

Daz Vallis

Not even close, it’s far more capable than the LCS

Steve Altra

Daz Vallis – As a typical battlegroup light escort / OPV -Yes. As a specialized, low draft, high speed vessel designed to support Spec Ops in the littorals – No. (Assuming the proposals end up being close to the final product).

Richard Standing

Please name one of them HMS Troutbridge!

William Richardson

Will they be built in Britain

Daniel Adams

Scotland

UK Defence Journal

The article answers that.

CJ

The Type numbering system jumps from 30, last in the anti-submarine sequence, to 40, first in the anti-aircraft sequence. Where did they come up with this number? The sequence for general purpose escorts runs from 81 to 99, with 81 and 82 already having been used on previous ships.

Henry Erricker

Daniel Jones

Robert Staple

good as long as the engines work

Gerard Mooney

Pants not enough Frigates and Destroyers, we need to double the orders as the world we live in is shockingly very bad. There are not enough hulss for the committments now!!

Frazor Murphy

Will the engine work when they turn the radar on?

UK Defence Journal

Yes, shoo.

Paul Corrigan

This is exactly the sort of Corvette we’ve been crying out for to take the pressure off the Frigates and Destroyers. The USN keeps toying with the LCS which isn’t delivering by all accounts so I’m glad this is the approach we’re taking.

I much prefer this to a stripped out T26.

Jon Arnold

How does the navy get so much dosh spent on it

Daniel Adams

Compared to what?

Daz Vallis

Probably because ships are expensive!

James Beaumont

Because what are the other forces actually in theater doing right now?

Jon Arnold

Not many billion pound aeroplanes

UK Defence Journal

Read the SDSR?!

James Beaumont

No the strike fighters are just made up Jon Arnold!???? Please do some research before commenting.

Daz Vallis

Well James Beaumont it’s actually the RAF doing most of the work in Syria and Iraq!

Jon Arnold

James each F35 aircraft does not cost a billion pounds each

Jon Arnold

However a ship does

Jon Arnold

Not much call for navy in middle of desert

Jon Arnold

What’s to research James? You stated the ships cost £1 billion each

UK Defence Journal

Are you genuinely trying to argue that point? Are you seriously arguing that because a ship costs more than an individual jet, the RAF got little? My word.

James Beaumont

Marines, medics, aircraft handlers, marine band service, the list goes on for those royal navy trades that were out in Afghanistan. I say again please do research before commenting, you have no idea what you talking about.

Jon Arnold

When was the last time you were deployed on ops
James ?

David Nicholls

In terms of the CIWS the question is “how good is Sea Ceptor?” Having been in the RN during the Falklands the lesson I learned was that the SAMs did not really work as advertised. If Sea Ceptor works then with a range of 25km and 32 missiles would you desperatly need a CIWS?

Clive Gill

Got to build the type 26 first let’s not get carried away here

William Robson

Des boot some man , submarine skipper,

Steven

Can’t believe we can’t come up with the funds to increase the number from 13 to 15 or even to a respectable 20 ships.

Our current numbers are stretched and to say 13 will be the backbone of the Royal Navy is an understatement giving the creation of two aircraft carriers.

There’s more ducks in my local lake than there is royal navy ships.

Anthony

One modern ship is more capable than multiple previous ships plus there aren’t the worldwide commitments anymore (don’t need a pacific presence for instance) so you won’t see high numbers of ships again

H Nelson

“there aren’t worldwide commitments anymore”? Really, please elaborate. It seems the commitments haven’t diminished, if anything they’ve increased, all this with a reduced fleet!

Adrian Flitcroft

Excuse me? We have had ships deployed in the Far East frequently over the last few years; (for example, both HMS Daring AND HMS Illustrious took part in relief operations for the Philippines Typhoon in 2013). That is the same as saying we will not do any more deployments East of Suez after the early Seventies. Look how many deployments the Royal Navy did East of Suez after that even BEFORE the Gulf & Iraq Wars & Afghanistan.

Chris Power

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 “If we hadn’t sold all the British built Flower Class to the Canadians, we wouldn’t be in this mess”

Jack William Millen

“Where’s a Harrier when you need one?

Christopher Pascal Lo

If sacrificing five type 26s means seven or above of such ships… maybe worthwhile

Iain Poskitt

Will these ships have enough bells & whistles to protect themselves or will they be like the ships at the bottom of falkland sound

James Gale

The Argentinians are less capable now than they were in 1982. Zero chance of them putting to sea let along carrying out an invasion

Pacman27

We should build 30 Iver Huitfeldt class frigates over 25 years and be done with it. 1 Frigate every 10 months at a cost of £400m each (Fremm, absolon, Huitfeld all under this figure loaded) is hardly back breaking in a £40bn budget. The last 10 should replace T45. A radical overhaul of our navy is required as currently if any of our surface ships come up against a peer threat they will lose. Sad but true, the T45 is really good example – what happens when its 48 Asters are gone…. Its 4.5 inch gun is pretty much its… Read more »

Pacman27

Our whole navy only requires 7 hull designs – we are making the same mistakes as previous governments. Keep it simple and build in volume. 30 x Hull Type 1. Frigates (Iver Huitfeldt or Fremm) 2 x Hull Type 2. QE Carriers. 25 x Hull Type 3. Patrol Vessel (Safeboats Mk6 looks good) 8 x Hull Type 4. Tide Class Tanker 7 x Hull Type 4. Tide Class (Karel Doorman Config – 4 x SSS/Amphib + 2 for MHVC mothership + 1 Hospital 2 x Hull Type 5. Forward Repair Ship / Ice Patrol 10 x Hull Type 6. Astute… Read more »

Stephen Webster

Why are they all being built on the Clyde? What about the likes of cammel lairds? Is this another pay off from the independence vote?

UK Defence Journal

No

Stephen Webster

Hmmmm

Stephen Webster

I’d like to see some proof of this

Adrian Flitcroft

No, the main contractor selected is BAE Systems & they have concentrated all their surface shipbuilding activities in Scotland. Cammel Lairds is a separate shipyard not part of that group that mainly concentrates on refits. I am not saying they could not build new warships, it is just that they are not part of the group that the MOD has chosen to build all our future warships.

Anthony Thrift

Looking at the BMT web site, and all the different types of vessels that they have designed, this company appears to have the necessary vessels to fill the RN’s requirements for the near future, lets get building asap, lets get the British Armed Forces back to a World respected force that it use to be – even as we discuss this vessel, the Russian Prime Minister has stated that we have entered a new “Cold War” – surely with the increase in ships being built by Russia and China, the whole of Nato needs to stop pussy footing around and… Read more »

Lee Macpherson

Doesnt matter what they order really when build quality is poor (45’s prime example) and the lack of man power as no one wants to stay in the navy anymore would mean they would end up as orniments in a dock yard

Jack William Millen

I doubt it’s a case of people not wanting to be in the Navy, it’s been the effects of SDSR 2010 that have shortened manpower

Lee Macpherson

Didnt help ill give you that but most of the new lads are leaving and most of us with common sense have left already the navy is a dying job…. high demands and low pay make for a poor work enviroment which ill be the first to say is a sad thing as i did enjoy the navy and its sad to see it go down hill :/

Pacman27

Its difficult to argue with any of the comments above, which demonstrates the state we have let our armed forces get into. £40bn per annum is not an insignificant amount, however the leaders of the armed forces and the MOD have let the country down over many years and this must stop. The UK is a world leader in Submarines and could be the partner of choice if we get our Frigate design right. We can also have a vibrant small boat manufacturing capability with a stable order book. The benefits to our industrial base of ordering 50 aircraft, 4… Read more »

Simeon Hawkins

Can we have some proper names for them, not HMS Puppy and HMS Kitten. Choose one of these…

HMS Fearsome
HMS Furious
HMS Fighter
HMS Fearless
HMS Fierce
HMS Firebrand
HMS Formidable
HMS Fortitude
HMS Forceful
HMS Ferocious
HMS Frightful
HMS Frightening
HMS Fiery
HMS Fervent
HMS Frenzy
HMS Fervid

Jack William Millen

I’m hoping at some point for another Warspite but I should think that would go to a future capital ship

Simeon Hawkins

Jack, another great warship name!

Dave Lund

Bout time, get Britain great again, good luck to all that sail, fly and on foot, respect to all, be safe!!.

Dave Crook

Have no problem with the design of ships, as long as the government, give them Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) and fit it across the fleet with the money saved. And fit them with Artisan.

Steven

I think we should be getting military aid from the Americans.

Trev Bush

Less money on defence and more money on NHS

Daniel Adams

What good is a nhs if we are invaded?

Trev Bush

Invaded by whom ?

Adrian Flitcroft

We have had several reports over the past few months of the RAF intercepting Bears &, on one occasion, a Blackjack out over the North Atlantic. As, depending on the variant in question each one of them could have destroyed eight of our cities at that range I should think THAT constitutes a suitable threat, wouldn’t you? Or, how about the various sub contacts detected in our waters? How many cities could any of those destroy before we even knew that they were there? If you want to go cutting something to spend on the NHS then why not cut… Read more »

Daniel Adams

No one as it stands because we have a strong armed forces.

Trev Bush

Well there you go no need to spend anymore

Daniel Adams

Wow what a nieve comment. Let’s expand a bit.

Protecting shipping lanes vital to the uk

Protecting overseas territories

Protecting the british mainland

Meeting naval policing commitments

Helping defend allies

Defending british interests in other parts of the world.

Policing british waters and overseas territories waters against illegal fising.

Emergancy response and aid in natural disasters

Chish

How about lees money for the NHS and more value for the money we spend on it? I know people who work in the NHS and they are telling me money is like no object because they know they can blackmail any Government. So thats alright then. Simple things like global volume purchasing, making sure loan kit is returned having fewer meetings. Please don’t tell me the largest employer in Europe can’t make efficiencies.

Kieran Locke

You do realise the nhs budget is 4 times the defence budget don’t you?

Michael Hynes

If someone can work out a fix to quad-pack SeaCeptor into a strike length VLS cell, then that would afford maximum flexibility with economy. A 24 cell set up could give you 32 SAMs and 16 duel use ASM/LAM weapons. Factor is some extended range ammunition for the new 5″ gun, and you’ve got a capable little platform.

Paul Hodson

Sea Ceptor can be quad packed into a MK41 VLS.

Royal New Zealand Navy’s two Anzac class will be the first to use this configuation.

Paul Hodson

They can be quad packed in Mk41VLS.

New Zealand’s two Anzac frigate will be the first to use this configuation.

Steve

I think the question we are missing, is what will the role be for the light frigates. If it is meant to be cheaper with cut down weaponary, then it can not be used as escort for more important vessels, there they will need the type45 and the 26. Long range land attack, we have the Astute class (we are on a tight budget, we don’t need multiple classes of vessels covering the same role). Shell based, bombardment role is pretty limited/niche and can be managed by the other surface vessels. So what does that leave, other than low intensity… Read more »

Pacman27

@Steve Fair comment about what we use these for – I think we shoud ditch the ballistic nuclear detterent for a cruise missile option from out Astutes. That would then make the whole astute fleet our CASD at much better value. We could then put TLAM on our Frigates and build 30 of them. I put a bit above where in my Navy we have 5-7 hull types only. The key is to use the latest tech and some smaller boats (Atlas ARCIM’s and CB90’s to be specific) these are game changers in my opinion and cheap in comparison to… Read more »

Steve

Cruise missiles are a lot easier to shoot down and much shorter range, I am not sure they really provide enough threat to a deterrent for a high tech country.

Not to mention that adding a nuke warhead to a missile is probably not that cheap.

I think it would be better to make the Vanguard replacement a little more flexible and add more tubes, so they can launch standard cruise missiles whilst still carrying their deterrent.

M Wilkinson

Can somebody please explain to me why we continually spend so much money financing MOD Bureaucrat’s and private companies to design warships, which they tell us are the best in the world. and then not building them whilst the RN warship count continues to fall to dangerous levels? The more it goes on the more it kooks like a cosy Political/Bureaucrat Gravy Train!

Pacman27

@M Wilkinson.

Pure incompetence. If you look at the French military and what they have for a similar budget it is plain to see that the MOD is a failed organisation. Take a look at the USMC who have a similar budget but in dollars (so subtract 30% for £ value) and it is embarrassing. Although the USMC does not have its own fleet – this can easily be funded out of the currency difference.

The USMC is bigger than the whole UK military – it is just embarrassing.

Pacman27

Apologies

The USMC and the French military are larger and better equiped than the UK military. Simply not good enough, hope those ex generals, admirals and air commodores are all happy working for major contractors – it should be made illegal to do so past a certain rank.