The first of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 frigates, HMS Venturer, is swiftly taking shape in Rosyth.

The warship’s progress has been remarkable, with significant development made in less than 24 months since its keel was laid.

“HMS Venturer build is taking shape with the team working towards structural completion within the build hall. The second ship in the programme, HMS Active, is emerging alongside HMS Venturer, with the double bottom blocks in-situ and the first hull blocks under construction.”

HMS Venturer is the lead ship of the Type 31 frigate-class currently under construction for the Royal Navy and the seventh vessel named HMS Venturer. In May 2021, the names of the five planned Type 31 ships were announced by the First Sea Lord. The names were selected to represent key themes that represent the future plans of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. Venturer, named after the Second World War submarine Venturer, the only submarine ever to have, while underwater, destroyed an enemy submarine in underwater battle, symbolises technology and innovation.

The entire class is to be in service by February 2030.

The vertical launching system for the Type 31 and its associated missile loadout has gone through a number of revisions over the course of its development. Originally, the design would retain, but would however be “fitted-for-but-not-with” its 32-cell strike length Mark 41 Vertical Launching System and in its place was to be a Sea Ceptor 24-cell ‘mushroom farm’ in a similar configuration as found on the Type 23 frigates.

This was later revised with a more modular version of the launcher. However, on 17 May 2023, the First Sea Lord Ben Key stated that Type 31 frigates will, in fact, be fitted with the 32-cell Mark 41 Strike-Length complex.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_791016)
4 months ago

Interesting holes below the waterline into the lower machinery spaces.

Something wasn’t inside or needed to be replaced.

Nick C
Nick C (@guest_792664)
4 months ago

Possibly where the stabilisers will go?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_792668)
4 months ago

One looks like Stabs. The Fwd one looks like access to tanks. A lot easier than struggling through a small tank access lid in the deck

Frank
Frank (@guest_791018)
4 months ago

Remarkable progress you say ? ….. yeah, nearly finished by the looks of things……..🙄

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_791019)
4 months ago

Wow, this is the first time I’ve seen the progress of the ship since the first laying of steel. It now looks like a proper ship. Well done to Babcock.

Chris
Chris (@guest_791058)
4 months ago

The ambition of in the water by Christmas gave way to structural complete and it didn’t even make that. The current estimate is in the water by end of June. Six month delay on this size of project isn’t cheap.

It would make sense to bring forward some of the capability insertion phrase work whilst it still in this state to save money later on.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_791084)
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris

I’d tend to agree.

All is not 100% well with this project.

In fairness to Babcock making good warships isn’t easy – if it was everyone would do it.

So let’s hope experience on #1 leads to……

Jon
Jon (@guest_791150)
4 months ago

Exactly. Getting the first one a bit wrong was always likely. I’m sure by number 4 they’ll be rocking and rolling.

Jim
Jim (@guest_791238)
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Not sure, we are desperate for hulls in the water now and we won’t have anything ready for the mk41 before 2030.

Jim Camm
Jim Camm (@guest_792662)
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris

To be fair, based on defence engineering projects in the last 30 years, only a 6-month delay on the first of the class is pretty much to be expected.
Delays in this sector are usually measured in years, so really not that bad.

Chris
Chris (@guest_792680)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Camm

It’s not just 6 months. The original in the water by Christmas was meant to include a lot of outfit. This is just a shell.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_792669)
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris

COVID delays hit them and everyone else such as equipment suppliers hard. They have just resolved the additional costs from COVID delays with the MOD.

Chris
Chris (@guest_792682)
4 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Middle of last year image to this image, it’s not much for 6 months. COVID was a good excuse a year ago.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_791066)
4 months ago

FFBNW steel, weapons, communications and a crew…..should do well! ;0)

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_791069)
4 months ago

In all seriousness a platform like this has the size and potential for lots of future upgrades, weapons and comms, and with a few more ordered (maybe 3 but with a 5″ for NGS) its an opportunity we should not miss at the present time.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_791156)
4 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Fingers crossed. “The Admiral said “…we also need to advance our ability to deliver lethal long-range offensive fires against our adversaries. Hence the decision to ensure the Mark 41 Vertical Launch Silo is fitted to the Type 26 and, I am delighted to say, we intend to fit it also to our Type 31 frigates. This will enable potential use of a large variety of current and future anti-air, anti-surface, ballistic missile defence and strike missiles” It has not yet been announced if FOSW will be hypersonic or subsonic / stealthy and have a range measured in hundreds or thousands… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_791218)
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

When was that written, I thought hypersonic has been ruled out, supersonic may still be on the cards perhaps.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_791229)
4 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

May 17, 2023. When were hypersonics ruled out?

Jim
Jim (@guest_791239)
4 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

We can go for Russian hypersonics speeds I.e Mach 3 is hypersonic in Russia 😀

Oli G
Oli G (@guest_791277)
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Current plan seems to be Subsonic, Stealthy Land attack cruise missile (In service 2028 ship launched, 2030 on aircraft), then a high supersonic (Mach 3+) anti ship missile with 2032 in service date on ships and 2034 on aircraft. Reliable sources currently suggest progress is further ahead than released to public, as launch/transport canisters for the two types of missile have already had a contract released by MBDA for production. So hopefully we can shave a few years at least of the anti-ship versions!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_791288)
4 months ago
Reply to  Oli G

Good morning Oli G, thank you for the update, that sounds very promising indeed.

So, IOC 2026’ish for first flight if I understand you correctly?

Jim Camm
Jim Camm (@guest_792663)
4 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

5″ guns are stupidly expensive (like $78.5m each kind of stupidly expensive).

I’m not sure why we didn’t go for the OTO Melara 76mm Super Rapid though, it’s not much heavier than the 57mm and I heard the Italians were offering very competitive pricing for it (from memory it was about €8m each)… So virtually the same as the 57mm, only trading rate of fire for shell size and range.
My guess is BAEs used their influence to steer the decision their way.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_792670)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Camm

What do you want to do with an Oto? You dont have the same range or shell weight. Oto is a single all in one shell prone to de bulleting if you are not careful with it. The. 5 Inch is 2 piece with options on shell type for easy switching. Oto feed ring below decks is manually loaded, 5 inch is all fully auto from the deep magazine up to the gun Oto isn’t as robust as a 5 inch or for that matter a 57mm. I remember the fun I had changing out broken bent bits of the… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_791073)
4 months ago

Good to see…and all in service by 2030. If the government wants some votes order five more NOW.

Jon
Jon (@guest_791154)
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I’d want to see what comes out of the Type 32 concept work first, to see if there’s any positively impacting configuration work that can be included in the design without major cost implications. We still have over eighteen months to get a contract together to not skip the follow-on drumbeat. There might be some long lead-time stuff that would need to come in before, but not necessarily this year.

The biggest reason to go sooner is political: leave a fait accompli for Labour. That would depend on the timing of the election.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_791198)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I’m in the dream world of following on with half a dozen T32’s to replace the Rivers maybe. The order now is, as you suggest, me being cynical enough to go for the votes, but of course getting the navy five more ships.😉

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_791223)
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

The B2 Rivers are excellent in their current roles and still pretty new. I’d even like to see the older 3 B1s get a 30mm to replace their 20mm.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_791252)
4 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

No argument on either point. I was thinking more in the middle 2030’s.🙂

Jim
Jim (@guest_791240)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Rachel Reeves was in the shipyard two months ago and discussing the T32.

Labour will be desperate to keep Rosyth building ships as fife is key to rebuilding its Scottish support.

Big question will be are they export orders or RN orders.

Babcock already seemed to have a pretty good T32 proposal we should just go with that.

Frank
Frank (@guest_791359)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It absolutely makes sense to build T32 right after T31 and it also makes sense to base T32 On the T31….. as you say, Babcock do seem to have a proposal to use the T31 as the base template, although it’s a stretched version that they show…. If they do decide to go with this, I would hope that the design can be fixed and finalised to avoid Gapping….. Is 4 years enough time ? Will it ever get allocated funding ? …. I really hope so.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_791425)
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I hope it has some ASW capacity in whatever form. I expect then we are talking a 25% increase in costs. There would be considerable savings on extra hulls similar to T31 to offset higher end gear. Nevertheless they might be fitted in with exports to a number of Nordic and other countries.
Altogether we need 24-28 escorts minimum as others have proposed as opposed to todays 15! Woefully inadequate especially if USN cuts back.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_792672)
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

PODS …

RN going big on PODS fits.
I expect a PODS fit ASW LF towed Sonar fit and possibly a thin line array drone boat.

Compare it to a USN Constalation Class. That is getting a Captas 4, no hull mounted set. Has the same cell count and a lot less guns.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts (@guest_791186)
4 months ago

Get some paint on it first!