People have been sharing an article titled ‘French firm wins Royal Navy Type 31 frigates contract’ without actually reading it.

The five Type 31 Frigates on order are being built at Rosyth in Scotland.

The article from Plymouth Live, while having a bit of a ‘clickbaity’ headline, does go on to explain that the news relates to some components of the ship.

We covered this news in a less exciting way here, essentially, Thales as part of Babcock Team 31, has been selected to be the mission systems integrator for the Type 31 programme, delivering the combat system, communications systems and the navigation and bridge systems.

This however hasn’t stopped yet another viral misinformation tweet. Something we’ve been dealing with a lot recently.

The Type 31 general purpose frigate programme will provide the UK Government with a fleet of five ships, at an average production cost of £250 million per ship.

According to Thales, the work will be done in the UK.

“Following a comprehensive competitive process, T31, a capable, adaptable and technology-enabled global frigate will be the Royal Navy’s newest class of warships, with the first ship scheduled in the water in 2023. At its height, the programme will maximise a workforce of around 1250 highly- skilled roles in multiple locations throughout the UK, with around 150 new technical apprenticeships likely to be developed. The work is expected to support an additional 1250 roles within the wider UK supply chain.

Building on our global successes Thales is expanding its capabilities in mission systems delivery in the UK. This will generate new jobs and technical skills in Crawley, West Sussex where the new team has been established. A new naval combat management centre has also been developed to provide a space for customers, employees and end-users to train, test and see how our solutions deliver operational benefits and to continuously gain customer feedback.”

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Bob Hodges

The same level of critical thinking and analysis was employed by the average Briton in the referendum in 2016…….on both sides. Stupid is as stupid does.


But leavers and knew it was bad and humiliating and who want (got) independence like me, studied the subject for years.


And know the story like this is silly. The ships are being built here in the UK.


Yes but perhaps the author was hoping we could persuade the French to buy these oversized expensive corvettes. They are short on escorts…

Bob Hodges

Ant-vaxxers calim they’ve ‘studied for years’ too….but they are still bat shit mental (and diametrically wrong). Study without method or rigor, with a predetermined final opinion/outcome, is not study.

Peter Shaw

Bob this forum is defence matters and not diverting the subject onto unrelated matters. As for your comments about the average Britain it shows more of your ignorance than that of the native population. Now please keep matters to those of defence. As far as I’m concerned the majority of people in the UK are intelligent enough to understand that complex ship building requires sources components from around the world but the hull etc will be manufactured within the UK.


When you get personal. You have lost.

Steve Martin

We really need to move on from this.


And in spite of the BBC covering the story when the contact was signed, explicitly saying that they would be built at Rosyth, safeguarding hundreds of jobs in Fife.


Steve R

I wasn’t even aware that was a rumour.


This whole thing is depressing and actually a real problem. If it’s on the internet or someone says “it’s so” and it’s something you like or It fits what you want it’s got to be true……………this is the idiocy of the Information Age. It is actually ( the trend not the specific report) a real risk to our society. we really need an education system that fully trains minds in critical thinking. If we are not careful Universal sufferage will become a pointless blip in history. If the demos are not equipped to think critically about what they are being… Read more »


Our electoral system has ingrained this I go us more than most sadly. We pick sides and as some University studies have discovered humans need little encouragement to choose a side even when reasonably educated and even when no specific reasoning is provided to actually distinguish the differences between the sides on offer. A defence mechinism I guess from way back in our origins. Twitter is a wonderful example of such thinking in action.


The issue is that people often don’t read past the headline, so if the headline is misleading, people get the wrong impression.

In this case, I suspect the headline is just poorly worded rather than deliberate clickbait. It’s the kind of thing any sub-editor worth their salt would have spotted and corrected. Sadly, such people tend to be the first to go when the publisher is looking to make cost savings.


I think level of trust in the government is the primary issue, let’s face it since 2010 any move like this would not exactly shock us. We currently have a government lying through its teeth that FSS ships must have an international tender due to EU rules when we are not even in the EU and there is no such EU rule. It’s very hard to have any trust in political opportunists like most of the current cabinet.

That being said print media has become shocking in its use of inaccurate headlines.

Henry Root

Bill Gates just ordered a £500 million hydrogen-powered yacht, twice the cost of a Type 31. The fact that we’re blame “the average Brit”, rather than the liars or the media is astounding. Turkey was never joining the EU, but people still voted for the liars. Don’t blame the voters, blame the liars and those who knowingly repeated those lies. I personally have lost faith in ships and so should you. Taranto, Pearl Harbour, Kamikazes, the Falklands and Star Wars 4 showed us what happens when you give a farmboy a torpedo and a weak spot. All too easy now… Read more »

Henry Root

You don’t have “shields up”. So what exactly are Babcock, BAE, the MOD etc doing? What tricks do we have up our sleeves to defend from a naval or aerial drone attack? Could these ships even survive a conventional air attack?


It does seem a bit inelegant to me to have a different CMS on T26 vs T31. I would have thought that commonality was better in terms of less training, easier personnel transitions between ships, fewer suppliers to deal with, etc. I’m a bit surprised that the MoD didn’t dictate what CMS was to be used. Does it not in fact matter that much in practice and are the benefits I mentioned above either non-existent or very minor?


Just been reading Plymouth Live from yesterday, apparantly Lord West of Spithead Ex First Sea Lord commented on hearing that Government intends to reduce the number of frigates from 13 to 9 by 2036.
Can anyone confirm this?
If so which frigates are to be cut?
Or is it that the T31 will get a diffrent designation, perhaps corvettes.


Not heard this. I know modelling between production and commissioning of the 26s and 31s vs the decommissioning of the 23s it’s likely to drop frigate numbers down to 11/10 for a time.

This had lead to some discussion on OPV lethally upgrades, which is a disaster as the discussion also includes putting them in harms way, the whole point of the RN OPV is the clear blue water between it and a true escort so preventing Politicians think of them inappropriately and then them being sent in harms way and risking the crews in death traps.


Thales have been in the mix for some type of work from day one ,where do these papers get there nonsense from .

Mike smith

At the moment how is the royal navy going to man these ships being as there are so many ships laid up because the navy doesnt have the personell to man the fleet as it exists. Youngsters today dont have the stamina discipline or any inclination to spend months away from home