Rosyth is hoping to assemble Type 31e Frigates if Babcock and their industry consortium win the work.

The MoD is set to award a contract for the Type 31e frigate, with Babcock, BAE Systems and Atlas Elektronik among the main contenders.

Babcock say that their Arrowhead design lends itself equally to either a single build strategy, or a cross–site build strategy bringing together modules – an approach used for aircraft carrier assembly at Rosyth.

“The company are extremely optimistic they can work with the recognised trade unions (Unite, Prospect & GMB) when they secure the T31e project to minimise the risk of potential future compulsory redundancies. To achieve this, in the meantime, the company shall look to release volunteers for redundancy under the current phase announced in February 2019.

However, whilst securing the T31e project will give the yard a future longer term there is still the matter of current surplus labour. It is for this reason the company and the recognised trade unions shall look to enter into a temporary mobility agreement to secure the skillsets required for the future.

In the unfortunate event the company is unsuccessful in securing the T31e project it is likely we would be faced with the potential of 450 trade union members being made compulsory redundant, impacting all skill sets and all trade union collectives.”

Babcock recently announced that it would lead a team of industry partners in a bid for the new £1.25 billion Type 31e Frigate. Babcock say work would be shared across the UK but the vessels would be assembled in Rosyth.

The build plan for the Type 31 Frigates could follow a similar pattern to that of the Queen Elizabeth carriers and early Type 45 Destroyers in that blocks will be built in yards around the UK and assembled at one main location.

Modern shipbuilding makes considerable use of prefabricated sections. Entire multi-deck segments of the hull may be built elsewhere around the UK, transported to the building dock or slipway, then lifted into place and assembled into one ship. This is known as block construction and is far more cost effective. Yards pre-install equipment, pipes, electrical cables and any other components within the blocks, to minimise the effort needed to assemble or install components deep within the hull once it is welded together.

An MOD spokesperson said:

“The Competitive Design Phase is proceeding to schedule. The outcome of the competition for the design and manufacture of the ships will be announced by December 2019.”

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Ross
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Ross

It’s all very well saying block building is an efficient method of ship construction, but it’s still useless in the UK context when all of our yards seem to be on the brink of disaster given the snails pace of orders and the artificially slow treasury-mandated delivery schedule. What an absolute state the Tories have gotten our defence sector into since 2010.

Dave
Guest
Dave

If there’s no money things have to take their time.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@ Ross @ Simon m I know 9 years is a long time especially in politics but you both seem to have forgotten precisely where this country was economically in 2010. The incoming Coalition (and therefore NOT ‘tory’) inherited a (circa) £145 Bn a year deficit. Just take a moment to digest that figure. It was only by tackling that huge problem head on and restoring Bond Market confidence we even survived as a country. Notice I do not attach blame although I easily could but just state the facts. That economic restoration effort had consequences like losing the Harriers,… Read more »

Mark
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Mark

I wouldn’t highlight the OPV’s given how the Batch 2’s were stop gaps because the UK wouldn’t spend on the Type 26’s.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@ Mark – They are still Naval assets paid for by taxpayers so very much part of that list. A list of course which was there to show just how much HAS been delivered by those allegedly evil Tories ….

And don’t underestimate how valuable they will prove post Brexit if the French start playing games in our sovereign waters….

Ross
Guest
Ross

“Even survived as a country” is incredibly alarmist language and divorced from reality. IIRC, the deficit figure (rightly) spiked in the months/year after the crash, something which indicates that the government were taking (if not definitively “responsible”, then at least defensible) measures to mitigate the worst impacts. It’s much harder to “survive as a country” when your defence sector and prison service, etc. and run into the ground.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@ Ross – My point was as a country we were bankrupt regardless of who did what and why. Hence my lack of attributing blame. If a company goes bankrupt they do not ‘survive as a company’. That is the key point. Had we not brought in the measures to reduce the annual deficit the markets would have crucified us with all the horrendous fallout that would have entailed. When those from whom you need to borrow money lose faith you are finished. To see what happens then just Google ‘The Depression’. And lets not forget WHY we had that… Read more »

Robert blay
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Robert blay

???

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Afternoon Chris I will offer a counter argument to a few things you have said in your comments here and above Firstly we were certainly not in any way “bankrupt” by definition bankrupt means you cannot repay your debts, our current debt is around 85% of GDP, the amount we pay towards the debt is around 2% of GDP & around 5% of government taxable income, back in 2010 the debt was 75% of GDP but obviously with a smaller economy, but it was still around the 2% of GDP & 5% of government taxable income, so if a country… Read more »

Chris H
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Chris H

@ Solesurvivor – Once again an excellently assembled response Sir. I regret however I must disagree with the promise of your two main poiints and I won’t disrespect you by getting too detailed. basically I suspect we both agree action was needed but see different solutions. I think the fact you used the term ‘austerity’ to describe the actions taken shows from which side of the political aspect you are looking at those actions. No argument with that but its just most families balance their income with expenditure and call it good housekeeping rather than ‘austerity’. There are some (and… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Thanks for taking the time to reply Chris, i have just read the British steel thread and see you have your hands full today lol Yeah, fair enough if you think that about the bond markets, i myself cannot see any evidence they wanted spending cuts, it seemed the stimulus to see us through the financial crisis and the reduction in government spending in 2009, a realization that budgets would not increase for the foreseeable future and predicted economic growth from the IMF did more than enough for the bond buyers to be happy. There just doesn’t seem to be… Read more »

Chris H
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Chris H

@ Solesurvivor – Hands are too full to be honest and I am minded to pack it in again. Its not fun any more but hey ho … We are not far apart actually just a different angles to solve the same problems. But as we are discussing Bond Markets I would ask your views on this weeks movements? Sadly I can only post one link so Auntie Beeb it is: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49346972 Not sure how a country can react to this other than interest rates or some QE to prod investors out of Bonds. So many forces at play I… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

I think it’s the US-China trade war and the current political situation in the UK, markets want certainty and there is not a lot of that going around lately, clear worries about short term growth prospects. Don’t think its a coincidence that it happened a day after China did the “nuclear” option and told all it’s companies to completely stop buying US agricultural goods. But then the stock markets rallied today and the ECB said they will have a huge stimulus package announced in September, easing Eurozone fears and will probably put the German economy back on track. So that’s… Read more »

Expat
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Expat

Sole. Can you perhaps explain what your world looks like without austerity. We know that Labour will borrow 250b. And have no intention on tackling a deficit so what does this equate to in terms of new interest payments? How much debt is the in plan. What’s the planned annual increase in UK debt. We’re paying something like 70b per annum at the moment. Almost enough to fund defence twice over. Didn’t Argentina have its own currency as did Zimbabwe but don’t recall that saving then from completely irreparable collapse. As for the financial crisis if we’d had money in… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Expat, so you have seen I am a Labour voter so decided to throw a comment at me attacking a 2 year old manifesto, then dived into the realm of sheer stupidity by comparing the Argentine Peso & Zimbabwean Dollar to Sterling, then finished with some fake news, throwing it’s all Corbyn’s fault for good measure. Just to address that huge elephant in the room first, Sterling is the 4th most traded currency in the world, 3rd most held currency in the world, and along with the US Dollar, Japanese Yen, Euro and Chinese Yuan is one of the five… Read more »

Expat
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Expat

Sole. there was no attack on you intended. These are questions, as for 2 year old manifesto if Labour had won these would be what Corbyns Labour would be implementing so entirely relevant. Note I will not tar the entire Labour party. I have no alliance to any political party but I have grave concern for the future of my children. So Argentina…… You’re comparing Argentina today to the UK. I was looking at the example of an first world economy reversing significantly. My point is it can happen and has happened. In the first part of the last century… Read more »

Tupper
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Tupper

The UK were not bankrupt . Austerity was a lie. Debt has risen and is still rising . No one but Cameron and co to blame for that . The austerity cuts have led nowhere , 12 billion a year in aid , ( or 12 type 45s a year ) every year for 9 years . What a fleet that would create . Or the 56 billon for a train track . The money is there , it’s how they choose to spend it. Creating poverty and destitution for armed service personelle is a great way to run the… Read more »

maurice10
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maurice10

The truth of the matter is the RN will lose some global capability due to the snail’s pace of delivery of both Type26 & 31’s. The only hope will be additional money to extend Type23 life spans. Sadly, that would be money that could be spent on more brand new hulls? Global crises can quickly arise and the British public expects the RN to respond, as currently experienced in the gulf. At this rate, the MOD might have to lease warships in order to support a ‘Global Britain.’

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

As ever, I broadly agree with the thrust of your argument Chris. However, the NHS was rightly ringfenced, defence on the other hand had the wrecking Ball swung at it, with wild disregard for National Security. Dropping the escort fleet from its already dangerously low figure of 25 to 19, was a terrible risk, as was canceling Nimrod MRA4 without any replacement. Did Labour cause the issue? Despite the years of left wing smoke and mirrors, blaming international downturns etc etc, yes they most certainly did. Labour initially simply carried on the previous Tory plan of selling off the family… Read more »

Robert blay
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Robert blay

?at last, a common sense reply, that highlights why we can’t afford the fantasy fleets many who use this site dream about. Thanks Chris H.

Edward Kerwood
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Edward Kerwood

But why has most of the work been done in Scotland?? Labour under Blair and Brown not forgetting chancellors and Ministers of defence being Scottish moved all the building of ships north of the border

Tupper
Guest
Tupper

And they have ( Tories ) borrowed a further 1.4 trillion , and run the armed forces into the ground , destroyed moral , and ensured no one wants to join up .

Chris H
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Chris H

@ Tupper – Your rather heroic re-write of recent fiscal history came to my attention via CMS. Forgive me but I couldn’t resist showing just how misleading your rather Momentum inspired comment was: Data released today by the ONS show the UK’s National Debt stands at £1.6 Trn (or 75% of GDP). So that gave me an indication of how far out your figures are. So I delved deeper and guess what Mr Tupper? Public sector net debt was £347 billion in 1996/97, the year before Labour came into office, and £1,011 billion in 2009/10, their last financial year in… Read more »

Expat
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Expat

So why after building 2 carriers have Babcock not reinvested profits to make the yard more efficient to win commercial business. Why’s it the governments job to prop up an industry with work? Why have unions not been pushing for profits to be reinvest in new automation and efficient manufacturing techniques….

Robert1
Guest
Robert1

2 carriers were assembled at Rosyth by the ACA of which Babcock is part but not sole member. BAE had a substantially larger portion of work share, both in block build and workforce…

Expat
Guest
Expat

Still the carrier where well over £6 billion, even if Babcock had 15% that £1 billion opportunity to improve efficiency and productivity. You know as well as me if they get the T31 order when its over they will be in no better position to win commercial work. We’ll see the same headlines…

Thomas Corbett
Guest
Thomas Corbett

Ross, it has little to do with political parties, more like economics.
We have no alternative shipbuilders with the capacity and skills to build complex warships, other than BAES.

Stephen
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Stephen

Building blocks hundreds of miles apart, with the associated transport costs, will not make British shipbuilding efficient or competitive. In the short term we can do that with the solid support ships, seeing as how they are sizeable ships, but in the long term we need to have a plan where even our large ships are be built on the same site.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

In the case of smaller ships(T31), yes I agree.
But may be better to build larger ships by block build?

Simon m
Guest
Simon m

Ross, I thoroughly agree, the government should be ashamed of themselves. Seeing as the navy needs these vessels ASAP there’s no reason as to why this decision couldn’t have been accelerated. Plus they’re extremely short sighted appledore and Harland Wolff need to be saved, if Scottish independence happens then at the moment it looks like England and the rest of the uk will have one shipyard! There is already talk of Faslane being leased from Scotland to the uk and unless this government wakes up warships will have to built in a foreign country!

Mark
Guest
Mark

Isn’t Appledore well gone by this stage? I mean the last build was P64 and she was handed over to Ireland quite a while ago.

Steve Salt
Guest
Steve Salt

Yes Appledore is long gone, they’ve even erased the Babcock logo from the doors.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I am still amazed by the ships that Appledore managed to produce in such a tiny yard. When you drove past the “sheds”, they looked like something out of the 40’s, but they still managed to produce ships on time.
When they closed down, didn’t most of the staff go to Deveonport?

Steve Salt
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Steve Salt

I believe so but it’s a shame as the yard built good ships on time and budget.

Richard
Guest
Richard

It is my understanding that the Appledore facility is now under, a new management consortium. Although no word on who that new management consortium consists of, (Atlas Elektronik UK in the mix!) that would really put the fox in the chicken shed. Could Babcock have Shot themselves in the foot, who knows until the Type 31e announcement

Brom
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Brom

Seems to me there’s not a little blackmail being put out there. Don’t get me started on the SNP shouts of ‘BETRAYAL’ that will inevitably follow should things not go exactly as they want.

Steve Salt
Guest
Steve Salt

I find the SNP’s constant screech of betrayal amusing as their entire reason for being is the betrayal of the union.

James Whittaker
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James Whittaker

It’s disgraceful the fleet has been allowed to wither. The article below, although relatively basic, shows how the fleet has been mauled by successive government. An order of two batches of five ships per batch would make sense, especially considering how “cheap” they will be (compared to the Type 26)

https://www.army-technology.com/features/what-equipment-the-mod-owns/

Will
Guest
Will

So whilst I fully understand everyone’s critiques against our government in regards to not providing shipyards with enough contracts etc. But I have to wonder why the shipyards don’t compete overseas or for civilian ships? I mean Navantia, DCNS, Fincantieri, and Daewoo all seem to do it successfully so why don’t ours. Is there something actually stopping them or have they just decided not to. Just seems like bad business to me.

Expat
Guest
Expat

Will totally agree, after having huge order for the carriers what have the yards done to improve efficiency and productivity. what have the unions done to encourage this also…. What they both want is juicy government contract they don’t need to compete for.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

Actually it is a myth that European and increasingly South Korean yards are all seeing the good times with orders vs the UK, truth is they are all struggling! Navantia, Navy Group (formally DCNS) and Fincanteri are struggling to get orders. They are still just about holding onto the semi-Complex cruise ship market but things like bulk carriers and tankers go to where ever it is cheapest to bash the steel into shape which at the moment is China! South Korean yards have faced the same issues as well and Daewoo had to be bailed out by the South Korean… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Didn’t the EU want Navantia and Fincanteri to merge? But I believe Italy said no as the new group would be French run.

Fedaykin
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Fedaykin

Rings a bell, without hitting Google to confirm I would say it sounds about right.

Gavin Gordon
Guest
Gavin Gordon

Surely with a competition that has been ongoing for considerably more years than the first of class Type 31 is due to take to enter the water, there should be some inkling within the UK defence industry over who’s going to get it with no more than 4 months to go; referring to the still-proposed build timetable, the successful candidate would not wish to be taken COMPLETLY by surprise, I’m sure?!

Cam
Guest
Cam

This has to stop! Having yards threatening closure or closing or large redundancies! It’s not decades ago when we had hundreds of yards to build ships at! We should save the few we have left and give them work they need, we need the ships, we have a huge merchant fleet and did used to build our own fleet we should build the smaller vessels like offshore oil and the like. you would think the two recently built Carriers would be a huge BUILD HERE for Rosyth and they would Atleast try get foreign ships built there on the back… Read more »

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

Sorry Cam but the unfortunate truth is the UK still has too many yards pretty much all of which are inconveniently located.

You only need to look at an aerial shot of the Fincantieri or Navantia yards then look at one of BAE Systems Clyde to realise how crazy a situation we are in when it comes to yard location.

Also Rosyth is less than ideal, it doesn’t have a large steel fabrication shop for example. It assembled the Carriers which is an important distinction.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Rant Rant Rant

Martin
Guest
Martin

Unfortunately very little point in trying to keep yards open when HMG has very little plans to order ships from them. Ideally the UK would just centre on a single yard that could build any type of vessel from a frigate up to an aircraft carrier, that’s probably not practical however a combination of Rosyth and the upper Clyde makes the most sense. Many of the workers that built CVF were transferred to Rosyth from BAE in Glasgow as it’s little more than a 45 minute drive away. You can’t do the same between any other two yards in the… Read more »

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Itshould be possible to construct 2 vessels at a time in the Carrier Dock . Its certainly wide enough and long enough for 2 Arrowheads to fit in. The RN used to use it for T42 and Leander refits at the same time, one at each end.

I have also heard that there may be 2 x Foreign buyers wanting Arrowhead vessels. These may be constructed under license in the Foreign Buyers own yards with Babcock overseeing construction and fitting out.

David Curry
Guest
David Curry

Sorry nothing should be committed to Rosyth till the blinked obsession of the SNP is put to bed if the get their independence then all ship building work for the Royal Navy should be completed south of the border. They want independence then independence is what they should get

Cam
Guest
Cam

It doesn’t make sense to me we can get 4 type 31s for the price of one 26, the arrowhead 31 picture above looks pretty good.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Steel and air are relatively cheap. Its when you start putting the systems inside the vessel that the price increases.
Double Raft mounted engines, quiet gearboxes, raft mounted auxillary equipment, radars, sonars, command systems, complex weapon systems, Helo services, magazines, galley for a bigger crew, fridges, freezers, accom for the crew. Its all expensive stuff.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Don’t forget the PO’s mess….

Russ M
Guest
Russ M

The Type 45’s went to a single mess for Senior Rates – not too sure about QEC though. The new build frigates will highly likely be single messing as well. Mixed SR messing was a little weird when I spent time on the Daring having just served on a 23.

Helions
Guest
Helions

Perhaps those yards could start looking into something like this? The market for these is about to explode I assure you…

https://news.usni.org/2019/08/14/navy-issues-draft-request-for-proposal-for-large-unmanned-surface-vehicle

Cheers!

Apoplectix
Guest
Apoplectix

Maybe a stupid question, but why do all these yards depend on more or less just MOD work. Are they incapable of securing any contracts for any boats that aren’t warships?

Expat
Guest
Expat

You’d think so wouldn’t you. Cammell Liard seems to be able to. Let me quote Sir John Parker report below. Basically the yards who compete are more efficient than those who live off MoD orders. —– A renaissance in shipbuilding is emerging in a range of regional shipbuilding companies competing in the ship and offshore conversions and repair markets plus participating in offshore wind farm structures, and other relevant engineering projects. There is no single customer dependency culture visible in these shipyards but rather an entrepreneurial attitude and an enthusiasm to embrace change along with flexible skilled labour practices with… Read more »

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

Unfortunately, I think we are now at a point whereby we need to agree where our ships are going to be built and then invest in cutting edge facilities. The Scottish government, can and should do more, instead of bleating every time something doesn’t go their way. Lets say we have a fleet of 75 vessels larger than 50m and an additional requirement for 750 vessels less than 25m. Spread over 25 years this equates to 3 ships per year and 30 smaller vessels (Atlas, tugs, RHIBS etc). Surely that is enough to support a military and commercial sector providing… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

I agree that a steady cadence of ship production is entirely possible. I suspect that many commenters assume that because a National shipbuilding Strategy was outlined that it can somehow transform the industry overnight, which isn’t practical. However, starting with T31 and T26 it is possible to see this develop. To bolster your numbers, you might add 2x Echo class multi-purpose survey replacements to your 25 Multi Mission ship count. An HMS Scott replacement might then be an Absalon-like build on T31, or use your JLASV platform if the replacement really needs to be as large as the current HMS… Read more »

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

Actually, We wouldn’t need the specialist vessels, the FLO FLO’s could be kitted out with modules to give them the capability of diligence and Scott, and as an additional incentive can be leased out regularly as there is a real demand at certain times of the year for these vessels.

Also with the Joint Logisitics ships and Multi mission vessels, they can be kitted out as need be – whether as a hospital ship or otherwise.

Perhaps there will be a need for some specialists (Arctic comes to mind), but should be avoided wherever possible.

T.S
Guest

Makes total sense to me. Not hard, just needs politicians to look beyond their 5 year stint in office.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

You hit the nail on the head. This is the biggest issue our Armed Forces have have faced since the 60’s. Every Government, regardless of colour has had a defence review, as they believe they know better then the previous Government. The outcome of the review, is either slash and burn or complete 180’s on previous decisions. Thus giving the Armed Forces little to work with or come up with the best of what’s available – strike brigade for example. What is the answer? I believe that the defence review requires multiparty agreement perhaps over a 10 to 14 year… Read more »

Expat
Guest
Expat

The Scottish government have considered nationalising Ferguson Marine so why not Rosythe, they could then subsidise it to win the T31 and the SSS contracts. Would be quite amusing to see the SNP use Scottish tax payers money to reduce the cost to MoD of these ships. Ironically I think the SNP would do this if it was foreign ship orders but they would never do it for the MoD.

Thomas Corbett
Guest
Thomas Corbett

I’ll eat my hat if it goes to anyone without BAES in their team…

Richard
Guest
Richard

Future Shipbuilding Strategy You have to stop and wonder if the shipbuilding and repair of UK government floating assets should be nationalized again. Gain are the days that the UK shipbuilders could compete for commercial work on a global scale. With only one Shipbuilder now producing Steel ships commercially in England (Cammell Laird) and Fergusons being the last in Scotland, however they are currently insolvent having made losses during construction of CalMac Ferries. The Future Shipbuilding Strategy could be, The Frame Work of the future: Reduce current yards to 4, (Yes this would result in major job losses and with… Read more »

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Rosyth could lose jobs? Just like Swan Hunters did, just like Portsmouth, just like Appledore, etc., etc. What makes the Scottish shipyards so special?

I don’t mind Scotland getting some R.N. and R.F.A. ships, I don’t even mind if they get most, but they are not getting every single last one without fail. The Type 31 is a perfect opportunity to get some Royal Navy shipbuilding back in England, they should be built in Cammell Lairds on the Mersey. I do think the solid support ships should be assembled at Rosyth though.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

My concern is the BAE Leander class contender at 117m and with a beam of 14.6m, will be limited of what top weight of equipment and armament it can carry. The Beam of River Class 2 OPV, is 13.5m.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

I understand where you are coming from, but the Type 31 is designed from the outset to be a light frigate, and inexpensive, Leander’s smaller size actually counts for it. It will be cheaper to build (steel is cheap, but it isn’t free) and also cheaper to propel through the water. Also as a light inexpensive frigate, with the best will in the World, it won’t have a huge amount of weapons to carry.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

I think the RN really need 2/3 surface combat ship classes only, although can see the argument for a corvette in the 80-100m size. Global Combat Ship (T26) 150m – High End Escort (AAW/ASW) Global Multi Mission Ships (T31) 120-130m – GPF Frigate Additionally, a corvette similar to a C-Sword 90 could fill a real gap in our capability and provide a real alternative to the Rivers and our MCM fleet and be built in volume relatively cheaply I have listened to many people telling me the bigger the ship the better, so if it costs less to have 13… Read more »

Scott
Guest
Scott

Are they going to assemble a part of the ship in Belfast Harland and wolf? This is exatly what’s needed and all those poor men are about to be jobless

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

We can support a bare minimum of 3 ship building yards in the U.K. using our Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary. The frigate factory enclosed dock hall should still be built on the Clyde so the Royal Navy has World class facilities in which to build our frigates and destroyers. Another large enclosed dock hall should be built at Cammell Lairds on the Mersey so we have a World class facilty in which to build large R.F.A. ships, amphibious, future carriers, etc. Things like O.P.V.s, M.C.M.V.s, etc. would be shared between the 2 yards. Beyond the Clyde, the Mersey… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

Speaking to a couple of my ‘neeburs’ who work in the dockyard, apparently they’re being ‘encouraged’ to move to other dockyards in the short term until Rosyth gets some more work in.

I can’t help but think building the RFA’s here and getting a few more Type 31’s knocked out would keep things ticking over, even if they mothball them or sell them on eventually. Got to look at the big picture.

Roders96
Guest
Roders96

Did my dissertation on defence shipbuilding over the last 20 years, why the navy has halved since 2000. From the perspective of skills retention, there is no use in Rosyth or other military yards winning civilian orders. A decorator on a prefabricated cruiseliner can’t fit a MK41 silo the day after. They’re different jobs for different yards. HMG learnt this with the astute programme; one of the 3 main reasons for astute’s delays was that skills supposedly retained at barrow by Auxilary and Amphibious shipping work were not those required for more complex submarine construction. Different types of warships and… Read more »

Roders96
Guest
Roders96

As a side, the conclusion was along the lines of: – Keep de-risking a la T26. – Consolidate and agglomerate all shipyards around Glasgow. BAE and Babcock should both have one large site each. This way the govt can award a contract to one yard or the other without worrying about damaging the local skills base. Parker’s Fig. 4 shows reason w/ Glasgow. – Don’t expensively retain the skills to build auxiliaries at the expense of the escort fleet. Different skillsets and budgets are tight, HMG needs to prioritise. – Work with close allies (AUS, CAN) to purchase each other’s… Read more »

Andy P
Guest
Andy P

From first hand experience Barrow suffered from the gap in submarine building. From a selfish point of view it suited me as I spent more time in Barrow yahoo-ing than being at sea but big picture…. probably not the way to go, Out and out short termism.

Roders96
Guest
Roders96

Big gap it was, two decades! Massive short-termism. essentially 3 things: – there was a gap of 20 ish years between design + construction, employment at the yard fell from 13,000 to 3,000 between deterrent and attack sub programmes (77% reduction). – the government buggered the initial competition for the contract, awarding it to marconi (who had never built a submarine), because they were cheaper as opposed to vickers who would have had the best chance of doing the works – in an effort to cut costs, the major govt sacked all the logistics, weapons and marine engineering officers in… Read more »

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Roders, A decorator is a poor analogy. A decorator is never going to fit a Mk41. However he may be painting the deck around one which is similar to the job on a cruise liner build. The issues with sub building is valid. That work is about as specialist as it gets and the loss of say welders who weld thick Hy80/100 type steels means they are pretty much irreplaceable. Most ship repair /building organisations use a lot of Subcons for specialist work and only keep a small core of specialists on the permanent payroll. Whilst the guys I work… Read more »

Roders96
Guest
Roders96

Granted decorators still used, but nowhere near as intensively.

The skills required to build warships are the other end of the spectrum to cruiseliners.

Ron
Guest
Ron

It is really about time that industry and the government do something about ship building capabilities in the UK. Lets look at confirmed, planned and possible future builds for the RN/RFA and other government agencies such as border patrol, STUFT. For the RN at the moment the new Dreadaught class is being built and I suspect that in ten years time the design phase for the Astute replacements will start. In Glasgow the three T26s are confirmed with a further five in the pipe line. Then there is the five T31s to be built where, three FSS of 40,000 tons… Read more »

Baz hoops
Guest
Baz hoops

What consortium they shut Appledore ,Garland in belfast closing & Ferguson on the verge of closure. Why would the government give it to babcock now

Richard
Guest
Richard

Future Shipbuilding Strategy You have to stop and wonder if the shipbuilding and repair of UK government floating assets should be nationalized again. Gain are the days that the UK shipbuilders could compete for commercial work on a global scale. With only one Shipbuilder now producing Steel ships commercially in England (Cammell Laird) and Fergusons being the last in Scotland, however they are currently insolvent having made losses during construction of CalMac Ferries. The Future Shipbuilding Strategy could be, The Frame Work of the future: Reduce current yards to 4, (Yes this would result in major job losses and with… Read more »