The construction of the Royal Navy’s Type 31 fleet will sustain approximately 1,250 skilled jobs at Babcock’s Rosyth shipyard and create 150 new apprenticeships.

The information came to light in the following response to a Parliamentary Written Question.

James Cartlidge, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, stated:

“The construction of the Royal Navy’s Type 31 fleet will support around 1,250 highly-skilled jobs at Babcock’s shipyard in Rosyth and see the creation of an additional 150 apprenticeships. The programme will also support a further 1,250 roles across the UK supply chain.”

Awarded to Babcock in November 2019, the contract to deliver five Type 31 general purpose frigates will conclude by the end of 2028.

Frigates now being built in pairs at Rosyth frigate factory

According to Babcock:

“Building on the unique experience and success of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, we have brought together a highly experienced and integrated project team spanning several regions of the UK, to meet the challenging Type 31 programme.

Re-energising the UK’s maritime capability through modern UK ship design and build practices, the Type 31 programme is the first of its kind to be delivered under the new National Shipbuilding Strategy. The innovative programme will strengthen technology transfer into the UK and drive British shipbuilding expertise to deliver the Royal Navy, a world leader in naval platforms, the ‘Inspiration’ class.”

At a glance:

  • HMS Venturer – steel cut in 2021
  • HMS Venturer – keel laying 2022
  • HMS Active – steel cut in 2023
  • HMS Active – keel laying 2023
  • All five frigates delivered by the end of 2028
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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
16 days ago

I have no idea how realistic this timeline really is. There was precious little outfitting of the first hull from the photos we saw on here an NL. As I have said before I can see there being some compression of delivery as by #3 they will be better outfitted. Whereas #1 has little or no outfitting and that is very time/manpower/cost intensive to rectify. But then this creates a crunch on the available fitout work force. People who can wire to marine and Lloyds Class/NATO standards don’t grow on trees. I really hope that I am wrong as these… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
16 days ago

The photos of hms Venturer is from September last year, when HMS Active was laid down.

Last edited 16 days ago by Meirion X
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I know it isn’t new.

I was querying the level of internal pre outfitting of the modules.

Sonik
Sonik
14 days ago

What’s very noticeable, is that there haven’t been any public updates for a while.

I suspect they are waiting to make a big announcement for the launch.

Mark P
Mark P
16 days ago

Only a guess but with the probable scraping of HMS Westminster and HMS Argil, I would imagine Babcock will be able to transfer Lloyds/NATO qualified engineers from Devonport to Rosyth to help with the outfitting now the type 23 LIFEX is nearly done and only general maintenance left for the T23’s after HMS Sutherland leaves?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Mark P

That is very probably true.

With limited manpower pick the critical tasks.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
16 days ago
Reply to  Mark P

Except possibly the PGMU mod for selective T-23s? 🤔

Mark P
Mark P
16 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

That’s true but I wouldn’t be surprised if any of them apart from HMS Richmond, St Albans and Sutherland who have already or undergoing it now will ever receive the PGMU?

Meirion X
Meirion X
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark P

Five T23s, were to have PGMU.

Meirion X
Meirion X
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark P

There’s still Hms Kent to be fitted for PGMU?

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
16 days ago

Skills are hard to retain. So watch the government do it’s usual and lose them all then retrain a few years later at great cost.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

The hardest skill to train or retain (not sure about retain as I haven’t noticed anyone competent for a couple of decades although I might have blinked?) is government??

Jon
Jon
16 days ago

Training politicians to be competent in government? I like the idea. Perhaps one month’s media purdah for departmental newbies on arrival would be good too.

To be fair, I offer Mr Wallace as having been reasonably competent. He managed to get some money out of No 10 and the Treasury (keeping 3% in the public gaze), led well on Ukraine, and managed to speed up the shipbuilding programme, while not once claiming the aircraft carriers were run by the RAF. IMO, retaining him would have been worth it.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Jon

The reason BW walked away was the lack of new money.

Without a trajectory to 2.5% budgets were real term cutting and his work was being progressively undone before his eyes.

The dial has moved further and 2.75% is now the minimum.

Given that conventional defence spending is really around 1.5% (if nuclear and pensions are removed) this is the point when there is enough money to maintain critical mass.

Unfortunately because we took a twenty year investment holiday from defence the 0.25% on top is to fill that financial hole in.

Jon
Jon
14 days ago

If retaining him would have meant making him Prime Minister, I copuld have lived with that.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Better than either clown on offer ATM.

Nobody committing to anything.

It is only the nation’s defence.

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago

‘All in service by 2028’ can’t really come soon enough I imagine! Given the issues with keeping the T23’s running, it doesn’t take a giant leap to envisage a second batch (2-4 units) following on from say 2027ish just to keep the facility running. The unknown is clearly T32, given that we dont really know much about where this programme might/might not be at, then a second batch of T31’s is entirely feasible if the money men are onside(big IF). Glasgow should be commissioned by then, but will be conducting first of class trials, which will govern her programme for… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Not certain, but believe that those T-23s that receive the PGMU mod may be the only vessels of the class that the RN is convinced have significant remaining viability. HMS Richmond completed. HMS St. Albans mod is evidently in process. Additional ships? 🤔

Mark P
Mark P
16 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Fairly sure that HMS Sutherland is undergoing PGMU or was suppose to be will she is still currently having her LIFEX?

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
16 days ago
Reply to  Mark P

And that may well constitute the residual longer term T-23 flotilla.

Mark P
Mark P
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I’m sure I read somewhere (Naval news?) that both New Zealand & Ireland had expressed interest with Babcock about the Arrowhead 140 “Type 31” but only interest at this stage. Not sure what capacity they have to build war ships but it might and that’s a big might be work to follow on from the RN T31’s?

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  Mark P

Not heard anything about Ireland ever expressing an interest in A140.
But yes, believe that Aus has expressed an interest in them, following our course ie T26/31 hi/low capability mix. NZ have said that if Aus do go for A140 (at expense of several T26), then they would be interested in joining that programme and buying several for themselves.

Coll
Coll
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Naval News has an article.

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  Coll

Cheers, have had a look, very surprised given Ireland’s stance on defence spending. Good luck to them though, hope that they manage to procure this capability, although believe that crewing it might be the bigger challenge given their current manpower issues (sounds somewhat familiar!).

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
12 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I live in Ireland. There has been talk in the local media since 2015 of acquiring a Multi-Role Vessel to support EU and UN operations. It will have a focus on disaster relief, humanitarian emergencies, climate change(?), providing a “field hospital”, peacekeeping and similar activities that will give Ireland good press.  Last year the Irish government decided to gradually increase defence spending from 0.3 to 0.5% of GDP, and funding is finally available for the ship. The Scottish company of Houlder Ltd have been appointed to support the procurement process.   I predict with confidence that a A140 type design is very unlikely… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

The real question would be whether NZ would order T-31 from a British or Oz shipyard?

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

From the sparse info floating around, believe that NZ would like to jump on the back of any potential Aus building programme.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

AUS built will be far more expensive than UK built. AUS wages are higher.

NZ already have CAMM.

A Mk41 VLS farm will be fine for everything else.

It is the right kind of kit for them. At the right price point.

Ireland need T31, no question, with full sonar. However, will their arms lengthen to reach the bottom of their deep pockets to pay for it? This really is Celtic Tiger MkII stuff…..the economic miracle…..

Babcock UK could cut steel on export T31 in 2026. Little chance of AUS getting going on that so fast.

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago

Yes, Aus have yet to put forward a requirement for a T31esq vessel, so agree that UK would be in a better position to assist NZ with a possible build if they wanted a replacement for their two ANZAC class ships. However, the time frame for such a replacement is potentially a decade or so away, so, jumping in with a possible Aus order might be preferable for them. Having read the NN article, not entirely sure that a T31 is what Ireland actually wants. Believe that they are looking more towards some form of Multi purpose/role vessel not a… Read more »

Jon
Jon
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

‘All in service by 2028’. If only that’s what it actually said.

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Some ‘artistic licence’ on my part I know. We can always hope…

David Barry
David Barry
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

It’s not going to happen though, is it?

T31 in water and proven, follow on order, however, T31 still out fit / trials… no one would order a follow on.

Then there is Govt funding, on the bright side, I looked at mother’s Daily Fail yesterday and talking heads are talking Defence; not sure the Cons will be in Govt in 27/28…

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Trying to put a positive spin on things, glass half full and all that, far to gloomy an outlook else.

David Barry
David Barry
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Scepticism is creeping up with my age…

I can’t see it happening and certainly if Cons cut taxes before the coming election that would amount to defence vandalism because I can’t see a Labour Govt raising taxes to pay for Defence, can you?

So, I actually prefer a full glass so IF this Govt have got any cajones left, they should contract for 4 T26 B3.

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Cant really disagree with you, also much prefer a ‘full glass’ too. What still effectively remains unknown at this point, is what are Babcock building in this shed after 2028ish, given that Bae will still be building T26’s until early 2030’s?
If its to be a new class – T32?, then we should have something in the pipe line by now, whereas a follow on order for T31, could be announced that much later -2026?
Clearly far to many ‘full’ glasses in my reasoning….

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
16 days ago

I’m no fan of the modular multi-role designs that BAE and Babcock are offering for T32. The US LCS programme has shown the serious advantages of going modular in a big way, even when you have a near unlimited budget. E.g. (1) the need to reserve lots of often unused volume for modules, reducing the standard armament fit; (2) having a stock of spare and fully operational modules on-hand ready to fit; (3) having on standby spare personal who are trained and able to use the equipment fitted in a module. The last point is a near show-stopper. For the… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
16 days ago

I’m sure any decent enemy will be happy to wait while we race back to port to pick up a module to deal with a threat we didn’t think we’d face!
Modulisation is great in theory, but better to have a good all round GP fit from the start. Especially if you’ve a small escort fleet.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago

I’m sure you meant “serious disadvantage of going modular” otherwise you are actually contradicting your argument. I agree that the LCS Modular system was a complete dead end and seriously compromised but I’m not sure that it’s a complete loss. Required was a ship with lots of space, 40knots + speed and built to a low base price. LCS1 Used a conventional hull (hence limited space) and coupled it with a an absolute howler of a propulsion concept. A great GT coupled with a complete dogs dinner of Italian, French Diesels and a German Transmission. Result they are going out… Read more »

geoff
geoff
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

One of the things that makes the UKDJ the premier site in its field is in- depth knowledge such as that of yours and others here. Thanks for info especially for ‘generalists’ like myself-it is daily education 😉A broad comment-the longer the run, the lower the unit cost, and the greater the design is to a single standard, further cost benefits follow. This is one case where if some ‘built for but not with’ room would be advantageous in allowing for future flexibility. Also I understand how on completion, access to some areas becomes more difficult, but the Type 45… Read more »

Jon
Jon
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

What would happen if the T31s were not up to snuff? I think the RN would send them back and get them fixed. I can’t see them outright rejecting the class. There just aren’t enough hulls in service. By the time they started on a second batch, Babcock would have built at least 4 hulls. Postponing ordering a second batch until they have “proven themselves” would just delay things unnecessarily. It’s an excuse not think about a second batch or put budget aside, and rather than getting a follow-on contract sorted for the start of 2026, it would mean probably… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
16 days ago

😂😁 “serious advantages…” for the little crappy ships (LCS)! 👍 Great British humor!
Believe the USN would be more than willing to offer the RN a one time, good deal on the entire class! 😁 Read an article recently which stated that four LCS may be flogged off to the Hellenic Navy. My question is, what Greek misdeed warranted that offer? 😉

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

No way, try Greece.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
16 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Really don’t wish to alienate the Greeks either. Do you think it would be slightly suspicious if we offered them to the Orcs, ChiComs, nutbag N. Koreans or crazy Mullahs of Iran? 🤔😉

Meirion X
Meirion X
15 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I certainly don’t think the U.S should offer the Orcs etc LCS’s, unless they were stripped out hulks🤣

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
16 days ago

Curious, HMG, regardless of ruling party, usually emphasizes the employment benefits of defence procurement, at least equally w/ weapon system capabilities. Here in the colonies, any employment considerations are typically mentioned only by local politicians. Dunno, may be the only one who considers this as the proverbial “tail wagging the dog?” 🤔

John
John
16 days ago

Deliver 5 Type 31 by the end of 2028 , and delivered in what state of completion and commissioned to what level ??
Where have we heard this nonsense before on delivering warships to an exact date , just doesn’t work in the UK . Pigs will fly I think before this happens .

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
16 days ago
Reply to  John

Really ! FYI The T45 build schedule was phenomenal by any standard. The blocks were built in Portsmouth, Appledore, CL and the Clyde and barged up for assembly and fit out on Clyde.
The First bock was laid down and the last commissioned in less than 10 years. All 6 commissioned in 5 years, and the T23 delivery was just as fast,
That’s faster than the USN AB’s.

As for T31 it’s a completely unknown quantity as no ship has ever been built from scratch at Rosyth.

Andrew
Andrew
16 days ago

2028 isn’t very far away. We can’t afford to keep training up a workforce then lose them, only to start the cycle over again in a few years. T31 is relatively cheap; if in March the government announce a reasonable increase in defence then it is quite feasible to at least double the number of ships being built.

Martin
Martin
16 days ago

The big mistake which could be made is to alter the design of HMS venturer at this stage. Build it as planned and get it out of the door. It will be fine for some uses. Say as the larger vessel patrolling the west indies. Add the type 41 launchers to the next vessel if it won’t delay it, or even wait till the third. Then order one or two more to get five suitably equiped type 31s to go to areas where the weapons fit is appropriate. Looking at a layered defence against drones missiles I think a higher… Read more »

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
12 days ago

I see that Babcock are now referring to the Type 32 as the Type 31 Batch 2. Possibly an attempt to squeeze BAE Systems out of the competition. Of course the terminology is academic unless the RN gets allocated very soon the extra money needed to actually design and build them.