The new Type 32 Frigate will be built in addition to the Type 26 and Type 31 Frigates in the hopes of bringing the escort fleet up to 24 vessels from its current 19.

This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced what the Ministry of Defence have called “the biggest investment in the UK’s Armed Forces since the end of the Cold War”, confirming an injection of £16.5 billion over four years.

Referring to his promise to “restore Britain’s position as the foremost naval power in Europe”, the Prime Minister added:

“If there was one policy which strengthens the UK in every possible sense, it is building more ships for the Royal Navy.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said today:

“We’re going to commit to the next generation of frigate the Type 32. We’re going to commit to bringing online the Type 31 and Type 26 Frigates in Scotland.”

According to a press release from the Government:

“The £16.5 billion investment confirms our order of 8 Type 26 and 5 Type 31 frigates, commits us to the next generation Type 32, and supports the future solid support ships that will supply our Carrier Strike Group.

Whilst this is reassuring news for the defence industry, Defence will not overlook the challenges that are ahead, to continue addressing the savings still required and the efficiencies we need to make.”

Discussing this news, respected defence journalist Xavier Vavasseur at NavalNews said:

“While the 8 Type 26 frigates (also known as the City-class) and 5 Type 31 frigates were already planned to be procured, the real surprise in today’s announcement is the mention for the first time of the “Type 32”. Early rumors associated the term with an export variant of Type 31, T4X (Type 45 destroyer replacement), the Littoral Strike Ship project (which appears to be abandoned) or even a typo. 

Naval News learned from a reliable UK source that this is in fact some sort of ‘pre program’ put in place for budgetary reasons in anticipation of a future potential ‘Type 31 Batch 2’. The source added that this potential ‘Type 31 Batch 2’ may not necessarily be based on the Type 31 design.”

Additionally, outlining how the cash would be spent, Johnson said that the funding would help “spur a renaissance of British shipbuilding across the UK – in Glasgow and Rosyth, Belfast, Appledore and Birkenhead”.

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Charles

It would be funny if ‘Type 32’ was just a typo on the teleprompter that launched a thousand articles…

captain p wash

“Early rumours” have been a mix though, not just of a Type 31 batch 2. Some are linking his words to the “future Threats” and ” Next generation ” which if you really think about it, might actually just mean a “Step change” in capability and an acknowlegement that we as a Sea Fairing and Sea trading dependent nation actually depend on a healthy Royal Navy again.

Matt

The “next generation” bit really stood out for me. I suspect the Type 32 will have some of following features; 1 – low radar cross section. Maybe even use radar absorbent materials like the F35. A “Stealth frigate” if you will. 2 – laser weaponry. Dragonfire consortium perhaps. But power generation will be key… 3 – next-gen power generation capabilities. Gotta feed those hungry lasers somehow! Rolls Royce have been making advancements in the aerial environment, why not maritime too. 4 – drone control. Whether that be UAV, UUV etc. or a combination. Maybe the T32 will include options for… Read more »

Mark B

Matt you could well be right. My personal view of the PM is that he has not considered any detail (he is a big picture guy) he is just stating that he wants modern advanced kit and if anyone is thinking about serving up the same old tat as usual they had better think again.

Also new build techniques to improve quality and drive down costs are highly desirable.

More automation might also be a factor. Keep the personnel on board to a minimum. Less lives at risk and more room for weaponry.

Spyinthesky

I agree though in my mind this also means that as things stand T32 is purely a concept presently, a few forming ideas to be dissected and discussed over time so what it ends up as is still a long way off in any solid form. There’s going to be a good few years of technology assessment before they will decide on an upgraded T31 reworked T26 of something different to feed on those tech decisions. Matt, RR has already developed and tested laser power modules for ships in the States, I think it was earlier this year or late… Read more »

maurice10

This whole announcement on the Type 32 is to protect the RN budget going forward. The Government is acutely aware that a free trade Britain, post Brexit, will have to achieve real global reach in the years to come, if international trade routes are to be protected against mischievous adventurism. The current fleet is not able to achieve these aims, and further orders are bound to follow? I’m convinced the future tension points will be the World’s oceans, and seaways, as mineral resources and exclusive portage deals squeeze and restrict free movement.

Supportive Bloke

The laser power modules could be about the size of an EJ2000 but without the output fan blades except probably one row for cooling.

The coupling of lots of electrical power and jet engine is well into development.

This is also of interest for ships main electrical systems as it would make the power plant very compact and highly responsive. More space but less weight so not very positive for CoG.

Ron5

“The coupling of lots of electrical power and jet engine is well into development”

You mean gas turbine generators that have been at sea for at least the past 20 years and can be bought off the shelf from half a dozen suppliers?

Supportive Bloke

Nope

I am not talking about the connection of GT to generator set.

RR are working on a compact generation that is based around the EJ2000 Typhoon engine core. For the powering of high energy weapons on high end aircraft. Massive amounts of HV power in a highly compact package.

Presumably for Tempest and its ilk.

Daveyb

See the below link:

Rolls-Royce unveils hybrid power system for laser weapons (defensenews.com)

This takes up the space of a small iso container and is designed to be carried on the back of a truck. RR are also building larger scale versions, These are also designed to fit within the iso container but ether the larger 20 or 40 ft ones. Therefore if we looked at a T26 or a T31 who have mission bays designed around iso container sizes. The ship’s have a relatively easy upgrade path.

Ianbuk

While I admire the QE class for it’s automation and the less lives at risk, therres also less time for on the job training. I know young matlows get schooled in a SIM ashore, but that’s not the same as a pressured environment. The major issue is damage control, then resuming flight operations.. When you have a Carriervthe size of the Washington (which I know is 18 metres longer than the QE),it has nearly 5,000 sailors. The QE has 1,600 max. That’s a big difference when it comes to damage control.

Paul Corcoran

My view of the PM is that he is a falstaffian buffoon. But you are quite right with your observation that he does not do detail. That much is demonstrably clear.

Herodotus

Ahhh…but ‘have we not heard the chimes at midnight’?

TrevorH

He has got us out of the EU… so your brainpower is a bit at fault.

Paul Corcoran

Infantile drivel. Insults will not work on me.

TrevorH

Ha. It’s you who went out if your way to spout drivel. I am just pointing out Boris has actually done something, and not at all buffoonish. More than most of us have done. On top of that he has just announced nearly 5 billion on defence and a new frigate. Get real, instead of being prejudiced.

Frank62

Less crew pleases the accountants, but when a ship suffers damage & casualties in combat you need plenty of crew to replace & deal with casualties, plus repair all that top kit the ship relies on to function. Otherwise you’re just making it easier for the enemy to kill your ships.

Steve R

Though the “next generation” of ships is the Type 26 and Type 31. They aren’t here yet so they are the next gen. I don’t look further into it than that.

Ron5

I think you are spot on. In Boris’s world, a second batch is the next gen.

borg

Can you add a bit of fact there mate ?

TrevorH

And yet here is another one. Don’t you recognise a significant increase in defence spending when you see one? Its the top brass and the manderins who squander endless billions. But hey… just go for the cheap shot. You’d like to see Starmer and his crazies in charge?

Paul Corcoran

It’s funny isn’t it that as soon as you criticise Big Al Johnson (you do realise that his family and friends don’t call him Boris) you are immediately accused of being a supporter of Keir Starmer. I’m guessing here but I bet over the last 10/11 years more than what has been proposed has been systematically shaved off the defence budget by the tories and this proposed increase probably will not cover what has been lost. I would have been more comfortable with that fools pronouncement if he had actually given us some hard facts. Such as increasing the number… Read more »

TrevorH

I’m sure Al is as happy to be called Boris in the same way that MrsT was happy to be called The Iron Lady.

The facts are that Boris has lifted the Defence Budget. Whether the Brass Hats and Manderins will waste it is another matter.

Gunbuster

The RN has been fitting Stealth Material to its ships for Decades. RAM and RASH (radar absorbing Material/Sheets) where on everything. RASH especially involved covering most of the Upper Deck on T42 and T22 in a rubber sheet that was stuck onto the superstructure with contact adhesive.It worked. It reduced the RCS of those pre stealth designed ships by a respectable amount. That gave your decoys and other special fit electronic goodies a fighting chance to spoof, jam and deceive incoming threats. As for lasers…Even the best that are currently available say a 50kw power output are only good for… Read more »

Airborne

And yet again, sn excellent informed post with reral info, cheers GB.

TrevorH

Indeed. I think a lot of detail goes into different bits of the substructure design these days. I just hope in spending money on this design we dont go totally gaga like the USN did on the DDG1000.

Nicholas

I have to say I worry somewhat about the decision making processes. The First Sea Lord prioritises sensors and commas over sexy weapons pointing to the invaluable effects of such information. The trouble is that in a hot war you’re eventually going to have to deal with threats. With so many of our platforms lacking offensive firepower the job of ‘doing’ falls on a small collection of assets some of whom might be elsewhere. Concentrating on next generation is great but we’re already well behind on possibly more than one generation. Given the lifespan of naval weapons gap we have… Read more »

Ron5

The UK is the only navy in the world with an aircraft carrier deploying 100% 5th generation fighters.

borg

Not really, they also deploy Merlins, Chinooks and Wildcats, as well as the V22 but I know what you are trying to say.

David Flandry

That’s true, and very good. But between them they have a limited air wing. Numbers do matter.

Ron5

I agree, two carriers are very impressive. Numbers matter.

Nicholas

What weapons can they carry at present?

Ron5

Two advanced air to air missile types and the best precision bomb in the Western inventories. When the carrier become operational (which is in the future) they will also have the West’s best long range air to air missile and a brand new, medium range air to ground stand off missile.

Deep32

That will be the Aim 120:Amraam , Aim -9x Sidewinder and a small LGB then! Two weapons for self defence and a smallish bomb, not much of a Strike capability at the moment.
Meteor and Spear 3 are due when Block 4 aircraft come online(2024!), which is apparently 2 years and 1.6 Billion dollars late. So, no time soon it would appear!!!!

Daveyb

Technically speaking whatever another Nation uses on their F35s, the UK can also use. This is because the weapons software integration is throughout all F35s. The Block4 upgrade comes in part A and B flavors, it split 80% software and 20% hardware. It contains over 53 new technologies, including 600lbs external fuel drop-tanks, UAV wingman control, ground collision avoidance system, electronic warfare and communications upgrades plus weapons integration. Before Block 4 the aircraft must get the technology refresh 3 package, in the shape of new cockpit displays, more memory and new processors. Block 4 really adds teeth to the aircraft.… Read more »

Deep32

Great post mate, hadn’t personally gone into that much detail when reading some of the stuff WRT Block 4 upgrades. I know that the main improvements are centred around new super computers and more weapon integration with all that entails, where as you post ASRAAM/METEOR/SPEAR 3 et al become available for use by us. As you say, technically any weapons integration upgrades are available to all users, but, my point (poorly made perhaps) is that we don’t have those weapons in our inventory (nor are we likely to procure them), so, currently only have a limited strike capability. I don’t… Read more »

Ron5

You seem to think the carriers are operational. They are not.

Deep32

No, I don’t think I mentioned the carriers at all, believe my points are ref F35 capabilities?

Ron5

That’s a lot of supposition dressed up as fact.

Ron5

You are incorrect. I suggest you check again.

Deep32

I assume you are referring to my comments ref missiles? Yes, I may have read the info incorrectly, IF, that’s the case, which ones are you referring to?

TrevorH

The principle problem being not able to time the carriers with the development of the aircraft. Was the F35 in development when the carriers were ordered?

Rob

Not unless they build them in English & / or Northern Irish yards because the Clyde is maxed out to 2034 with the T26 and Rosyth to 2031 with the T31.

I bet they regret not giving a bridging loan to Appledore….

ChariotRider

Appledore has re-opened and is apparently hiring again. It is now call Harland & Wolff Appledore, so you can guess the link up. The PM visited Appledore a few weeks ago.

Cheers CR

Rob

Thanks CR

Frank62

That’s very good news.

TrevorH

Yes, I saw that and I don’t think He went there for his health. And may be leaving the EU will help the fish dock.
I’ve visited Appledore a couple of times, it’s a nice little place. I hope it goes well.

Benjamin Rule

I suspect no one in HMG is bothered about Clyde shipyards being full right now.

‘Dear Scotland (oh and Northern Ireland too). You only get the extra frigate orders in the 2030s if you stay in the UK.’

A stronger Royal Navy is good news but this sounds like a panic plan to help prevent Scottish independence. Sadly the politics of the last few years has probably made that unavoidable in my view.

Mike Hannah

Independence is not a for gone conclusion. Admittedly the behaviour of the current Westminster Government who seek to govern by dictate rather than consensus has not help and will not help until Boris et al, stop paying lip service to the devolved administration. Engaging his brain before he criticises devolution only serves the nationalist agenda . The other big reason the nationalist are making gains is because they are the only voice out there, they hammer home nationalist Nerva agenda at every opportunity. It is time their was another voice, one that promotes the strength of the Union and avoids… Read more »

Mark B

The Clyde and Scotland needs some competition. The North of England needs some work. The Scots know they will lose all the shipbuilding as a result of independence (although I not convinced they will be as keen when and if the time comes) but it is a matter of principle so I can’t see it influencing people one way or another.

Spyinthesky

Spot on, the T32 is definitely a shot across the bows and Appledore will be fed enough work to keep it not only profitable but as part of a plan B should Independence become inevitable by the mid 20s as looks increasingly likely. T32 would also be perfectly timed to feed to non Scottish yards with part of the excuse being their full order books and capacity, and without breaking any promises north of the border and would even leave open the potential to swap orders from the previous two types which might be easier than moving the production of… Read more »

Mark B

If the plan is to build something completely new it might need a completely different skill set anyway. Time to rejuvenate some of those coastal left behind towns in the north perhaps.

TrevorH

Yes.

Ron5

Appledore was physically not capable of building any of the ships mentioned in the announcement: type 16, type 31, type 32, FSS, research ship.

And right now, Appledore is a large empty shed and a recruiting campaign.

Ron5

*type 26

borg

Why ? Are you able to give some facts mate ? I’m longing to see them .

Paul Bestwick

The impression I got is that Appledore was in the frame for the Ukranian Missile Patrol boats, whose purchase the UK government is underwriting. From memory it was about half a dozen. Also if Harlands Belfast gets FSS ships I expect then to build blocks for that. Finally the BMT Venari 85 design for MCW/Hydrographic ship would seem an ideal fit for them. The other option would be to have them build OPVs for the RN whilst gifting the River B1s to allies that might struggle to place new orders. Places like Fiji and Samoa come to mind.

Ron5

Right now Appledore hasn’t the ability to build a rowing boat let alone anything in your laundry list.

If it was capable in the past, how come it went bankrupt through lack of orders?

Paul Bestwick

Ron, we are not talking about now are we? We are talking about the future. Just as Harland and Wolffs’ parent company Infrastrata are by purchasing Appledore and renaming it to be Harland and Wolff(Appledore). Why would a company pay £7m for a relatively small shipyard with no orders Ron? Around the time the Prime Minister visited the Appledore yard, there was the announcement that the UK would underwrite the purchase of a number of missile patrol boats. Now to my knowledge there has been no official announcement where these boats will be built, but politicians do not like to… Read more »

Ron5

By whom? and what for?

Ianbuk

I bet they do. I also hope Johnson makes sure the people of Scotland know that the employment of a good 500,000 people up there including the Space Port already called Sturgeon Control (Just be apt to hear the words, “Sturgeon, you have a problem”) are all down to the UK, not SNP. If you are a worker already on the Clyde, your jobs guaranteed for life, if you are in school in that part of Scotland, you have a job already waiting to train you up once you have finished your studies. The UK government has changed the law… Read more »

JohnG

As others have said, it’s nice to get some good news. I find it somewhat hard to understand its actual ramifications though. I take it to read “at some point in the 2040s we are planning to
have a new type of frigate launched of which we are planning to build 5, this is the money to start thinking about that project” which admittedly has less of a ring to it. To be honest I would rather see a committment to 6 type 31 ships (a pretty humble request) than this jam tomorrow malarkey, but good news none the less.

Mark B

No personally I would not take it that way. I would think of it as a one-time offer get it built now or forget it and forget ever getting any more money in the future. If the RN can’t actually produce stuff in a timely manner what’s the point.

Steve R

I see this as a commitment to 10 Type 31 ships, as realistically that’s the most likely thing this “Type 32” will be: Type 31 Batch 2, possibly/probably upgunned.

Steve

Where does the 24 figure come from?

I am guessing someone is assuming a second order of 5 vessels, but I haven’t seen any mention of numbers.

Rob

So if we end up with 10 x T31 half of the fleet will be under armed. The T31 is a good big frigate with plenty of room for up gunning and I hope they do so.

Robert Blay

T31 hasn’t been built yet, so nothing is confirmed about it’s weapon fit, or what will be fitted over the coming years.

Rob

Yes true but the Bofors guns have been ordered (10 x 40mm & 5 x 57mm). I can live with the gun armament but the 6 Sea Ceptor missiles for each ship is clearly not good enough. Surely they can get 18? I can also live with depending on helicopter launched anti ship missiles but can we please use the containerised spaces with mission selective ASW (maybe a drone sonar system) or a anti-mine warfare package or a sea control package with anti-ship missiles and recce drones. Yes I get they are light frigates but having the option to switch… Read more »

Matt

Hi Rob… I was under the impression that the T31s were getting 12 sea-ceptor each. A reduction from the original 24.
Please don’t tell me they’ve reduced it further!! Do you have any sources for the number being 6? Cheers pal
[email protected]

Rob

Yes!

Robert Blay

Most of the info i can find on T31 says it will be fitted with 24 cell VLS. though I’m not sure how up to date that is.

Steve

From what i understand the official UK fit out has not officially been confirmed.

Ron5

It has, its 12.

Rob

Robert & Matt,

Sorry Matt, my mistake, it is 12. Read this:
https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/the-type-31-frigate-in-view/

12 isn’t good enough. Compared to the overall spend they’ve got to go for 24 at least! Without this any kind of saturating air attack would succeed.

Steve R

I’d be very happy with 24 x Sea Ceptor plus some offensive capability in 8 Harpoon Block II missiles in quad canister launchers, and it’s gun. That would make it a decent addition to a carrier group; main AA defence coming from Type 45s with secondary air defence from Type 26 and Type 31s.

Rob

Agree Steve. If you look at the above link to savetheroyal navy posted by me you will see the T31 will need all the Sea Ceptors it can get because the arcs of the 40mm Bofors don’t cover a midships because they’d hit the funnel or bridge.

Supportive Bloke

But you are aiming at things 500m from the ship?

If you let a missile get any closer the blast fragmentation will do a fair bit of damage.

Meirion X

They could do with a CAMM-ER mix.

Ryan Brewis

Wasn’t there noise a year or so back about ExLS from LM capable of quad-packing Sea Ceptor? Granted, I think it was in 3 cell blocks but if it can act as a strike length too then maybe it might be worth it fleet-wide.

Ngatimozart

ExLS does not come in strike length or tactical length variants. It’s the replacement for the Mk-56 Self Defence VLS which discontinued production in 2013.

DJ

ExLS has limited ability when it comes to hot launch though. It can’t fire ESSM for example. I would like to know if it can handle CAMM-ER, which would give it a missile with ESSM type performance. CAMM + CAMM-ER being what comparable to RAM + ESSM. I note the SDL mk41 can fire ESSM.

I understand that one of the reasons for stand alone ExLS being in blocks of 3 is that the CAMM controller can only handle 12 missiles (3 quad packed cells). ie each ExLS requires 1 CAMM controller.

ngatimozart

Am not sure where you are going with the CAMM controller, but your argument would be illogical because what would be the difference between the ExLS in say eight Mk-41 VLS cells and it in it’s stand alone launcher? Nothing. Both the RCN and RNZN have acquired Sea Ceptor with both using the Lockheed CMS 300 so it would be the CMS controlling and providing the data to the missile. Since it’s a SAR missile it doesn’t require a fire control radar per se, because the targeting data is inputted prior to launch, it can be updated during flight, and… Read more »

donald_of_tokyo

ExLS with CAMM is shown in LM’s official broshure. There are written the LMS (launch management system) for CAMM, to control 12 missiles.

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed-martin/rms/documents/naval-launchers-and-munitions/VLS_3_Cell_ExLS_Launcher_Product_Card_8.5x11_042419.pdf

“The MBDA-UK LMS interfaces with 12 CAMM missiles. The LMS can prepare three of those 12 missiles for launch simultaneously. As a result, the basic building block to deploy is three cells, each cell quad-packed with four CAMM munitions. “

donald_of_tokyo

For hot launch missile, yes ExLS can handle it. It consumes one of its quad-pack line for exhaust. So, it become a “triple per cell launcher”, not “quad”. It is written in the PDF as you linked.

Very logical thinking, I think. When in launch, ExLS opens one door, for both missile and exhaust. Mk.41 need to open twp doors, one for missile and one for exhaust.

DJ

Donald

While ExLS can handle some limited hot launch missiles, they are all on the small side. eg RAM. ESSM is not one of them. No, it does not open two doors that I am aware of. The space that the 4th missile on a CAMM configuration would occupy, on say a RAM configuration, is utilised as the exhaust vent. ie quad pack CAMM or tri pack RAM + exhaust vent.

DJ

Donald

Sorry, may have misread your comment re 2 doors & was thinking you were meaning ExLS rather than mk41. Please ignore.

DJ

Nagati Please refer to Donald’s post for further information. Basically there is a CAMM specific controller/ electronics box (something similar is required for TLAM) that is required per every 12 CAMM missiles. The CMS talks to this box to configure the missile before the mk41 electronics launches it. ExLS uses the same electronics as mk41 (both being LM products). The number 12 was set by MBDA who designed the missile & the controller/ launch electronic box. Considering both mk41 & SYLVER tend to be in multiples of 8, yes, you would have thought they would have gone for a number… Read more »

Robert Blay

Like the article says, maybe 12 is just the initial entry to service fit to keep the cost within the 250m budget, and more can be added later, or as required. The RN will not be sending a Frigate in serious halms way without the proper weapons fit. And even 12 sea captors would be enough to counter most threats. And swarm attacks on foreign warships don’t just happen out of the blue, plus the RN practice swarm attack defence, and the counter isn’t just firing off loads of missiles. Always more to it then we think. 👍

David Barry

Where do people get the idea that the RN will never send an underarmed ship into harm’s way?

It is almost a tradition that the RN send under equipped ships into harm’s way; then the captains can come home to tea and medals if they survive.

Robert Blay

Having served on RN vessels for 14 years, that kind of statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

Ron5

“T31 hasn’t been built yet, so nothing is confirmed about it’s weapon fit”

A fixed price contract has been signed for building 5 Type 31’s. So every single detail including weapons has been confirmed 100%. That’s how contracts work.

Robert Blay

Great. So what will it carry then?

Paul.P

Here is a reference to the contract Babcock placed for the Bofors guns.

https://www.overtdefense.com/2020/10/02/royal-navy-selects-bae-bofors-57mm-gun-for-new-type-31-frigates/

Robert Blay

Thanks Paul. I’ll take a look 👍

Ron5

57mm main gun, 2 x 40mm guns; 12 CAMM; hangar for Wildcat or Merlin with their weapon sets, Chinook capable flight deck; assorted MG’s and crew personal weapons.

CGI’s from Thales and Babcock’s have illustrated the final config.

Robert Blay

Lovely, thanks very much 👍

Steve R

I think that will very likely be the case. At the very least, the second batch will be.

Trevor G

Don’t forget Cammell Laird!

Rob

Trevor I reckon Cammell Laird are in prime position for the FSSS.

Trevor G

That would be good, especially if all 3 are ordered which would give some much needed longer term stability to the yard.

Longtime

Well fsss is only really getting built at CL or HW, as they’re yards with big enough docks where they won’t have to build an entire assembly line too.

Ron5

Or Rosyth.

barry white

Rosyth cant build
If you look at the carriers it assembled them and finished putting them together but didnt build them
Even had a part from Appledore which was closed but has now been reopened for the build and construction of something
What im not sure but you would not reopen a closed down yard for no reason

Ron5

Babcock’s is pushing Rosyth for FSS.

ChariotRider

Hi Rob, I agree that Cammell Laird are in the running for the FSSS, however I would like to suggest another possibility. Harland & Wolff including the Appledore yard get the FSSS and Cammell Laird get the new research vessel. This would make sense on two counts. Firstly, the reopening of Appledore and recent take over of Harland & Wolff appears to be with a nod from HMG, especially given that Boris was down to Devon very quickly after Appledore reopened and I cannot see a commercial company taking that kind of risk without something encouragement. Secondly, Cammell Laird have… Read more »

captain p wash

Although Appledore can build Big stuff, It would probably be better suited to Blocks for FSS as the biggest ship they have managed is @13000 Tons and It’s not the deepest Estuary either. Seeing the Samuel Beckett class ships sat stranded in the Mud was a tad worrying to be fair ! Would love to see a Type 32 peaking out of the Doors though. Ships from the Taw and Torridge sailed to fight the Spanish Armada, the whole area has a rich history in Ship Building.

Ron5

Beckett wasn’t “sat stranded in the mud”, it was being fitted out dockside while the tide was out.

Captain P Wash

Nope, wrong again Ron. She was tied up, and sat at the side of the dockside not being fitted out at all. Just stranded on the mud, waiting for the tide……… I have many pictures from Instow and more than a few friends who worked there at the time. I think you might want to step away from your computer mate, you’re getting a bit too wrapped up in your own self importance. Oh and, there isn’t a down vote feature here anymore so you might just want to get your sorry arse back over to the STRN Site.

Ron5

So not stranded then.

Ron5

“Secondly, Cammell Laird have a well earned reputation in especialist
ship building helped by the successful completion of the Sir David
Attenborough so I would put them in pole position for the new ‘research
ship’ that has been mentioned”

I guess you don’t know about all the issues that CL had with McBoatyface. You really should do some research before making claims like this.

Captain P Wash

please share your own Research mate.

Ron5

I suggest you let Google be your friend. Feel free to come back to me with any questions.

ChariotRider

True the Sir David Attenborough has sufferred issues which I was perhaps not entirely au fait with. However, as a company Cammell Laird are doing well and expanding in both the ship building and repair markets and have much of the RFA Fleet under contract for on-going maintenance and refit work. So perhaps my example of the Sir David Attenborough was not the best, but I would suggest that my suggestion that they get the Survey / Research vessel build is a sensible one, especially given the obviously close working relationship between Cammell Laird’s and the RFA. By the way,… Read more »

Graham

We currently have two separate frigate programs on the go, a batch 2 program for either of these programs makes sense, but a third frigate program sounds problematic. It makes no sense in terms of maintenance, spare parts, weapon inventories etc. If you want more frigates add a modified Type 26 or modified Type 31, not a new design. Now, we do have a requirement for MCM vessels?

Rob

Absolutely. Both T26 & T31 are big ships and that is the whole point. The RN wanted as many big hulls as they could get and are worrying about the weapons fit later. The room and modulization in both types means that they could be rapidly up armed, made specific for purpose and allow for future weapons systems. I think it is pretty much nailed on that the T26 hull will get the destroyer replacement programme and that the T31 future frigate development (T32).

Andrew

Should get engine problems sorted out with type 45 ,got great AD weapons but needs to be given ASW and surface to surface weapons beef up so the navy gets it’s money worth could be a good platform.

DaveyB

Yes, I agree. When they announced the requirements of the T31, I thought oh great another T21, did they not learn the lessons of the Falklands. However, thankfully they chose the larger Arrowhead design. The ship’s design is under utilized, so there’s plenty of scope for growth. Yes, the initial fit is mediocre, but if the batch 2’s end up like the original Iver Hudtfelts, the Navy will get a cracking ship and something that can not only look after itself but also others as a true general purpose frigate.

Supportive Bloke

Exactly

Spyinthesky

I think that’s the plan I reckon they want to separate them almost entirely for political reasons so there is no implication as to where they will be built. It’s all about flexibility in form, function, but above all strategy.

Arun

I’m kind of hoping it’s the Venator 110. Was disappointed when this wasn’t chosen for Type 31 design.

Chris

With a delivery date in the late 2030’s to 2040’s would an autonomous ship in command of our new uav’s and uuv’s be a good bet, especially with the RN struggling with personnel issues and a lot of the technology needed should be mature by then.

Barry Larking

Sir John Parker’s 2016 made out the case for over hauling the way this country builds its naval fleet. Despite popular opinion this country still possesses industrial manufacturing capacity to match any one else’s. I have long been of the view that our defence posture should once again rely on our maritime strengths. I had in mind our great ability to turn up almost anywhere and get the right personnel to the right places at the right time expeditiously. Much experience has built itself into our navy’s skills. The most likely conflicts are going to involve our having to support… Read more »

Barry Larking
Michael Heron

Type 31 Frigate: General Purpose Frigate based on the Iver huitfeld class.

Type 32 Frigate: Possible variant be based on the Absalon class. Large internal space for modular payloads, Littoral operations support, troop/vehicle transport, hospital ship (forward casualty), drone mothership, etc.

Whatever the ship design is; modularity is key to keep up with emerging technologies and threats

Ron

OK an announcement on a new type of frigate? Normally that does not happen until at least the design stage is finnished. So was it a mis speak? Possibly there is however a second possiblity, we all know that the T31 is or was picked due to budget constraints. What would happen if there was a design that the Admiralty wanted but could not get due to the budget constraint. Could that be the new type? If so does anyone know what the Admirals wanted to have from the selection of the original T31 project. We know or we think… Read more »

Roland Jones

I think that Mr. Boris Johnson is going in the right direction. It’s about time that The Royal Navy do It’s own naval exercises at sea, and be less supportive to The U.S. Navy. In my opinion, The Royal Navy has been for too long in the shadows of The U.S. Navy, where naval exercises are concerned.

geoff

I don’t have the specific knowledge that most of you guys have but surely it makes sense to extend numbers of the existing T26 and T31 programmes rather than introduce a further new design leaving all three types with short runs in the absence of overseas orders?

RobW

Save the Royal Navy asked the MOD what the T32 is, the answer was T31 batch 2. I assume it has a different designation due to weapons fit, possibly with dragonfire. It is the only answer that makes any sense given the investment in yards and the timescale set for the T31. Expect the T32 to start appearing from around 2030.

captain p wash

hello Rob, Interesting news there, do you have a link to the Q & A please.?

RobW

https://mobile.twitter.com/navylookout

I can’t seem to link to the exact post but scroll down to the 19th at 9.46am.

Captain P Wash

I found a mention on Forbes which suggested the Type 32 could be a Stripped out version of the Type 31…… according to a “back door source” . Hopefully not !

RobW

So a stripped down version of a stripped down frigate, lovely. I’m not sure what use they would be, just big OPVs.

Captain P Wash

Tuna Fishing ?

DaveyB

I believe the MoD had said if the contractor could build the ships within budget, that there was a very good possibility of a follow on order. Guess it’s more than a possibility now.

andy

it would have been nice to have had a couple more destroyers,i think 6 was never enough..but costs were an obvious a factor,due to the whole fleet needing to be upgraded..

BigH1979

But what is a Destroyer? Its just a ship thats currently big enough to support an Area Air Defence System. Who says a Type 32 frigate can’t do this in the future?

David Barry

The more I read, the more I think that the headline is totally misleading.

The RN is not going to have 5 more frigates anytime soon and as Not A Boffin wrote this is just laying the groundwork for future orders in the 30s.

Furthermore, we do not have 19 skimmers we have 17 at most and given questions raised over power up-grades costs against life even that number is questionable.

Sorry, this bluffer blojo blowing smoke.

And gullible have inhaled deeply.

RobW

Highly likely to be a follow on order from T31 but with a different weapons fit. The last T31 is due to be handed over in 2028 so don’t expect a T32 until 2030.

Supportive Bloke

An alternative view would be that this headroom allows the RN to do things optimally rather than just fit the cash low curves. So the not slowing things down for short term savings but pushing up long term costs ends. Maybe Boris just listens to the NAO and PAC’s very credible reports? So things like accelerating T26 and thereby saving on Lifex for T23 becomes possible buying surface to surface missiles in decent numbers 3 x SSS ordered fitting canister weapons (or having in stores) onto T45 and T31BI T45 VLS sensible F35B buy rate established are no longer in… Read more »

Ron5

Excellent comment.

Not sure that Type 26 is more likely to go over budget than Type 31 but who knows.

Captain P Wash

Who knows indeed, Certainly not you mate.

Supportive Bloke

There was clear commentary at the time of the T31 order that as DaveyB say above.

“I believe the MoD had said if the contractor could build the ships within budget, that there was a very good possibility of a follow on order. Guess it’s more than a possibility now.”

So this is about toasting BAE’s and RN’s habits a bit.

This is why T31BI is a fixed scope fixed cost contract. To see if they can keep to the sense of the deal.

David Barry

I wholeheartedly support the RN and the Royal; and that, even though I come from a green background. However, I have no faith in the excuse that the UK has for a PM, and the lock, stock and barrel swallowing of extra ships for the RN just rings false, I will simply believe it when they are delivered. Likewise, quoting the surface fleet as 19 is more than misleading. For once, I am not sure it was N A B, but someone posited that it would be difficult to increase delivery of T26 because of ordering parts and essential components.… Read more »

Rod

I’m thinking T31 hull but without relying on Government furnished equipment from the T23s. More offensive punch and better able to support LSG & CSG operations

ken

wouldn’t it make more sense for them to just increase the number of t26 or t31 rather than designing a whole new ship. Ideally put a few more weapons on the t31s or t45s for that matter
Another challenge will be finding enough recruits to crew these new hulls.

captain p wash

In answer, Yes and no. Yes in the case of the Type 26, as it looks to be very capable and no in the case of the Type 31 as it just doesn’t. Manning might improve now that the Cut’s seem to be stopping. Who knows though, certainly not me, that’s for sure.

Rob

Pug

Disagree. T31 is a very capable warship only, for budgetary reasons, isn’t being fitted out as such. If T32 = T31 + a 5inch gun, more Sea Ceptor, anti-ship missiles and real investment in these containerised mission specific add ons it becomes a very capable warship indeed. Of course Batch 1 could be retro fitted to Batch 2 standards meaning we have as many as 10 very capable multi role frigates + 8 very capable T26 ASW & 6 capable T45 air defence destroyers.

Ron5

That’s a big “if”.

Captain P Wash

Yes, We Agree on this.

Captain P Wash

Rob, Notice I don’t resort to calling you an obviously derogatory name aimed at deliberately demeaning you in my reply. But, how in the name of holly christ can you state that the Type 31 is a “Very Capable Warship ” ? Have you ever Served mate ? I have and I’m telling you now, I’d be very worried If I had to go Hot in one of these.

Rob

Captain P Wash

I’m sorry. I meant no offence by it. The answer is yes but not in the Navy. Yes I do think the T31 is a very capable warship if fitted out as it should be. The Danish version is great.

Captain P Wash

Great Reply there mate…..Sorry If I came over a bit Harsh ……….

David Broome

Given HMS Glasgow is under construction, it is premature to laud it as you do. Type-45 and Astute had difficult and expensive beginnings as clean sheet designs. Type-26 should be a great ASW platform but that is yet to be proven in service. It is also (currently) a £1 billion per ship programme vs £400 million for the Type-31 (£250 million construction). Conversely, the Type-31 (and likely Type-32) are based on a proven hull that has been evolved by Babcock. We need more hulls and the settlement from Treasury is for four years with some £7 billion for capex and… Read more »

Captain P Wash

Haven’t really “Lauded” the type 26 really, just not overly impressed with the Type31 Specs. Lovely looking ship and I’m sure It’ll be great in peacetime though.

Ron5

@ken

I’m sure that will be part of the Type 32 analysis i.e should it be a T26 batch III or a Type 31 batch II or a new design.

Recruiting is sky high right now in the Navy and paying off the crew hungry Type 23’s will free up enough guys n gals for these new ships.

Captain P Wash

The Type 23’s were actually designed to be Crew Un Hungry though.In comparison to previous ships.

Steve

I am curious where the crews are going to come from for the extra vessels. Ok the t26/t31 require less crews that the vessels they are replacing, but equally we have added more river classes and can’t crew the 19 escorts we currently have.

Pete

Been thinking about that one as well Steve. For me, if they did reach a 24 hull ff/dd fleet then you could pay off a couple of the older River B1s and have some of the more challenging forward B2 posting roles (Falklands and South / South East Asia come to mind) fullfilled by T31 batch 1 vessels.

In fleet inventory terms that would effectively mean giving up some River B 1 capability for Type 32…. If crewing is indeed a problem.

Steve

this got me thinking. I wonder if it is possible that there might be some smoke/mirrors going on here. We know the navy was exploring ways to uparm the river2 to cover the gap caused with the slow build on the t26. Could there be a chance that the idea is to up arm the river2 and reclassify them as frigates.

Steve R

I thought we currently could crew them all now. If we can’t and I’m wrong, it’s going to be uears before the actual number of ships grows, even if the build rate is accelerated, as the priority will be replacing the Type 23s – ASW with Type 26, GP with Type 31 batch 1. It’ll likely be 6-10 years before the hull numbers actually grow beyond 19, plenty of time to recruit. Also, I assume that recruitment is currently limited, at least somewhat, by the number of places for certain roles. These could be increased to fill the new ships,… Read more »

Steve

It’s political spin, we can crew all the ships … that are in active service. Hiding the fact that a few of them are either in maintenance/refit and that seems to be massively slowed down to further hide the issue.

Captain P Wash

For decades, It’s been Cut after Cut, Not very encouraging for new recruits looking for a career. Hopefully this new found investment will help.

Supportive Bloke

Yes, the T23 was the economy frigate of the day.

The crewing requirements on the Counties and
Leander was a lot greater

By all accounts recruitment is pretty good ATM.

One of the things about agreeing a long term ship built and therefore fleet plan is that the manning requirements are also known. You don’t end up with the ‘you’ve got to decommission Ocean to crew PoW ‘ stuff.

Meirion X

Ken, why are you assuming that a new Type 32 frigate is to be built within the next 4 years? No, they won’t be! This settlement will highly likely only cover some of the R & D costs of the Type 32 frigate over the next 4 years. The settlement will cover some of the construction costs for theType 26 and Type 31 frigates to be built over the next 4 years.

Pete

If they are serious about T32, and it is code for T31 BATCH II.. then sound project planning and procurement practise would see contracts and Long lead commitments taking place about 2 – 3 years ahead of launch of T31 hull 4…allowing batch II to commence construction alongside and while T31 hull 5 is completed…. Contractual commitment……late 2024..allowing assembly to commence in 2027 ishh for batch II hull 1. Not sure if MOD spend budget on a capex commitment basis (and accrue) or if the budget is on a cash out the door cash flow basis. If its on the… Read more »

Ianbuk

It’s good news, but not enough. The Navy still needs some Deisel Electric strike subs with 4 missile silo’s. One of those can launch a sortie of 96 or even 124 (I know, we don’t have 96 in the entire armed forces), instead of a surface ship, not forgetting the incident in the eastern Med when two Kilo’s and a destroyed detected and run down an Astute to stop it from launching Cruise Missiles at Syria’s government targets. It took a US blocking force and P8’s to help the unnamed sub away. We either have to face facts as a… Read more »

Mike O

It will be interesting to see how this develops. The TX concept from Thales and Stella Systems could be a nice foundation for a ‘next gen’ light frigate or maybe the MCM vessel.

john melling

I always like this concept even when the prototype RV TRITON came out.
But nothing much happened with it

Topps

Looks like UK shipbuilding is going to be engaged in production of warships for export. Not a bad idea! In the future I expect UK Ltd. to concentrate on the 2 aspects of business in which they excel, military equipment + finance and banking.

Lordtemplar

Type 32? LOL, Type 31 and Type 26 are not even built yet.

Daniele Mandelli

Neither are the French OPV’s, does not stop discussion of them does it?

David Barry

However, discussing T32 sounds about as useful as tilting at windmills… re Don Q.

Paul.P

Well…I think we are in good company. In light of BJ announcing a large funding increase and a budget commitment to a ‘next generation’ Type 32 I expect the Admirals are also discussing amongst themselves what it might look like 🙂

Lordtemplar

Type 32 makes no sense, Type 46 yes 😉

Malcolm Featherstone

I don’t get why we don’t follow the yanks with their Ardleigh Burkes.

Just keep on building Type 26s and/or Type 31s incrementally improving them.

Stevo H

My question is……… which branch of the 3 is going to be sacrificed for this extra investment? Currently you have the RN and RAF enjoying the spending spree and this story seems to confirm that it’s going to continue which leads us back to The British Army, unfortunately. Why not inject some desperately needed money into land forces? Halving our MBT capability is already a stupid idea and the Chally 2 does need updating as she’s falling behind her peer adversaries……… rapidly. The fantastic Black Knight upgrade looks to be the best one so why don’t they do it? The… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Who says they won’t?
The review isn’t out yet.
I think Ch2 will be upgraded as planned, and we will see areas of the army reorganised, some cuts, and some enhancements too.

Daniele Mandelli

You need to remember that, while the RN and RAF sides of things seems to have been agreed, the army side hasn’t. That is because they’ve just blown billions on Ajax and Boxer, neither of which are ideal together, and couldn’t fund Ch2 and WCSP too. Maybe now with extra money some cuts that were going to happen won’t. I think we will see uplifts and cuts in the army. CDS and other publications have hinted at the high tech high mobility dispersed posture we are headed, with less armour but more autonomous. I’m hoping artillery and air defence get… Read more »

Steve

I really don’t get NATO’s view on air defense. 20-30 years ago air supremacy would mean that you could get away with limited air defense, but with cruise missiles, drones, manpads, attach helicopters, etc, any armoured unit would need mobile air defense.

I am pretty convinced that new artillery will make the SDSR, since there has been a lot of talk about Russia etc outranging us, and i suspect that is because they know what is coming and want to be able to say they successfully lobbied government.

RobW

Ben Wallace is on record within the last few weeks stating that the army needs better air defence and replacement long range artillery. Given his comments it would be very strange indeed if they didn’t feature in the integrated review. Personally I think we will buy more Sky Sabre sets, not sure on artillery.

Steve

Sky Sabre isn’t here yet, my bet is it will be announced as a new capability.

It is also not the capability we need most, as its going to be pretty slow to move, making it more defensive in nature than for taking ground, we need something that can keep up with Ajax / Boxer

Steve

I guess an option would be to install a targeting radar on a boxer and use it to send back info to the sky saber missile launcher. Having the radar and launchers combined means that anything low flying can easily hide behind terrain.

Daniele Mandelli

Agree on re announcements, MoD are notorious at announcing new stuff out of existing!

Agree on AD too, and with anti UAV/Drone capability.

Dern

The British Army has always been a bit rubbish at air defence unfortunately.

Peter S.

Absolutely agree. Concerns have been expressed about the survivability of MBTs on a modern battlefield. If they can’t survive, what chance will any less armoured vehicle stand? Black Knight upgrade looked fine to me- no new turret needed so no risk of a repeat of the Warrior debacle. No real need to replace the main gun because a smoothbore firing APFSDS has a marginally higher theoretical penetrating ability at some ranges. Much better to refurbish the whole fleet to give us a proper reserve than a small number to an exquisite standard.

Dern

The problem is that if you don’t replace the gun and turret you’re really wasting your time with upgrading CR2. Current CR2 2(3) piece 120mm rifled ammunition is unique to the UK, and further development of it is stalling. Smoothbore 120mm is seeing continued development from the US, Germany, and France, and will only increase it’s preformance vs rifled 120mm. Worse, because manufacturing means that keeping stocks of 120mm rifled is becoming a lot more expensive (remember we had to export manufacture of CR2 ammunition to Belgium a few years back because it became too expensive to subsidise production in… Read more »

Dern

Black Knight is all well and good… but it doesn’t solve the central problem of the CR2 ammunition natures.

James Fennell

Shepheard are going with a theory that they will coincide with the out of service dates for the MCM flotilla. In effect carrying offboard MCM equipment – some sort of Black Swan type mothership. https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/naval-warfare/premium-uk-continues-tease-type-32-details/ Perhaps the Type 31s are more suited to that role? Wallace said in his most recent statement something like ‘ the navy have asked for a new frigate’ and that they will come online in the mid 2020s, so follow on from T31 / T26 production, presumably maintaining the lost ‘drumbeat’ of escort building. All very interesting stuff. This forces.net article is worth a read.… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by James Fennell
James Fennell

Ben Wallace said: “The Type 32 is obviously not in the next five years… but a commitment to put funding to the next Type 32 programme. “The Type 32 we hope will come further along from the Type 31 – the Type 31 is only five ships, and the Type 32 will hopefully follow a similar track. “They will be able to be used for NATO. “The Navy have requested another class of ship – that’s the Type 32. “If you think of the profile, the Type 23 which will be coming out of service, and some of that will… Read more »

Gary M.

My first ever question on here, so please bear with me. With the possibility of an independent Scotland and the policy of the RN not having its capital ships built in what could be seen as a “foreign” yard. What would happen with regards to these planned builds? Is there anywhere else in the UK that could fulfil the requirements?