The steel for the first Type 31 Frigate will be cut in 2021 and the vessel will enter service in May 2027.

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

Kevan Jones, Member of Parliament for Durham, asked via a written Parliamentary Question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether it is his Department’s policy for the Type 31 to have cut steel for the first time in 2021.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, responded:

“Yes, on current plans the steel will be cut for the first of the five Type 31 Frigates in 2021.”

The Minister added later:

“The first Type 31 Frigate will be in the water in 2023 and all five ships will be delivered by the end of 2028. The approved in service date for the first Type 31 is May 2027. The dates for Initial Operating Capability and Full Operating Capability have not yet been determined.”

Type 26 will cover the high end tasks and Type 31 will generally cover low end constabulary work.

During a 2016 Defence Select Committee hearing, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones described the vessel that would become Type 31e as “to be a much less high-end ship. It is still a complex warship, and it is still able to protect and defend and to exert influence around the world, but it is deliberately shaped with lessons from wider industry and off-the-shelf technology to make it more appealing to operate at a slightly lower end of Royal Navy operations.”

IHS Janes described it as a “credible frigate” that will cover “maritime security, maritime counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations, escort duties, and naval fire support sitting between the high-end capability delivered by the Type 26 and Type 45, and the constabulary-oriented outputs to be delivered by the five planned River-class Batch 2 OPVs.”

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

Why 4 years between entering the water and in service? Is this the norm? Did the T45 and T23 have similar timescales?

Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp
6 months ago

I’d assume because this is the first of the type it’s just them making sure they have all the problems solved and any future ships will have a shorter birth.
I’d hope all lessons learnt from ship 1 will be automatically transferred to all ships.

maurice10
maurice10
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

Obviously, these are peacetime timelines? The inordinate time to build and commissioning is probably due to budget release and the anticipation they get it right the first time around? The carriers commanders can not be very happy about the timescale for both Type 26/31, as these capital ships need the very latest and best projection measures.

DJ
DJ
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

There is also an enormous amount of new gear on the T31 which the RN are not used to. Different ship, different propulsion, different CMS, different radar, at least 2 different guns, etc. All of this takes time to bed down & work out how it all works together in the real world. The first of class is the one used to write the manual, so to speak. Any problems found on number 1 needs to feed back into the rest of class of course. If you look around the world, this timeframe is nothing unusual for an entirely new… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  DJ

Thanks for a comprehensive answer.

Nothing to complain about there then with the timescale at least.

The Snowman
The Snowman
6 months ago

Would it shorten the acceptance timescales if we started putting the 40mm on the River Batch 2 now? Then at least that weapon system could be accepted over the next couple of years, rather than waiting for the first T31 hull?

4thwatch
4thwatch
6 months ago
Reply to  The Snowman

Steady; that’s forward looking stuff. Good idea as it happens.
Even trial the 57mm on POW too; both are deck mounted.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago

I’d prefer to reflect that 2yrs into the water from 1st steel Cru is pretty good.

I’m unconvinced why an austere fit frigate using proven integrations takes that long to come into service after that. That feels more like a “bolt it together and see how it goes and fix the problems” approach rather than fitting a designed and tested system in service elsewhere.

Odd very odd as keeping to OSDs on the GP T23’s would save a lot.

Callum
Callum
6 months ago

Basing it on proven systems reduces the chance of anything going wrong, it doesn’t mean you don’t still check everything works

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago
Reply to  Callum

I agree with you but 3-4 years is a long time to test things

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago

?? From where the “3-4 years for test” comes?

From build start to hit water (2023-2021) = 2 years. It means, fitting out is not yet complete.

From hitting water to hand over is made of “fitting out” + “contractor sea trial”. If it is 1.5 years + 0.5 years, it is perfectly normal, I think.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago

[ADD]
“0.5-1 year contractor sea trial + 1.5 years (until May 2027) RN test” is 2.5-3 years testing in total.

I’m not sure why RN needs 1.5 years for their testing. But, as T45 was, the 2nd hull will be commissioned shortly after the 1st hull, say, late 2027.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago

IIRC there was a hint that the enter service date could be earlier. However, after the BAES Forth issues on what should have been a very low risk build, there’s probably a bit of sandbagging built into the entire schedule given new builder, new build hall, module sub-contract TBD, and then all the new systems testing and acceptance. You’re assuming OSD for T23’s gets pushed out? I suspect the reverse may be true, as a possible result from the forthcoming defence review. I could see both Iron Duke, which is reportedly in a bad state, and Monmouth being decommissioned before… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago

Iron Duke has already been in LIFEX for over a year now, so to pull her out now would be a total waste of money?

Richmond is the first T23 to get PGMU upgrade, another 5 T23s after that to get PGMU.
Portland is in LIFEX now, but No PGMU upgrade at this time, how very odd!
It looks like Sutherland will be the next T23 after Somerset to get LIFEX with PGMU.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Ref Iron Duke it would probably be a function of what if any new equipment has actually been fitted yet, versus just having to write off any funds already spent on repairs and maintenance. We should not fall into the trap of sunk cost justifying the continuation of a bad strategy. I understand the original plan was for all but Argyll and Lancaster to eventually get PGMU. Iron Duke and Monmouth are the next two oldest and both are GP frigates which is why I think it makes sense to decommission them rather than invest all the budget to bring… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago

Portland had Sea Wolf, now with Sea Ceptor.
St Albans is being now updated with Sea Ceptor, and both ARTISAN radar.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago

Forgot to say,
Portland is now out of the refit shed.

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 months ago

‘Thus all eight tail-ships get lifex plus three non-tail GP ships.’

Two parallel projects with different timelines; ASW > Type 26 and
GP > Type 31. Someone having fun with a spreadsheet ……😂

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I would personally cancel the lifex and go with what we have, if that means going short for a couple of years so be it. We have to stop wasting money on ships (and armoured vehicles for that case) that are essentially obsolete and well past their sell by date. It just a total waste of money, that ultimately we cant afford. I know this is unpopular but perhaps the govt should give the MOD a one off £20bn payment to sort themselves out and get the right tempo going. This will need to be based upon some cast iron… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

We have to complete lifex of the ASW ships; can’t afford a ‘capability gap’ there. The ‘frigate factory’ went to Rosyth so I doubt BAE could accelerate Type 26 build even if the money was found.
I agree with respect to the GP frigates. Indeed two will not be done. I do wonder if the 3 that are being lifexed are spoken for by Brazil. Remember that rumour?

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Three T23s have been LIFEX, and 1 is in progess
half way through, and 1 more to be done, HMS Monmouth.
.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I mean the Type 23 General Propose frigates.
If Montrose is not getting PGMU like Gunbuster said, I can’t see Iron Duke getting it done either.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

To cancel LIFEX for 5 T23 ASWs would be Misguided. The remaining T23s would be Obsolete before being replaced by batch 2 of T26.
This would put the carriers at risk.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I do agree, no point in LIFEXing any more T23 GPs. Just 1 more to go!

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I Do agree the MoD has got the production Timeframe totally wrong for T31. This is why 28 year old T23 GP’s frigates have been LIFEX!

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Well someone has certainly been trying to figure it out!
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1229857912903872513.html

Paul.P
Paul.P
6 months ago

Good spot. A thing of beauty and a joy forever. 🙂

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago

The graphic indicates that the T23 GP’s are getting PGMU, Which they are Not!

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Three of the five GP T23s, i.e. Iron Duke, Monmouth and Montrose were planned to get the PGMU upgrade, Argyll and Lancaster were not. The graphic illustrates that status in 2024. Do you have a source that says the three originally planned for PGMU are not getting it?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago

Montrose wont get it.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Ref Montrose, was that confirmed GB or informed speculation? I agree it doesn’t make much sense.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago

By the time she gets back to the UK from the Gulf in a couple of years the rest of the T23s will be updated. She will be basically at the end of her time. It won’t be cost-effective to do the engine upgrade.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago

Save The Royal Navy had an article on PGMU, it mentioned some T23s won’t received it.

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/new-engines-for-the-royal-navys-type-23-frigates/

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

That article only stated that Argyll and Lancaster wouldn’t get PGMU.

Dern
Dern
6 months ago

Yes. I recently looked at the in water to time in service dates of RN frigates since the 1960s . Fuse on class was consistently 3-5 years.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago

I think it was the first batch 2 T22 fitted with CACS combat system that ran from Pompie for over 2 years doing system integration testing. The crew where not happy being on a first preference GUZ based ship and spent most of their draft in Pompie. The none preference Pompie crew members loved it.

Tests, trials and system integration takes a long time when a new class with new combat system comes in and the T31 they are getting a new system that is not in service with other big ships in the RN.

BV Buster
BV Buster
6 months ago

So floaty things are not by bag so if my questions sound basic bare with me. Why does it take so long to build a warship? does it take longer than a cruse ship? Why does it cost a billion pounds for some steel, 1 gun, a dirty great radar and a shed on the back? Can we not just buy the hull cheap from China and stick our stuff on later? (This cleverly feeds into my Chinese back story)

BV

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  BV Buster

NO !

BV Buster
BV Buster
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

A clear and succinct answer!

BV

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  BV Buster

Happy to help. LOL
Buying cheap very frequently leads to buying twice whatever it is and buying anything military from China is and should always be a massive NO.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
6 months ago
Reply to  BV Buster

Crappy acquisition process and government stalling contracts to spread cost over multiple fiscal years. This could be done in a quarter of the time if the MoD weren’t neutered accountants

BV Buster
BV Buster
6 months ago

So if we allowed the MOD to dip into next years budget things would me much cheaper and quicker? It all just sounds insane that a simple policy change can fix everything.

So what about build length? is it too few people working on the shop floor? companies dragging out the contract deliberately? how much of the billion pounds is profit?

BV

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
6 months ago
Reply to  BV Buster

As with much in the MOD at the moment, the issue probably lies in yearly budget targets, resulting in a stretching of the build-time over longer periods to lower the cost per year. Net result is yes, yearly hit targets but slower delivery and higher overall costs.

billythefish
billythefish
6 months ago
Reply to  BV Buster

BV – you ask exactly the correct questions and the only answer is that it is the ”way they do things at the MoD” – there is not any logical reason for this over run in cost and time. In the offshore industry we build some of the most complex assets money can buy – we design and build them from CAD to water in less than two years – no problem – on budget, spec and on time – give or take. The biggest waste of money is crap procurement and project management – mostly driven by protective narrow… Read more »

BV Buster
BV Buster
6 months ago
Reply to  billythefish

I have seen this happen in the land domain but didn’t think the Navy with just one ship to build would be as bad if not worse than the Army.

The issues I have seen is the so called SMEs are never the platform user but the senior officer who was once a user a decade ago and is now completely out of touch with the requirement. The real SMEs, the chaps who have the most experience are point blank ignored.

BV

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago
Reply to  BV Buster

Spot on. We’ve guys who hadn’t been to sea in years design layouts for compartments or say where gear is going to be put. Apart from them not being the ideal SME it’s a joint slap in the chops and pain in the rear for those who are.

expat
expat
6 months ago
Reply to  billythefish

Totally agree, I’ve worked in Oil and Gas, Airline and defence industry. The latter is usually a mess, there’s been instances where contractors on MoD projects basically advising the MoD to make changes to scope so they can extend their contracts, essentially writing their own paycheques.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  billythefish

I have worked on Rig refits and warships refits. The 2 are not comparable. Whilst the rig safety requirements and systems far exceed any warship requirements(and those are very stringent anyway) a warship is a completely different beast. The system integration on a warship is at a whole other level.

Darren
Darren
6 months ago
Reply to  BV Buster

BV. The Hull is around 30% of the cost. If say BAE, Cammell Laird or Babcock were to invest in the most modern effecient shipbuilding technology and innovate some more themselves, it would be wasted on showing them to be effecient shipbuilders, due to the other. The other being government policy, officials, advisors, strategy, budgets, use of budgets with certain comapny vested interests, also systems that go into these ships. Ships are largely already fitted out during build. Buying a bare hull then fitting it out is so out of date and expensive it would make null and void the… Read more »

Darren
Darren
6 months ago
Reply to  Darren

To add. A new (war)ship even adapted form another design still uses UK design centres to adapt the design and this costs money. A new class is said to cost 7% above inflation and new systems incuding weapons even more than that. May be there should be a break down in costs from hull build or hull build with everything apart from weapons. Type 45s were just over 600 million to build without weapon, yet weapons are included unlike the US way of measuring costs and prices. Net, gross, bare hull fabriction build without sensors or electrical, employment, future implication… Read more »

Darren
Darren
6 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Which I should also say, does not benifit the UK taxpayer or save us money! It just winds us up when we see our steel making undermined by our own vested interest people and industrial (and national) decline that need not happen.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  BV Buster

Use HMS Ocean as an example. She was built cheaply to commercial standards and the RN got a deck capable of contacting Helo assault. However, The RN then spent many millions and many years making the commercial build comply to military fire fighting and damage control standards etc. Not forgetting of course trying to source spares and maintain civvy based gear working and operating in a way that it was never designed for. If they had bitten the bullet and built and designed it to Milspec to begin with it would have been cheaper. As someone who now works in… Read more »

Darren
Darren
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The Hull scantlings were not to military spec either. Hull life of 15 years. Swan Hunters tenders was right and for the good. This great shipbuilding yard is now gone. It did not need to happen. The irony is that the two worlds’s great first half of the twentieth Century shipyards were High Walker (Armstrong-Vickers) and Wallsend Swan Hunters. Swan Hunters was f++ked over. The Tyne has little apart from one gem being A&P at Hebburn. All those responsible, hold your fat heads in shame!

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
6 months ago
Reply to  BV Buster

Working on the reasonable assumption that all of the equipment that the T31s will be fitted ‘for but not with’, will never in fact see the light of day, there appears to be nothing that these vessels will do that couldn’t be done cheaper with the Khareef class corvettes. The Omanis got three for £400m.

DJ
DJ
25 days ago

The Khareef class has half the range & endurance is only 21 days. The Omanis are not trying to operate half a world away from home base in seas ranging from the Artic to the Antartic & everywhere inbetween. You also loose the option to fit those extra systems (or change existing) if you later get the money or need to (such as loss of a T45 or T26).

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago

The dates for Initial Operating Capability and Full Operating Capability have not yet been determined.” 2030 then! By the time we get these operational, we could have had two FREMM Class by 2023, albeit at twice the cost, and the rest in service by 2027 at the latest. I wonder how the cost per hull would have been affected if we went for these instead along with France and Italy? Fingers crossed they will not be required in the meantime. “Since then, the argument has continued over whether the Type-31s will be real frigates or ‘glorified corvettes’. The French Navy,… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Some useful specifications can be found via this link.

http://www.dmitryshulgin.com/tag/fremm/

Frank62
Frank62
6 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“Fingers crossed” -we won’t need any of the ships & fitted for but not with weaponry-should be HMG/MODs motto. John Nott took that attitude & it emboldened the Argentine Junta to invade the Falklands.

We learn very slowly & then when all seems peaceful forget all we learned at great cost.

billythefish
billythefish
6 months ago

It must be nice to run a project with only a double constraint rather than a triple constraint…time seems to have been made entirely flexible for the MoD! Hoorah!

George
George
6 months ago

Hi folks hope are all well.
Yes I’m with Daniele on this, does seem a long time when you consider the period from concept to be battle ready. Yes if course high end high tech military ships do take a long time to devwlope compared to civil cruise ships, nonetheless, it is a long period.
I’m sure if there were a clear oncoming threat to the nation, the pace of build and battle ready would be hightend.
Cheers
George

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago

Combining the open information, it is
– 2021 cut first steal
(build)
– 2023 in water
(fitting out for 1+ years, and contractor sea trial for 0.5-1 year)
– 2025 hand over to RN
(RN testing for 1.5 years)
– 2027 commission

Not bad. I think it is actually, “late 2021”, “late 2023” and “late 2025”, with “mid 2027”. I personally see no intentional delay in this time frame? It is normal pace.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago

And not realistic. Has anything actually been delivered on time and budget? My guess 300-350m per hull, cut to 4 due to escalating costs and mid/late 2030 for final in service date.

DJ
DJ
25 days ago

For a recent comparison from a nation that builds to similar specs, RAN Hobart class (3 ships), 1st laid down September 2012, commissioned September 2017 (5 years). Last laid down November 2015, commisioned May 2020 (4.5 years).

If you are looking at late 2021 start, 5 years is late 2026. The MoD may have left themselves a bit of space as well (looks better to come in early than late).

Albion
Albion
6 months ago

HMS Fearless – first of class?

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Here we go again. The MOD are building these ships as the money becomes available meaning that although less money will be spent each year the build will take more years to complete meaning that the overall spend will be higher than necessary. Actually I’m not sure it is the MOD but the Treasury. Why can’t they understand that fronting up the cash now will save us money in the long run? If we haven’t got the money, borrow it, interest rates are practically zero for the government.

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Im maybe dreaming but this years SDSR might be able to address this issue – I wonder how good Dominic Cummings is at Maths ?

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Borrowing it is short term thinking that has brought this nation to its knees. Yes interest rates are low and so people are borrowing insane amounts but wait on how many bankruptcies there will be when the interest rates rise again, an option that isn’t really available to a nation. The solution is to be be realistic with what we can afford to buy, rather than over promising and not being able to afford to deliver.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Borrowing to pay the current account is disastrous. Borrowing to lessen the overall spend is a no brainer. You get the ships faster, cheaper and increase the likelihood of exports. It isn’t really borrowing because the overall spend would be less.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

In theory yes but it’s not how the government works. You don’t have a MOD borrowing isolated and accoutable for the amount and justifications, you have a treasury borrowing for the overall public sector.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I’m afraid the right thing to go was to
– abandon “19 escort” aim
– and use the “1.5B GBP” (originally planned) of T31 for T26 to add 2 hull (and better armaments).
This will exactly speed up T26 build by 25%. With improved efficiency, adding another one (3rd, or in total 11th) might have been within scope.

To keep “19 escorts”, RN is going on with very inefficient ship building.

Trevor
6 months ago

We do not need 2 T26s, we need T31s to do the job..err… of t31s!!

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

That is Right, the MoD would Not be able to arm them much either!

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Not sure. Having 10 T26 (with uparm), in place of 8 T26 and 5 T31 (no uparm, we are here talking within the same money limit), is clearly an option, I think. As 2B GBP exceeds the cost needed for “2 more T26”, the 10 T26 option will see uparmed T26/T45 (say, add SSM to T45 and add guided-rounds to T26 5 inch gun) or even River B2, but not in “8 T26 + 5T31” case. I am proposing “better armed 16 tier-1 escort fleet +5 up-armed River B2 and 3 River B1”, compared to “14 tier-1 escort and 5… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago

The Govan Shipyard would need to be expanded significantly to increase T26 hulls beyond 9.
Only 3 large halls available!

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Sorry, I disagree here.

T26-hull2 start building 2 years after the 1st-hull start. It was also announced that T26-3 will start 1.5 years later. But still, hull-5 to 8 is considered to be built in 2 years drumbeat = hull-8 starts 10 years after hull-3 starts.

Making the latter 1.5 year drumbeat is surely doable = hull-10 starts 10.5 years after hull-3. We also must add-up the “learning curve”, which means is shall be even faster. Thus, 10 T26 in the same timeframe for current 8 T26 is feasible.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago

It is Not possible to build more then two Type 26 frigate hulls at a time at Govan. With Only three large sheds, only half of a T26 frigate hull is built in one shed, the fore and aft sections are built separately and joined together outside in the yard. To build more then two T26 frigates at a time, more large sheds would need to be built at Govan, which would cost hundreds of millions of £, and BAEs would want a return on their investment, so this would increase the cost of further T26 frigates built.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

No objection. I never propose to build “more than two T26” at a time at Govan. 1.5 years separation between hull-2 and 3 is real, official announcement. So, they can do it.

Further down the line, with improved learning curve = less work loads per hull, slightly faster build is also feasible (but of course not in the initial phase).

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Perhaps not building the ‘Frigate Factory’ can be seen now as a big mistake.£200 million is a big investment but not an insurmountable one.If BAE had guarantees about the T45 replacement it might make more sense,but we all know as far as the Defense Budget goes anything is possible – 15 years is a long time in politics.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago

Has the contract actually been signed yet? Last I heard they had chooses the preferred bidder and were working to finalise the details of the build out.

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve – For the Type 31 yes the Contracts were signed late last year by Ann Marie Trevelyan I believe .

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Oh, the whole reason behind no firm details on weaponry was because this was to be confirmed once the deal was signed. Why are they not confirming the final fit out?

Simon m
Simon m
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve I’m with you I think it’s shocking that announcements on preferred bidder and award of contract has taken place but still no official word on the final fit out! I’m naively hoping that the change of language around ISD means someone maybe using common sense and transferring sonar etc. from T23. Otherwise I can only assume that the RN are hopeful of a decent SDSR so theory increase & buy GFE for T31. I don’t think any further equipment will come from the T31 budget, it will be interesting to see if the Babcock graphics are actually based on… Read more »

farouk
farouk
6 months ago

I was kind of hoping that in using British Chinese steel, that the ships would be built to the same time frame as what the Chinese have for their ships.

Trevor
6 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Chinese health and safety standards?

The Snowman
The Snowman
6 months ago

What can be done to shorten the acceptance timescale? Would putting the 40mm on the River Batch 2, mean that system can be accepted over the next 2 years, rather than waiting for the T31 hull? Could we expand the theory and put the 57mm on another River Batch 2? Therefore accept both systems in to the RN and at the same time compare and contrast which gun is the best fit for the River Batch 2’s?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  The Snowman

Doesn’t work like that on first of class trials. Each individual system is tested and then you conduct whole ship system integration with all systems working and talking to each other. Add to that that the RN will be writing and modifying the operating manual as it goes on the first of class. Not just on equipment but the Watch and Station bill, spares outfit, galley operation, machinery drills, fire fighting, damage control etc. Even FOST will be learning on the job when they come on board. You can simulate and CAD all you want but nothing can replace hands… Read more »

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I guess I am over simplifying this, but none of that seems to need years. Multiple systems should be able to be tested at the same time. I can understand a few months to test everything in different sea conditions but years seems slow, especially as all the main parts are off the shelf and should just need to be tested on the platform itself rather than testing their ability which should already be known.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

You need to build the system with individual blocks. then join those blocks together into final system. Theoretical Example- Windspeed and direction system feeds from the anemometer into a digital repeater that sends the info onto a combat system highway where it is used by all sorts of systems, Gun systems, Decoys, helo, navigation, combat system. There may be an issue that when the 57mm gunnery system is firing to port with the 40mm to stbd there is a coding glich and you find that the flight deck system gives an inaccurate reading which affects the SHOAL for landing the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

This all makes sense but I still dont he the years part. It sounds like weeks or work not years.

The Snowman
The Snowman
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thank you Gunbuster. An excellent informative reply as always to my daft laddie question. I had no idea the process was that detailed. So it’s more about the ship than the systems?

Ian
Ian
6 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thank you Gunbuster always very informative

Andy
Andy
6 months ago

According to the article, all 5 ships will enter service within 18 months of each other.

Don’t forget also that they are building 2 brand new production lines.

This is set up for mass production if it’s needed.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy

Andy-san

The article (as other info) says, the last ship “delivered” by 2028, not “commissioned”.

The 1st ship is “delivered” (= handed-over) in 2025. So it is 3 years separation from hull-1 to hull-5. So, it is ~9 months between hulls.

Even so, it is very fast.

I rather fear, what will happen after 2028. NAO report says, “no money”. Only chance for T31 Batch-2 only if T26 is canceled, I’m afraid.

Andy
Andy
6 months ago

Thank you Donald, I’m confused by delivered vs in-service..

“.. all five ships will be delivered by the end of 2028. The approved in service date for the first Type 31 is May 2027.”

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy

Not your fault, actually.

It is smoke-and-screen. It reflects the fact THEY SAID IN THE PAST
– 2023 deliver (Babcock CEO comment in 2018)
– 2023 first ship commission and 2028 5th ship (RN 1st SL comment in 2017)
(More directly, THEY LIED IN THE PAST. LIED. Even me in the far east can easily imagine their schedule is too optimistic = lying)

By intentionally mixing “in water”, “handed-over/deliver” and “commission/in service”, they are trying to avoid getting blamed for it. In short, they are cheating by deliberately changing the word while keeping the year number.

Be careful.

geoff
geoff
6 months ago

Whilst apart from the sad fact the RN is getting so few Type 31’s, from a manufacturing point of view it does seem a really inefficient way to build a warship. With only 5 units there is no way of spreading the considerable fixed and setup costs involved here. If orders for other Navies are not forthcoming then would it not make sense to build 5 more hulls “for stock”? In that way one acquires 5 more hulls free of the large fixed element or 10 hulls at half the fixed cost. Whatever way one looks at it, would appear… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Geoff – The plan is for the T31 to be Export friendly,hopefully generating orders beyond the first 5,but if as you say no Export sales are made in RN service they will have relatively short lives – no MLU/LIFEX,once they reach the point of expensive refits move them on and (hopefully) build fresh ones.

geoff
geoff
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Thanks Paul. Let us hope orders a la Type 26., materialise

Frank62
Frank62
6 months ago

Crikey, what bung has Janes taken to say the T31 can do NGS! A 57mm is way too light for that. You need something with more traumatic stonk & range, preferably 4.5 or 5″. Big mistake expecting a 57mm to do that. Great for anti-missile point defence, AAA, anti small boats, but way below spec for NGS & anti-ship. If we also don’t fit ASMs these GP frigates will beeasy meat for any enemy escorts-which won’t be without decent medium guns or ASMs & can shoot down our Wildcats before they get in range to launch their anti-surface missiles. Next… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

I see your point!

“The UK and France has completed the first qualification firing trial of the MBDA Sea Venom/Anti‐Navire Léger (ANL) anti-ship missile, the Defence Equipment and Support (DES) agency announced on 6 March.

the missile is credited with a maximum range in excess of 20 km.”

https://www.janes.com/article/94743/sea-venom-completes-first-qualification-firing

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“For the first time Leonardo has unveiled in public its weapon wing system that is to equip UK AW159 Wildcat HMA2 maritime helicopters during the Royal Navy’s (RN’s) Carrier Strike Group 2021 (CSG21) deployment.”

https://www.janes.com/article/94747/wildcat-weapon-wing-unveiled

Trevor
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

It’s a light frigate. Constabulary duties … Aand threatening pokey Iranian rowling boats. What would have to move to fit in a 5″ gun and magazine?

Frank62
Frank62
6 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

6,000 tons is not a “light” frigate. Nor a light destroyer for that matter. In WW2 it would be a light cruiser. At current nominally 19 DDG/FFGs escorts in the fleet(& that’s an all time low over many hundreds of years) we can’t afford to reduce effective escort numbers by reducing the capabilities of that tiny cadre by under arming c.f. the GP T23s they’re replacing or any of our opponents. If the T31s were in addition to the 19 which are widely accepted as too few for even our peacetime commitments it wouldn’t be so bad apart from the… Read more »

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Calling T31 a light frigate is good. Its size is only one of a few aspects of a “frigate”. 1: “2B GBP for 5 hull” is within the “light” frigate league. French FTI 4200t ship is 3.3B GBP for 5 hulls. Brazilian MEKOA100-mod (3500t) CORVETTE (not even a light frigate!!) costs 1.25B GBP for 4 hulls. 2: T31 RFI requirement was for 4000t hull, not 6000t. So it is a light frigate as required, as well. Calling T31 as “a full-fat frigate”, while NOT allocating enough money to be armed as such, is the worst thing. It is just LIE.… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

About $60M stacked high on lots of pallets based on the T26 purchase of 3x 5″ gun systems and a training system 😉 Not a casual purchase for a cost optimized platform.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

What is this hang up on AA systems and helos. An Apache with Helfire can only be about 8km away from a target on a good day. Nobody is screaming about Apaches getting knocked down by S300/400.

The RN has not killed a single ship with a SSGW . All previous engagements of vessels have been with lynx and skua or Wasp with SS 11/12.

And I agree you cannot do real NGS with a 57mm.

David Flandry
David Flandry
6 months ago

They should buy 4-6 stripped-down Type 26 frigates. This is my humble opinion as a naval construction expert. 🙂

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  David Flandry

The RN would have to wait until 2037 to get these stripped-down T26s or it would disrupt the construction of the proper T26s.

Simon m
Simon m
6 months ago

With lifex happening for a number of T23 & with T45 work kicking in to gear I am hopeful we can cope with what we have, I assume that the expected maintenance required will decrease in the next few years after ships have gone through these?
To me we need the T31 soon but we need it properly equipped & if a delay allows this then that’s fine with me. But to get them later & not fully equipped would nothing short of a national disgrace.

Frank62
Frank62
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

Agreed.