The Type 31e Frigate is expected to sit at 5,700 tonnes and 138.7 metres in length.
Babcock’s ‘Arrowhead’ design offering requires a ships company of around 100 with space for an embarked military force of 60. Babcock’s Team 31 has selected the in-service Iver Huitfeldt frigate design as the baseline for their offering.
The requirements here are pretty straightforward, the Ministry of Defence demand that “T31e shall operate globally with sustained forward presence” and that it must have “the speed for interdiction of commercial vessels and maintaining station with adversary warships in UK waters”.
- Speed of 28 plus knots
- Range of 9000 nautical miles at 12 knots
Arrowhead features Medium Calibre Gun options up to 5” (127mm) for maritime interdiction, self-protection and engagement of surface and land targets. Small Calibre Guns up to 40mm calibre can be located in predesignated upper-deck weapon positions.
Additional capability options include:
- Provision for up to 8 canister-launched SSGW
- Up to 32 Vertical Launch cells, capable of hosting SAM/SSGW/Land Strike/ASW ordnance.
- Installation of Close-In Weapons Systems, such as Phalanx.
- Towed array sonar
Babcock say that the ability to fit the existing systems and equipment from the parent design, the Iver Huitfeldt class frigate, is retained to provide flexibility in the capability supplied at build and through the life of the platform. The company say that, for example, this retained capability means that (just like on the base design) a 32 cell Mk41 Strike Length silo can be fitted to incorporate a combination of a larger number of anti-air missiles, vertical launch anti-surface missiles, precision land attack missiles or ASW weapons such as ASROC.
This particular adaptability feature they say, alongside the ability to install a 127mm medium calibre gun, host an organic helicopter such as Merlin, install sensors such as a towed array/variable depth sonar and re-introduce a magazine-launched torpedo system, amongst other proven features, will allow the platform to be tailored on build and through-life to suit operational requirements from low-threat maritime security to task group operations.
Mission Bays and Boat Bays
The vessel features 4 large dedicated Boat Bays with flexible launch & recovery arrangement to cater for varying operational roles, including the deployment of RHIBs, USVs & UUVs.
The Mission Space which is located under the flight deck, say Babcock, offers significant operational flexibility allows for numerous TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) containers, extended stores, or personnel accommodation space.
Arrowhead’s flight deck can land a Merlin sized helicopter and the vessels hangar will be capable of storing one or if required, according to Babcock, two Wildcat helicopters together.
Babcock say that the Arrowhead design lends itself equally to either a single build strategy, or a cross–site build strategy bringing together modules – an approach used for aircraft carrier assembly at Rosyth.