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The design for the Type 31 has been selected, with the vessel to be built in France and suited to moving passengers when not in MoD service.

P&O Ferries have signed a £360m contract for the two smallest frigates ever to be constructed for the Royal Navy. The new vessels were specifically designed for the Dover-Calais route and were built to Lloyd’s Register‘Green Passport’ which provides a cradle to grave strategy for all materials used.

If you’re reading this please check the date above a this was an April Fools Day article and as such, is nonsense.

Instead of armament, the vessels will feature additional seating for extra passengers, part of the MoD’s plan to rent out the vessels to ferry companies when not in use.

The vessels are to be environmentally friendly, offering significant advances in fuel efficiency through a hydro-dynamically efficient hull form that optimise vessel performance with minimum fuel consumption.

The vessels are the first in the world to comply with the new International Maritime Organization “Safe Return to Port” requirements ahead of the international compliance date. These rules require that, in the event of a ship becoming a casualty, basic services are provided to all persons on board and that certain systems remain operational for safe return to port. Performance standards are reportedly stipulated for a wide range of ship systems including fire-fighting, power supply, propulsion, steering and navigation.

A spokesman said:

“Type 31 will definitely go in the water.”

30 COMMENTS

  1. Also suitable for hire for “round the Harbour “trips, and Tourist Mackerel fishing. Its a new whiz for an MOD revenue earner. Innovative eh

  2. I wonder how many years it will be before the t31 design is actually confirmed, considering the t26 history, then probably another 15 years. From wikipedia the t26 program started in 1998, whilst the t31 started 2015. t26 first steel cut in 2017, so 19 years after program announced. Using same time frame t31 first steel in 2034, which might explain why it isn’t budgeted for in the 10 year plan.

      • The Type 26 program was us making a ship from scratch. The Type 31 program is us buying an already designed ship.

        • I admire your confidence. Firstly zero chance it will be an already designed ship, as by the time the navy and MOD have done with tweaking everything and the government has interfered with the costing, the design will be very different (think original apache order). Secondly, when has any military procurement ever gone on schedule. 2023 is the best current case, I would bet another 5-10 years added to that. 5 years from today, to get first ship in to the water, when the final specs aren’t there yet and neither is any firm order, seems highly optimistic and unlikely. Industry is cooperating and merging teams in the hope of forcing a quick decision which makes me think they aren’t optimistic either.

          • When I say already designed, I mean we are selecting a design that is already created. The competition is between 4-5 different designs at the moment. This is an off the shelf design that has already been adapted to our specs. It is a completely different type of program to the Type 26. The program has an extremely tight and focused timeline aimed at getting the first ship in the water by 2023 when it needs to replace a Type 23. It may slip, but nothing like the Type 26.

          • I will believe it when I see it. Still too many uncertainties. From what I can tell the designs are still not finalised, and will need some heavy adaption once selected, for starters the details of the weapon systems very vague and so there will need a period between choosing the final pre design winner and fleshing out the final details and costs, which meaning a few years. It’s possible to get the first ship in the water by 2023 but I really doubt that it will be ready for active service at that point. I am still guessing closer to 2030 but hopefully we will find out more when the defence review is published later this year / early next year.

    • This was a promising move, but if i read the story correctly we still haven’t made the decision to buy them. I guess that decision will come with the upcoming defence review.

  3. George, you’re a legend. Almost as many April Fools articles as the MOD/HMG regularly trot out.

    They really should be powered by UK produced Champagne & armed with anti-ship bagguettes.

    Maybe the sea cadets could be equipped with wrenches & screwdrivers to fill the engineering gap.

  4. Indeed, the primary weapon system of the type 31 will be world’s most advanced supersonic cricket ball, capable of overcoming even the most complex of jamming environments, equivalent to one quadrillion mobile phone signals. However, the type 31s will be fitted for but not with such a world-beating system due to an urgent operational requirement to fund German-made motor vehicles for the leaders of the African Union.

  5. Love the jokes. No mention though of yesterday’s press release on the decision to award the contract for the next round of AFVs to Artec / Rheinmetall for the Boxer. Easter Saturday indeed. Grubby piece of timing that, by a timid little government that can’t take opposition, witness the GKN silence.

    So that’s it then. An entire indigenous industry (combat vehicles, hugely successful global exporter from 1950 to 2000) run into the ground by an obssession with ‘competition’. Only this one doesn’t appear to have been competitive. Vickers Newcastle, ROF Leeds, Alvis Coventry, all gone. Leaving BAE Telford as a repair centre for legacy vehicles. Can anyone name one other advanced industrial country that would allow this?

  6. this is the first one I saw and i fell for it for about 5 seconds whilst being in absolute despair and then looked at the date and then saw the others.

  7. […] The design for the Type 31 has been selected, with the vessel to be built in France and suited to moving passengers when not in MoD service. P&O Ferries have signed a £360m contract for the two smallest frigates ever to be constructed for the Royal Navy. The new vessels were specifically designed for the Dover-Calais route and were built to Lloyd’s Register‘Green Passport’ which provides a cradle to grave strategy for all materials used. Instead of armament, the vessels will feature additional seating for extra passengers, part of the MoD’s plan to rent out the vessels to ferry companies when not in use. The vessels are to be environmentally friendly, offering significant advances in fuel efficiency through a hydro-dynamically efficient hull form that optimise vessel performance with minimum fuel consumption. The vessels are the first in the world to comply with the new International Maritime Organization “Safe Return to Port” requirements ahead of the international compliance date. These rules require that, in the event of a ship becoming a casualty, basic services are provided to all persons on board and that certain systems remain operational for safe return to port. Performance standards are reportedly stipulated for a wide range of ship systems including fire-fighting, power supply, propulsion, steering and navigation. A spokesman said: “Type 31 will definitely go in the water.” Source […]

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