The UK is pursuing a ‘number of opportunities’ to export the Type 31 Frigate.
John Healey, the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, asked:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many export orders were envisaged for Type 31e by his Department at the end of the concept phase.”
Jeremy Quin, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:
“Work to evaluate the potential scope of the general purpose frigate market was conducted prior to the T31 procurement being launched. This research helped to inform the development of the T31 evaluation criteria. As part of the Design & Build contract, Babcock is required to generate a strategy which outlines their approach to exporting the T31. There has been healthy international interest so far in the Type 31. The MOD has been supporting UK Defence and Security Exports and Babcock in actively pursuing a number of these opportunities.”
Quin later added:
“The Type 31 frigate is the UK variant of the Arrowhead 140 (AH140) design. No export orders have currently been placed for AH140, but UK industry in partnership with the UK Defence and Security Exports (UKDSE) and MoD are actively pursuing a number of campaigns.”
Brief guide to the Type 31 Frigate
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”.
The UK is building five Type 31 Frigates at Rosyth in Scotland.