Babcock’s Team 31 has successfully completed its ‘Whole Ship Critical Design Review’ (WSCDR) which they say is a key indicator of the compliance, maturity and engineering risk in proceeding into production as we mature the 3D CAD model.

“The WSCDR was held virtually over a period of ten days and comprised of a large number of specific reviews to assess the maturity of the individual systems and equipment for the Type 31 Frigate.”

An independent board of twelve experts reviewed the design, interrogated the engineering team and provided valuable advice to Babcock (the Design Authority), with attendees and contributors from the UK Ministry of Defence.

The board were pleased with the rate of progress made since the Preliminary Design Review in June 2020 and the level of technical maturity of the design, especially given the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19.

“Completing the Whole Ship CDR provides Team 31 with the confidence to fully develop the 3D CAD model and move towards the generation of build drawings in readiness for first steel cut and ship assembly later this year. Production work at Rosyth has been underway since last year on construction of ship cradles, build stools and ground supports. These form part of the essential infrastructure required to enable construction, and are designed to support the vessels upright as they are being built.”

Babcock say that the WSCDR is a significant milestone in the Type 31 programme and reflects the fantastic progress being made since contract award.

“The facilities and technology investment in Rosyth has got underway, with manufacturing bay refurbishments, the installation of state of the art advanced manufacturing equipment, and the New Assembly Hall will be completed towards the end of this summer before the start of ship assembly.”

Babcock CEO David Lockwood said:

“This is a real step change in capacity and capability at Rosyth which provides the UK with a world-class, future-ready, ship build facility. It’s an exciting time for UK industry with future opportunities emerging such as the recently announced Type 32 Frigate programme and international discussions increasing around the export of our proven and adaptable Arrowhead 140 design, with potential customers looking to the UK as the benchmark for their own programmes.”

Team 31 has placed a large number of Supply Chain contracts to date representing nearly 80% of the value. The remaining supply chain contracts will be placed in line with the procurement plan, with the first major equipment deliveries due later this year.

Team 31 is currently operating across the UK in Rosyth, Bristol, Devonport and Crawley, growing and mobilising in readiness for ship assembly starting later this year. At the peak, approximately 1,250 people will work on the programme across the UK.

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Ian M.
Ian M.
2 months ago

All good stuff, now get some cutting and welding on the go, not forgetting the order for 30,000 tins of Humbrol in 50 shades of grey.

Jon
Jon
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Maybe it’ll get a razzle dazzle paint job instead.

Andrew D
2 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Sounds good to me 👍

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Glued with Liquid Moly?

James
James
2 months ago

This frigate looks already outdated before it has been produced . Many forget it was for years in service with Danish navy who plan for new frigates . I think it was bad for British industry to buy second hand design

Louis
Louis
2 months ago
Reply to  James

I believe the whole point of using a ‘second hand’ design is the cost. This isn’t a cutting edge, technological advanced ship, the type 26 is that. These need be reliable and cheap. The role of the type 31 is for projection of power and undertaking the medial tasks of the navy. It won’t be doing all the war fighting so there is no need for a high spec frigate.

Jack
Jack
2 months ago
Reply to  James

I don’t have much knowledge in this area, but which parts of the design are outdated?
I thought it was more to do with what weapons, sensors etc. were put onto the platform. It seems as if most ship designs nowadays are built to be relevant for decades as long as their equipment is updated.

Phil
Phil
2 months ago
Reply to  James

I’d have to disagree, I’m fed up with us demanding bespoke cutting edge designs which end up costing so much we can’t afford them. It’s a proven design, it works out of the box, and the final capability will depend on the fit-out anyway. With any luck it will sell well and a lower unit cost may mean more than 5 (8)?

Andy P
Andy P
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil

Agree that for its role an ‘off the shelf’ Hull will be fine, as you say, it’s the stuff you stick in it that will make the difference.

As for more, we’ll have to wait and see what the T32’s end up as.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
2 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hi Andy, totally agree. Arm these ships properly in the first place not half dressed! It’s a funny mindset with armaments especially in these days of well armed potential adversaries.

Nate m
Nate m
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil

if its that cheap why arent we buying them in large quantities.

Tinman
Tinman
2 months ago
Reply to  Nate m

We don’t have the need, or the crew’s

Callum
Callum
2 months ago
Reply to  Nate m

Because unless the Treasury signs off on the extra cash, it doesn’t matter how cheap they are

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
2 months ago
Reply to  Phil

It is more a proof of concept for how to procure something at fixed cost. So it needed to be a mature design. The fixed spec is also to prevent fiddling that drives up the apparent unit costs. At the end of the project RN DEiS can look at Treasurey Man(TM) and say now we can do fixed cost on warships. This then gets things away from the T45 procurement where Treasury Man(TM) gave MOD -> RN £6Bn for the project (which was what was asked for) and the cost of developing Sampson ate more and more of it until… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago

Regarding Type 26 i thought BAE’s offer was 8 for the price of 7 – 13 for the price of 8 sounds a bit too good to be true to me,if that indeed was the offer made the MOD really would need their Heads testing if they turned that down.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Same logic would say that the US new Frigate program is equally outdated and indeed practically all of their fleet is based on far more ancient original designs. The basic hull design has little to do with the modernness of the ship and anyway as with the Americans the basic hull is just the starting point for the overall design what’s done with it is by far more important as fuels the argument between the relative capabilities of the Type 26 and its Australian and Canadian cousins despite being based on a state of the art hull form.

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

At least the US frigate have a modern propulsion system with electric silence capability. This one does not have it.

Geoff
Geoff
2 months ago

Will it still have armament ?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  Geoff

Electronic warfare

Aviation facilities:Helicopter hangar and flight deckNotes:Mission bay under flight deck for 6 TEUs. 3 boat bays for RHIBs and USVs/UUVs.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Bog all then…

“up to 24 cells” – means 12
“57mm” – so half the calibre of the current RN gun.
No anti-ship capability

Ridiculous….

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Agreed!

Rokuth
Rokuth
2 months ago
Reply to  Geoff

Yes it will. A 6pdr, and a couple of 2pdrs…
Bottle rockets are also being contemplated…
Yes, I am being facetious…

Brian
Brian
2 months ago

I hate the split funnel design it looks so fugly and asymmetrical. Why not 1 big funnel and move whatever that thing beside it is aft?

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Keeping Costs within a strict limit are what these Ships are all about – if you stray too far from the original design they will undoubtedly rise,which misses the point.

Ron
Ron
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Brian, the split funnel design is due to the placement of the generators, this ship does not have a gas turbine. That big thing aft is the mount for the S1850M radar, the big black radar on the T45. The T31 is all in all a good design and can be upgraded on two conditions, 1. the space is left available to take Sylver and/or Mk41 VLS and 2. the money is available. If we had point 2 then we could change these ships into very capable GP frigates.

Brian
Brian
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Still looks ugly like those Horizon class French and Italian ships. I’d rather have nice looking lines.

Ron
Ron
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Yeep know what you mean, for me one if not the most attractive ships os WW2 was the Scharnhorst, not the biggest or baddest but god was she good looking. I have often said and still do if a ship looks right she is right.

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

The Ajax class also.

AlexS
AlexS
2 months ago
Reply to  Brian

It is asymmetrical for protection, i think it is a good idea to have port and starboard funnels/systems.

Derek
Derek
2 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes, I believe it is because there are two engine compartments. If one is taken out, the ship is still mobile.

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 months ago

Congratulations to the RN for having a clear vision and being able to deliver on that vision. I hope the fact they are delivering (as have the RAF) results in the RN getting more funding and resources. This is a great design and if we can add in the flex deck from the absalon class for the T32’s I think we are onto a winner. Clearly I would like more combat hulls and do believe the RFA should standardise on Tides and an improved Karel Doorman / GLAM multi role vessel (12 of please), but the RN really has and… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

This is a design review – how has the RN proved it can deliver anything? As for vision, carrier strike has no stores ships, and relies on foreign nations to still not fill the carrier decks we acquired at vast expense. The OPVs were late and grossly expensive, SSNS even more so and T26 so expensive we’ve invented a cheapo T31 to make up the numbers – which is still just a computer model. This will also be overbudget and likely late. Of all the things to praise the RN for, vision and delivering on projects are pretty near the… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Hi Rogbob sorry I just don’t agree with you – and you have not taken in the key statement (despite government interference) Building the Rivers is a government decision due to the contract. T26’s are so expensive as they are quoted as Total cost of operation, not just the build (its one of the perverse things we do to put people off buying, when others just quote the build price) Carriers cost more because government delayed build schedule to a crawl, same as T26. Nothing to do with the RN, as these ships can definitely be built in 2-3 years… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Sorry, but regardless of the excuses (all true, but all still excuses) and how bad others are, the RN has not delivered very much at vast cost. That is nothing to celebrate, and indeed, there should be heads on poles. FSLs have stuck us on a carrier strike pole, and I think this big deployment is going to show how hollow that is (stores support is enough to keep it sailing half full – not fighting) and how little we actually get for it other than some minor PR. I like it and would have it in my fantasy fleet… Read more »

Sjb1968
Sjb1968
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

They are reasons and not excuses and carrier’s are not the reason the navy has been decimated. Two disastrous and failed wars costing £billions has done irreparable damage to the U.K. armed forces and it will take at least another decade to repair most of the damage done. Heads on poles yes, I have 4 names Blair, Brown, Cameron and Osbourne.

Andrew D
2 months ago
Reply to  Sjb1968

I agree with you since end of cold war all these names have let our forces down seen Blair in a interview few years ago saying our Armed forces are what shape our country don’t know how he had the nerve to say it after letting cuts keep going ,and for Brown not much better cutting JFH bill by half a million which ment less choppers available for our Troops in Afghanistan .Cameron and Osbourne for what there did to the Forces in 2010 review just put the nail in the coffin ,there just about wipe us out ,probably did… Read more »

Rogbob
Rogbob
2 months ago
Reply to  Sjb1968

They are excuses. The carriers are literally why the Navy was cut and cut and cut – each time to protect the carrier program. Ask anyone in the Navy of that time! GeoStrategically the UK had to be in Iraq and Afghan. They were the wars we fought (I fought), both had broad political and popular support. Senior service personnel are the ones who should be on spikes – politicians do as they are expected to do and as advised, who agreed we could do what was asked with what was given and kept their mouth shut until pension, honours… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

The biggest culprit was West. He sacrificed the fleet for carrier strike.
He left, became a Labour Lord and does nothing but drip about the state of the surface fleet that he largely helped to create.

T45 is actually better than it could have been. The choice was 5 ships and a full spares package or 6 ships and by the spares as you need them.
The latter option was chosen but spares are a different budget!

Sjb1968
Sjb1968
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Rog, first of all I respect anyone who served as I have a son in the RM’s, cousins in the Navy and Army and have a fairly long list of friends that have served or continue to do so. Your take of the situation is understood and I certainly get the point about the military leadership but the wide political support for those awful wars you mentioned was from the very people I listed. They resided over wars whilst cutting defence. Based on GDP defence spending was 2.85% in 2000 but from 2000 to 2009 it went down and flat… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 months ago
Reply to  Rogbob

Technically the RN doesn’t deliver the. Project. That is done by MOD departments at places like Abbey Wood.

Ron
Ron
2 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Packman, HI whos things, anyway to your post, for me I would like to see a version of the Damen Crossover Combattant for the T32. Possibly a T26 to the rear of the main mast then a open deck struture aft. That would give the T32 the possibily of working as a mothership for remote MCM, launch three vessels upto the CB-90, have a towed array, carry 100-200 marines with support vechiles, a 5 inch gun,two CIWS, two 30mm with LMM, 24 Sea Ceptors and 24 Mk41s. As for the Karel Doorman class in the Multi Role capacity? As much… Read more »

Pacman27
Pacman27
2 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Hi Ron, I like the crossover and no issue with it, as for the MRSS I think we take the best of the KD and Canadian GALM design but improve it as both have massive helicopter decks and we could eek out more space around the RAS masts, I do think we can improve the KD design much further and looking at the San Antonio class last week perhaps such large deck is not needed. even building around the masts and keeping the 2 chinook spots would be a massive improvement. not a fan of elida personally, but 12 of… Read more »

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
2 months ago

Those two boat bays on the starboard side that are right next to each other could be merged to form a Type 26 style mission bay, big enough to hold the new autonomous minehunters or maybe even an XLUUV.

The 12 CAMMs seems like a joke in 2021 doesn’t it? Fitted for and barely with? Is that the new term?

I still wish they purchased Venator 110 with sonar winches in place of a stern ramp and say 16x Mk41. It’s a nice looking ship.

Out of respect for Ron I will now start posting as Ron Stateside.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago

Crack on with the build lads, we’re falling behind a tad!

First Type 31 due in 2027, they commissioned their second Type 55 last month. At this rate, the SCS will look like a tube carriage during rush hour 😂

China commissions three major naval vessels on PLAN’s 72nd anniversary
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/china-commissions-three-major-naval-vessels-on-plans-72nd-anniversary

Last edited 2 months ago by Nigel Collins
BigH1979
BigH1979
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Scary stuff. Belittle the quality and state of Chinese Engineering all you like but when you have more metal being thrown at you than you can handle then quality counts for s**t!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  BigH1979

I’m not belittling China at all, quite the opposite. It’s the UK that needs to get a move on as I said in my tongue in cheek comment above. “The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)—the largest navy in the world—is an increasingly modern and flexible force that has focused on replacing previous generations of platforms with limited capabilities in favor of larger, modern multi-role combatants. As of 2019, the PLAN is largely composed of modern multi-role platforms featuring advanced anti-ship, antiair, and anti-submarine weapons and sensors. – Naval Shipbuilding and Modernization: The PLAN remains engaged in a robust shipbuilding and… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

My understanding is, they gained access to some or part of the engine’s design. Something else they are very good at!

China is catching up, both in numbers and technology.

“The air force is not happy with the final results, demanding that engine technicians modify it until it meets all standards, for example matching the F119 engine used by the Americans’ F-22 Raptor.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/china-modifies-j20-stealth-fighter-engine-to-match-us-f22-2021-1?r=US&IR=T

BigH1979
BigH1979
2 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Apologies mate crossed wires i was agreeing with your original comment. When i said ‘all you like’ i didnt mean You but you as in the royal ‘you’ ie the people who belittle Chinese Ships….😀 hope that makes sense lol.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
2 months ago
Reply to  BigH1979

Perfect sense!

Denis
Denis
2 months ago

As a ex Royal Navy man all ships are wanted especially after years of decline and indecision, it matters not what the exterior looks like it what goes inside snd by that I include the crew. On the subject of crews how about some good old fashioned recruitment and recruit across the board not very select individuals, we desperately need men and women to join our armed forces after years of selective decline

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

RN Frigate of 1990s – Type 22 B3
RN Frigate of 2030s (if we are lucky) – Type 31

What a tragic decline…