Confirmation has been given on when the orders for new Type 31e Frigates and the Fleet solid Support Ships will be ordered.
Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham asked:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department’s latest timetables are for the orders of (a) Type 31e (first batch), and (b) Fleet Solid Support vessels.”
Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence answered:
“We plan to award a contract for Type 31e by December 2019 and for the Fleet Solid Support ships in 2020.”
This comes not long after the previously suspended Type 31e programme, which could see sections of the ships built in Scotland and England, was restarted.
An MoD spokesperson said that a prior information notice has been issued to industry and a new contract notice has been issued.
“We have issued a Prior Information Notice for our new Type 31e fleet and plan to start discussions with industry next week to ensure we do not lose any momentum. There have been no changes in our plans to procure a first batch of five new Type 31e frigates to grow our Royal Navy. We still want the first ship delivered by 2023 and are confident that industry will meet the challenge of providing them for the price tag we’ve set.”
According to USNI here, an article published recently by Jane’s stated that at least two of the potential bidders had earlier regarded the terms and conditions set by the MoD as unworkable, citing both commercial aspects and intellectual property rights.
“Even if the MoD achieves its stated intention of ‘delivering’ the Type 31e lead ship in 2023, the subsequent sea trials, crew training and work-up could see entry into operational service slipping a year or two.”