The Defence Secretary has appeared to confirm that Rosyth will be building more vessels that previously planned, with the Type 32 Frigate going into built at the yard after the Type 31 Frigate build finishes.
Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, recently stated that Rosyth would be building Tytpe 32 Frigates in addition to Type 31 Frigates.
“We are committed to building the Type 26 in the United Kingdom; it is under construction on the Clyde. In Rosyth, work is ongoing to build the facility needed to build the Type 31s and the subsequent Type 32s. He also knows that I recently recategorised the future Fleet Solid Support ship as a warship. I intend to make sure that, if not entirely, there is a considerable degree of UK build in that process, subject to tender. I have to be cautious about the contract, because the competition is to begin soon—very soon.”
What is the Type 32 Frigate?
According to the recently released ‘Defencer Command Paper’, the Type 32 frigates will be designed to protect territorial waters, to provide persistent presence overseas and to support Littoral Response Groups.
The first mention of a new Type 32 frigate came in the Prime Minister’s 19 November statement. He said: “We are going to develop the next generation of warships, including multi-role research vessels and Type 32 frigates.”
The Defence Command Paper, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’, describes the planned programme:
“Type 32 frigates, designed to protect territorial waters, provide persistent presence overseas and support our Littoral Response Groups.”
The Type 32 was not mentioned in the Government’s 2017 shipbuilding strategy, which overhauled the way the MoD procures warships for the Royal Navy. Nor was it mentioned in the review of the strategy published in November 2019. Early speculation suggests they could be ‘batch II’ Type 31s, but not necessarily based on the Type 31 design, which explains why Rosyth will be building them following on from the Type 31s being built at the yard.
In November 2020, the Ministry of Defence stated that the concept phase for the vessel had not yet been launched but added that the ship is currently envisioned as a “platform for autonomous systems”, used in roles such as anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures.