In November, the Prime Minister announced surprise plans to develop a new Type 32 Frigate to expand the Royal Navy fleet. This was unexpected, so what actually is the Type 32 Frigate?

The Royal Navy already has two new types of frigate on order, the Type 26 and the Type 31 Frigate.

Parliament has taken a keen interest in the procurement of warships and the Commons Library has published several briefing papers on this topic, this article is sourced from them.

What are the Royal Navy’s current plans?

The Royal Navy’s existing fleet of thirteen Type 23 frigates will begin to leave service on an annual basis from 2023.

Frigates can be used in a variety of roles, including warfighting, maritime security, counter piracy and international engagement. Some vessels are designed for a specialist anti-submarine warfare role with a quiet hull.

They will be replaced by two new types of frigate:

Type 26 frigates

These will replace the specialist anti-submarine warfare (ASW) Type 23 frigates currently in service.

The Ministry of Defence has committed to buying eight Type 26 frigates and signed a contract for the first three in July 2017. The ships will be built at BAE Systems’ shipyards on the Clyde. The first in the City Class, HMS Glasgow, has an in-service date of 2027. The MOD says it expects to sign a contract for the second batch of five Type 26 frigates in the early 2020s.

Type 31 frigates

These will be general-purpose frigates to replace the non-ASW Type 23s. The MoD signed a contract with Babcock for five ships in November 2019. Manufacture will begin in 2021 with an in-service date of 2027. The overall programme cost is expected to be £2bn.

Echoes of 2015?

The Government made a similar surprise announcement about frigates in the previous defence review, the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), in 2015.

Rather than confirming the expected build of 12 Type 26 frigates, the Government announced plans for eight Type 26s, supported by five new general-purpose frigates (the Type 31s).

The SDSR said:

“We will also launch a concept study and then design and build a new class of lighter, flexible general purpose frigates so that by the 2030s we can further increase the total number of frigates and destroyers.”

The Prime Minister’s announcement of the new Type 32 frigates comes in the context of the current defence review.

The 19th of  November statement on the integrated review also announced the review’s work would conclude in early 2021 and informed the House of Commons of its “first outcome“: an increase in defence spending of £24.1bn over the next four years.

What is the Type 32?

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 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. Several MPs have tabled questions on the Type 32.

More information may be provided in the integrated review or in the update to the 30-year Naval Ship Acquisition Plan, due to be published after the integrated review.

What will the new ships do?

In his statement, the Prime Minister spoke of plans to “deploy more of our naval assets in the world’s most important regions”. This may include Asia-Pacific. The Royal Navy has visibly increased its presence in Asia in recent years and HMS Queen Elizabeth is to sail to East Asia in 2021.

The Royal Navy has also begun to permanently base frigates overseas (in the Gulf). The First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin (head of the Royal Navy), has said forward presence is a priority, suggesting more ships could be permanently based overseas with crews rotating from the UK. The Royal Navy will also soon have five new offshore patrol vessels in service.

However, in the medium-term there remain concerns about the timing of the retirement of Type 23 frigates and the entry into service of the Type 26s and Type 31s. There is a potential shortage of frigates around the mid-2020s. There is also the question of crewing.

The Royal Navy is understrength by 5.9%, as of the 1st of July 2020.

It is not clear when the Government intends to bring the new Type 32s into service.

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Simon m
Simon m
7 months ago

The potential options are?
Absalon or Damen Crossover type vessel to support FCF
Lighter covert type vessel/littoral combat shipp
Multi-role vessel support MCM
A type TX ship
A mid ranged ASW Frigate
Anything else?
Smudge on the piece of paper Boris read & everyone else has committed to?
Place your bets

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
7 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

A cheap to operate missile boat in the traditional park a frigate off the coast of a country and launch a couple of Tomahawks against training camps/people of interest tradition.

I am thinking 8-16 AA missiles for self protection, 16 or 24 strike tubes, a landing pad for a light helicopter but none carried as standard (possibly a foldable hanger structure), a 4.5 or 5 inch gun, enough spare berth capacity for a squad of marines and their inflatables.

Last edited 7 months ago by Watcherzero
Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
7 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

It could just be a ” Next Generation Frigate ” that’s how BJ Described it.

Ron
Ron
7 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

I agree with the Damen Crossover on the condition that they have Anti ship and Sea Ceptor missiles with a containorised towed array. It would be a good multi-purpose surface combat ship. The only question is can the Crossover take 2-4 MCM autonomous vessels or 2-4 CB-90s or a mix of two each.

Challenger
Challenger
7 months ago

IMO T32 needs to be a 2nd batch of refined and moderately up-gunned T31’s utilizing the same hull design and production line. An entirely new frigate class of only 5 vessels makes zero sense! What’s also needed in addition to this is a basic corvette sized platform (in the Venari or Black Swan mold) that can replace the Hunt’s, Sandown’s, Echo/Enterprise and the older River’s in the RN using modular, containerized kit but that crucially could also be easily up-gunned to appeal to prospective buyers. With T45 eventually replaced by a T26 derivative the UK would then be in a… Read more »

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

I suspect the T32 will be what the RN wanted before they were forced to accept the T31. In other words it’s a properly armed T31. A 5inch gun, more Sea Ceptor SAMs, anti-ship missiles and containerised ASW, recce drones or MCMs. Sounds good to me, especially if they retrofit batch 1.

Simon m
Simon m
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I’d personally prefer we carried on with T31 I’m pretty sure at least 10 is doable. The only possible reason for a new class is something that has a completely different capability. But I don’t think there’s much you can’t do with a T31 design from AAW to ASW the design allows for raft mounted engines & the vessel is capable on 1 engine running add towed array sonar & it’s no T26 but capable. If we adopted the same radar fit as Iver Huiltfeldt we’d have a capable AAW vessel again no T45. If we invested in T26 &… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

Maybe T32 would not be a completely different capability to T31 but a more modern platform perhaps, with first delivery late 2020’s or first half 2030’s. Arrowhead 140 was the expedient choice for T31 as a proven, low risk, highly capable platform, needed rapidly, with a lot of flexibility to support different roles and increase capabilities over time and most important, achievable at low cost. There was no time to engineer anything new, hence the warmed over designs from others in the competition. IMO A140 was by far the best option for the UK but it doesn’t mean we cannot… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago

More modern than Type 31? It hasn’t been built yet, how much more modern can you get?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

New doesn’t mean modern. The T31 is based on the Iver Huitfeldt, which in turn is based on the Absalon, the latter being a late 1990’s/early 2000’s design. Its a highly practical, effective and affordable design to build and operate, but it doesn’t mean that the marine industry has learnt nothing in the last two decades. That is why I provided a couple of examples. If you follow the link to the Dutch navy evaluation you’ll see that a hydrofoil at the stern has not only modeled a 10% fuel saving, which is a major operating cost saving, it enables… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

Over £700M was spent on R & D for T26, £3.7Bn for the first 3. Also millions more spent on more long leading components for beyond the first 3 T26s.
A a very wasteful procurement policy, I would say!

Pacman27
Pacman27
7 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

agreed, but we can pull it back if we can upgrade the Radar and use the platform to replace the 6 T45’s

Alternatively order 6 more for ASW and put the AAW capability on the T31 which is already proven in Danish use.

This could possibly be less expensive as its already designed and is BMD certified I believe.

In all cases I do believe we will end up with 12-14 T26 in the end and they should come in under £1bn each if we get this volume

Pacman27
Pacman27
7 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

I agree its an excellent platform that is very scaleable.

I also think we could add in an additional deck and create an updated Absalon class (Huitfeldt is an update on Absalon minus 1 logistics RORO deck)

So I think we have missed a trick here and believe for this particular class Absalon is a better vessel if we can apply the lessons they learned and applied to the Huitfeldt class.

that extra deck can take a company of marines and launch CB90’s so worth having

Robert Stevenson
Robert Stevenson
7 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

Hi Simon a type 26 spected as per the Canadian versions would be a great replacement for the T45, maybe need a section add like the batch 3 Type 42

Mark B
Mark B
7 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

What makes sense on the T31 is to get them up a running and see if they are any good. If it is an excellent platform then build whatever variations we desire otherwise we need to start again and get it right.

Pete
Pete
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

We know its a good hull design based on Danish service. Issue is how much kit for the yet to be revealed budget. Will be interesting to see if tendering / negotiations are based on…

1. What capability for this budget… Or
2. What price this capability

Would like to think the MoD have got future option prices for T31 generally locked into existing contract with some ‘functional’ optionality also already priced up.

P

Ian
Ian
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark B

Hi Mark how about a push to get a Type 26 and 31 in the water and see what we have bought

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

I can’t see past a batch II 31 either, like you say, yet another different class would lead to different stores etc, if there’s nothing wrong with the T31’s other than being lightly armed then there will be more bang for your buck (if you excuse the pun) in up arming what we have. I would imagine budget will still play a large part so if we’re knocking out more very similar platforms the cost will come down leaving more cash to spend on guns, missile and sensors. As for the ‘Arleigh Burke’ argument, it doesn’t really stand up for… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago

It’s not helpful being left with only speculation on the T32. Could even be the replacement for the T45.
It beggers belief that now we’re still a very rich country with record population we can’t(or won’t) afford to recruit & look after more crews for our tiny fleet. We make the same mistakes generation after generation, getting caught short every conflict.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Its the same problem as the army, the funding is there for the positions but there arent enough recruits so we end up thousands below target manpower. They tried outsourcing army recruitment but it was a disaster so its been taken back in house again.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Its not a case of affording it. Its a case of the right people wanting to join. It doesn’t matter how rainbow coloured and fluffy you make life in a blue suit, if they don’t want to join up , they don’t join up. An silver lining of the current COVID situation makes today similar to the early 80s in that there are no jobs for youngsters. I can see that recruitment will go back up because there are no other opportunities available. Heck, I grew up in the late 70s in Liverpool. I joined the RN aged 16 in… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Morning GB, I’ve a couple of mates in recruiting and interest has definitely gone up, a lot of ‘re entries’ too, both guys who have been out a while and guys who have only been out a relatively short time. For clarity, this has been since covid so it has made a difference.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi GB. I’ve every sympathy with you for those days. I was 16 in 1978 but had a full scale mental breakdown aproaching my GSE’s so after recovering(took years really) spent a year in the re-take year before doing 2 years doing A-levels in the year below mine. What we found was those of our year who left school at 16 in 1978 all found jobs or good apprenticeships, but after that it was very hard times indeed. I never had the nerve for the military life. We clearly need to value servicemen & women while they serve throughout their… Read more »

Nick C
Nick C
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Hi Frank. I’ve just had a quick look at the “Save the RN” website. Apparently there is a 30% uptick in recruitment, Raleigh is full with a class of over 300, BRNC is starting an extra entry, and 500 more are starting at Collingwood in January. The problem may not be the recruits it might be finding the instructors. And taking up what Gunbuster said, how many will actually make the grade?

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

Yes that is encouraging. It’s natural that some find they’re not cut out for the service & I think that’s fair enough.

Pacman27
Pacman27
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

I think the RN has been really proactive with a strategy of getting TV programmes on air

Chris Terrill did a fantastic job with QEC, then the T45 series and lastly the SSBN programme have all been really good pieces of PR.

Chris also did an RM programme and was pretty inspirational I have to say.

If ever there was a friend of the RN, Chris is it

Very clever by the RN and you can’t help feeling part of a longer term strategy that is really starting to pay off now.

Ian
Ian
7 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Apparently there is another navy series coming soon…… has anyone got any information please……

Ron
Ron
7 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

Not sure about the RN new intact course, I went to a Army Apprenticies College, the drop out rate in the first six months was huge, then over the next few years of trade training they were still wittling down. I think by the time we graduated in summer 81 there was only about 50% of the lads left. Yet when I saw the work carried out by our civilian counterparts we rejected better.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The RN is undergoing a huge Transformation exercise. I am surprised the briefs and videos put out by the powers that be have not been more widely seen. There are still issues with manning though. 3 French Navy and 11 US Coast Guard engineers are being used in the RN to overcome the short falls in marine engineering maintainers.It could be said its an exchange program but the exchange only goes one way! Commonwealth recruits have been and remain a massive boon to manning . However the jobs they can do and what branches and specialisations they can do is… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

If it was AAW it would be a Destroyer in RN parlance.

AAW is very well covered off with credible radar and missile dit’s on T45/23/26/31.

You can argue about numbers of missiles per ship but I am confident the systems are sound.

The best way of boosting the effective umbrella would be to add the cooperative engagement system.

T32 needs to bring something different to the party.

john melling
john melling
7 months ago

So to be different either T32 needs to be geared towards just being an AShM Or its a UAV mother ship type.
But more likely again to be General Purpose, a phrase which I don’t like

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  john melling

Heavily armed GP to do gunline, anti ship and AA with Cooperative Engagement.

Would need VLS to do that.

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

The fleet isn’t tiny ,tiny by what standards ? The US , China. Russia ? the RN is a true blue water navy only a handful of nations have the ability we posses. Only a handful of nations have a higher fleet tonnage than us. The new ships we are building require significantly less crew a T31 will have almost a 50% less crew requirement than a T23. The QE class at 70,000 tons same crew numbers as Invincible class at 22,000 tons. I won’t disagree with your sentiments on how we manage recruitment and generally getting caught with our… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago

Hi TAFKALPC, historically we’re tiny in terms of warship hulls, escorts & sailors. Probably smaller than ever in the last 400 years or more. If we’re hamstrung by lack of engineers to run our ships we obviously need to up our game to provide a far more attractive & supportive career. What dullards we’ve been to get into this situation. In battle we’ll see wether the small QE crew can cope with damage control, after casualties for such a large vessel & wether once the lauded crew saving automated weapon handling system is inoperable, aircraft can still be re-armed or… Read more »

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Frank62, You hit the nail on the head there. Although in WWI & WWII the Royal Navy were relatively OK, it was the Army in both I & II and the RAF in WWII who were caught with their pants down. Old equipment, troops who were never really told they had a real fight coming. We are an island, therefore easy to cut off, that means food and other stores. There’s no “Home Fleet” unless they intend to make the Aircraft Carriers expensive targets by doing circles. The Army is up a creek without a paddle. A fighting force of… Read more »

dan
dan
7 months ago

More big promises. Will wait and see if this comes to reality……

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
7 months ago

“What is the type 32 ? “Answer, Nobody knows.

Tim uk
Tim uk
7 months ago

What about a couple of barrage ships loaded with long range cruise and anti Ship-weapons ? Convert a few cargo ships and load with vls cells and hand control to escort frigates / type 45 ? Enough firepower to decommission power networks / ports / airfields of any mid-tier african / mid east trouble maker ( likely focus ).Just the presence alone as part of a carrier group would be enough to make any islamic trouble make rethink.

john melling
john melling
7 months ago
Reply to  Tim uk

I’ve often thought about this concept and I think it would be a big asset to any RN task force…
Image ships like them appearing an firing multiple rockets or Ashm at an Enemy

Pacman27
Pacman27
7 months ago

the key for me with this investment is to map a coherent fleet and strategy that ensures we have a good drumbeat that supports the industrial base to provide these vessels at better VFM than in the past. this necessitates a 25 year plan that builds 3 major surface ships annually and a submarine bi-annually, with 100 smaller enabling vessels per annum. this is hardly fantasy fleets stuff it is a surface fleet for the RFA/RN of circa 75 vessels and 12 submarines (admittedly an uptick – but method to the madness. Combat Surface Fleet (BAES / Babcock) 12 no.… Read more »

rec
rec
7 months ago

The type 32 is an unknown, likewise who will build it. Shipbuilding capacity is limited so the industry will need a heads up to recruit. Maybe BAE will start to move away from being so dependent on external contractors and go back to employing more of its own staff, but for that it will need some guarantees of contracts. The FSS could be built with external support from a foreign shipbuilders, hence H&W could build with Spanish input. But frigates , a bit more complex, options for T32 are numerous and range from. A batch 3 T26 with a different… Read more »

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
7 months ago
Reply to  rec

I think we should just wait and see now.

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Yes, all we can do after initial speculation. Ity’s a bit like trying to commentate on a premier league footie match before kick off!

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Exactly mate. We all know bugger all as of yet.

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 months ago

I think Next Generation Frigate says what it is – also the aspiration to have the largest navy in Europe suggests they will not be built as replacements for the T45 / T26 / T31 but as supplements, so sooner rather than later. A more intriguing question is what are these ‘multi-role survey vessels’. The plural was used in the statement. We know HMS Scott needs replacement urgently for the SSBN force and Echo and Enterprise as not far behind, but there are also hybrid threats to undersea cables and other threats that these ships might be aimed to address.… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by James Fennell
Pigeon
Pigeon
7 months ago

Logically this will be a new UK designed ship rather than a follow on of T31s, which iirc was originally to be an “exportable” ship hence the daft “e” suffix. Ironically T26 has exported better than any UK design since Leander and T31 is a UK built variant of someone else’s export design! By the time T32 gets going T26 will be in build and the design teams and R&D effort will have nothing to do. T45 have been used lightly and I think will be 40year ships whilst Sea Viper/Sampson have no obvious replacement path (but do have siginificant… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
7 months ago
Reply to  Pigeon

I thought that one objective of the “export frigate” was that RN ships would be sold off as 2nd hand to be replaced by new T31s as and when the T31s have reached their first serious maintenance period. I may have misunderstood the British Shipbuilding Strategy, but the point of this was to ensure that we just kept building ships and sell them on as we needed. The T26 has been ‘exported’ in the sense that intellectual copyright has been exported. The nuts and bolts are built elsewhere. But that being the case (?) it seems to me that the… Read more »

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
7 months ago

I think those here who are hoping this is going to be an up-gunned T31 are going to be sorely disappointed. Firstly I would say the spending announcements including T32 is politically driven tied into Johnson trying to distract from other events ongoing at the moment with an eye on the Scottish Independence debate when it comes to future ship building as well. T32 is certainly a thing but it looks like at best a place holder that might lead to a second batch of T31 or a similar vessel produced by another manufacturer. Back to my original point it… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Interesting. I’d read MCMV out of service is from 2028? So there will be a gap.

Isn’t it more likely the MHC Motherships will be cheaper STUFT type vessels that carry the autonomous stuff and RNMBs?

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
7 months ago

Maybe, I think it is all a speculative placeholder driven by politics at the moment. Fusing T32 with MHC Mothership idea has some strong logic, frankly the country as a whole has more major issues that will decide the future of the shipbuilding from Brexit through Scottish independence.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago

HMS Echo and Enterprise come in at 3700 tons and 90m. River 2 with its big flat deck and crane, is 90m and 2000 tons. BAE said their longest 117m Leander came in at 3700 tons with options for 110m and 99 m designs; all I assume with the Rolls Royce style mission bay and crane. BMT came up with an interesting design a while back; a sort of rearranged Echo class with a flight deck sandwiched between the stern cranes for launching UUVs and a hanger. Had room for a small gun forward. Could be built at Appledore too… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Interesting perspective. I agree that a lot of what we are seeing and hearing in the news is a deliberate diversion, probably to distract media ( and Redneck Tory MPs) attention from the Brexit talks. It looks like a deal is there now: the negotiating teams are doing a read through of the treaty wording. As regards T32 as you point out it might not be a more heavily armed T31; you could simply have a T31 refit program to do that. Although the BAe Leander proposal lost the T31 contract I think it did have a better mother ship… Read more »

Nick C
Nick C
7 months ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

If you look at the commonality with T31 and the capability it offers something like an Absalon class should be close to a shoe in. I think the only disadvantage would be that it can only do 24 knots, so could not keep up with the carrier if it was really moving. But how often does that happen? and if you wanted to up rate it then design the ship with the same engine fit as the T31. That would mean a bit of a stretch, say 10/12 metres, but that would allow extra accommodation and more tankage and stores.… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

“Able to do constabulary work but only able to operate in areas with peer/near peer rivals with an Escort” – which would be an issue as we’d be tying up two ships and two crews, which would be at a premium in such a circumstance, when only one of each is required. For mission module based MCM off a hostile shore we’d want current T31 level armament. If its domestic waters/peacetime then a commercial platform would do. That’s the advantage of the mission module approach, we can tailor the platform to the mission, and fly the modules to anywhere in… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago

The mission module approach was the driver behind the USN LCS program. That has now died a death. LCS will now be fitted out for a designated task and retain that task. No swapping in and out of it as required. They simply could not get the mission module concept to work.
Though not a great example of how to do multi purpose ships it is a bob on warning of how not to do it!

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Its amazing to me how badly the whole LCS program has been managed. I presume eventually they will end up with ships that can serve a useful purpose, albeit at the price of a frigate. As to the utility of mission modules. I think we do have to be careful about how far we assume the flexibility goes. Just because we might, in theory, swap modules in and out frequently, which seems to have been the original LCS concept, doesn’t mean that it is either smart or desirable to do so. I look at it as providing flexibility across a… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago

The Aussie Aruntas have mission modules. Most are semi permanent and only changed out when its upgrade time. The new modules are upgraded ashore. They literally unplug and un plum the container on the ship and then swap them over. With the advent of reliable unmanned surface assets you don’t need a surface ship. In the Gulf you could fly the modules in on a C17 along with the boats and run them from a shore station. Your friendly neighborhood RM forward deployed detachment provides Force Protection ashore for the Muppets and Bubble Heads. Saying that you could use a… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I had wondered whether ships were necessary for the Gulf versus using shore stations. I suspect there are many commercial ship variants that might be taken up, leased, operated by someone like SERCO, or just bought as low cost platforms for RN use, where a military vessel isn’t required. I’m curious on whether you think MCM (and possibly other) mission modules might be a way to use RNR to add to full time RN capability? My understanding is that its challenging to sensibly integrate RNR into a full time ships complement in peacetime, but perhaps mission modules would be practical?… Read more »

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago

Type 32 sounds like nonesense and wasteful project
Instead start work on developing Type 46 and equip Type 31 so it’s fit for purpose

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

It is relatively safe to assume that the T31 will get extra munitions fitted once if leaves Babcock’s hands. Reason being is that if it is after handover there will be no accusations of cost creep which is what the RN will want to avoid. Wasting this Golden Goose money in the old ways would ensure that this kind of largess is never repeated. In any case the budget for producing the T31 platform is perfectly sensible and it is a very decent platform. Honestly I do believe that the T32 will be T31BII but with a bigger gun fitted… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago

I fully agree. For Type 32 to be anything other than Type 31 batch II is a waste of money. It’s a frigate so it makes no sense to spend money on a 3rd class of frigate. Type 26s are dedicated anti-submarine frigates, Type 31 is general purpose. There is no other role for a frigate to fulfill that isn’t filled by another type of ship. I can’t see it being MCMV as all the talk is on expanding the escort fleet and reducing the MCMV fleet from 13 ships to 5 would be a huge reduction. They were also… Read more »

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Type-31 as it is, is a £400million per ship vessel, because its total program cost is £2bn. Yes its build cost is said to be £250million per hull, but the same number for T25 is not known yet, to my understanding. By the way, T32 as a batch2 T31 is one of the good candidates, I agree. It will also support Rosyth sites future (Even if T31 were to be exported to Greek, none of the hull is to be built in Rosyth (as they say).) On the other hand, keeping the ship designing capability is very important. T31 batch2… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

It looks like the RN will need reinforced structure for Type 32 and T31!
Russian Navy has threatened to Ram a USN AB! Latest news!

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Hard to see how their ships will get up to ramming speed being pulled along by tugs!

I’d really like to see that.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

The anti-air component of the RN’s fleet is spread rather thinly! Due to only 6 T45s have been procued. 5/6 anti-air support frigates like Iver Hatfields will remedy the short fall.

Peter S.
Peter S.
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Given the crewing problems mentioned,wouldn’t the best use of any extra money be to make the T31 a proper warship? The Iver Huitfeldt class has a full weapons fit- AShM, sonar and anti sub, decent load of Sam missiles.
I remain very suspicious of this announcement of more funds ahead of the full review. Is it just to soften up potential critics once the full plan with yet more actual cuts is published?

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter S.

With such a small escort fleet we can’t afford to have 2nd rate frigates. Every escort needs to be credibly capable for surface, air & ASW. So I agree the T31 should be upgraded with a proper MG, AShMs & a larger fit-out of SAMs. For CIWS the 40mm is far more capable than Phalanx, so that is one thing worthwhile they’ve done.

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago

Its interesting reading all the different takes on it, some quite varied views, some maybe more in hope than expectation.

The one thing we do know is that we know sod all. I wouldn’t read too much into BoJo’s next generation stuff, he does like to gild the lily/prone to hyperbole (take your pick).

Ron5
Ron5
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

“more in hope than expectation”

Ain’t that the truth!

Ian
Ian
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Andy …he meant to say 31 and got it wrong…….hopefully he will realise and admit his mistake …. before we waste millions on design a new frigate so he saves face

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

No I think T32 is deliberate.

It is interesting that all discussion centres around T31 & T26. There no discussion about progressing the T45 platform which only seems to have one real flaw in the recuperator implementation.

Or is there something I should know and don’t know about T45 -> T4X idea?

Kizzy p
7 months ago

I highly suspect he misread type 31 for type 32 !

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago

The JMSDF cracking on with a New Frigate Design https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLAh3cF7wkU

Mark L
Mark L
7 months ago

If it is called Type 31 Batch II then Babcock are a shoe in. So it is called Type 32 and MoD can run another competition, allowing BAE and Cammell Laird to bid again – and probably lose again.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

Completely off topic but brilliant to see Kuno the dog get his doggy VC, the Dickin Medal. Everyone went together man & animal alike. Extra love & Winalot for you.

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Winalot?!

Bugger that, give that dog a steak!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Ha! Rob. Brilliant. I was just coming here to post the same and you beat me to it.
I am always deeply moved by Dickin medal recipients. Simon the cat is my fav but love them all and they are worthy of remembrance. I’d like to go to the animal cemetery in Ilford where many of them lie.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-military-dog-to-receive-pdsa-dickin-medal-after-tackling-al-qaeda-insurgents

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

Ditto. Mine is Rob the para dog who, I think I’m right in saying, made every major combat drop of WW2.

Pete
Pete
7 months ago

What’s the mission / purpose

Whats the risks and possible threats associated with mission

What functional spec / capabilities to deliver mission and mitigate risks

Consider and Contract solution / solutions to best provide that spec.

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 months ago

Maybe they are looking at a common hull to replace echo, enterprise, Scott and the mine countermeasure vessels with a common frigate hull that can be fitted with mix of mission modules. After all a lot of mine warfare and survey work can now be done with autonomous/semi autonomous small vehicles. If these frigate sized modular mission based ships also have a flight deck and hanger, they can be moved from escort/patrol vessel to, disaster management, survey to mine warfare,

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Here is a good piece on that subject. The RN did look at it in the 2000s with a 90m vessel doing MCMV and Survey work fitting mission modules as required.

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2014/04/unmanned-mine-countermeasures-update/

Ulya
Ulya
7 months ago

It has been very good to read all the excitement and pride about the t32 and extra funding for the RN in these articles

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
7 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

Some good news for once, eh? Most of us aren’t used to so much good happening in defence after so many decades of decline. I will also say that I am a huge admirer of the Russian military and industry, so no matter how much our Governments squabble its nice to have mutual appreciation and respect with the actual Russian people

Ulya
Ulya
7 months ago

Forgive me for slow reply Levi, new job taking much of my attention. I am interested to see what design is chosen for type 32, so much speculation in the comments and in my mind but the clear excitement by the gentlemen here is infectious and makes me happy. Our government squabbles as you say, that needs much work but unfortunately will not happen anytime soon, maybe a new approach is needed, instead of formal meetings, try a chat over a beer at the pub ?. Either way, it is interesting for me to read and talk to people here,… Read more »

Fen Tiger
Fen Tiger
7 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

If only I could go to the Pub ………………………….. .

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
7 months ago
Reply to  Ulya

lol.

Shareef Khan
Shareef Khan
7 months ago

I’m thinking a Utility Frigate that you put a few basic systems like an 8 cell vls system and a 4.5 gun but rapidly expandable with more than enough electricity. Half-crewed. Make 25 of them. 4,000 ton range!

Ron
Ron
2 months ago

I thought about the requirements of the T32 for some time. From my understanding it needs to be a mother ship for MCM capability, have some amphibious capability and operate as a frigate when need be, so I would think some ASW capability such as a towed array and a quiet hull. The next issue is time frame, it looks like the government want these by 2030, strangly enough although this increase of ship numbers has caught many off guard it was information I have known about for several years. Several replys from the MoD to letters I have written… Read more »