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UK’s Type 31 frigates complete design review as work begins on new assembly hall

Type 31 frigate graphic
Photo: Babcock

The UK Royal Navy’s future Type 31 frigate program has reached another milestone as the industry team responsible for delivering the ships completed the “whole ship preliminary design review” (WSPDR).

The preliminary design review marks the end of the engineering functional design phase, according to Babcock, the prime contractor on the project.

The review provides a key indicator of the compliance, maturity and engineering risk in proceeding into detailed design and maturing the 3D CAD model. The WSPDR was the whole ship culmination event of a large number of specific reviews which addressed the maturity of the individual systems comprising the Type 31 ship.

Babock said the WSPDR was held, virtually, over a period of 10 days in June, using an independent board comprising around fifteen subject matter experts, to review the design and interrogate the engineering team.

The Type 31 general-purpose frigate program will provide the UK with a fleet of five ships, at an average production cost of £250 million per ship. Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 proposal for the frigate program is based on the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) designed for the Royal Danish Navy.

Type 31 frigates will be assembled at Babcock’s Rosyth facility with manufacturing expected to start in 2021 and conclude in 2027.

Babcock noted that its Rosyth facility is undergoing a process of digitising facilities and systems to bring advancements and efficiencies into the manufacturing, build and assembly process for the frigates. This includes the installation of additional advanced manufacturing capability and the construction of a new assembly hall capable of housing two Type 31 frigates.

According to the company, ground breaking for the new hall took place in April, signalling the commencement of the civil works program.