Home Europe Viasat to deliver UHF satellite communications for Royal Navy Type 31 frigates

Viasat to deliver UHF satellite communications for Royal Navy Type 31 frigates

Type 31 frigate design
Royal Navy photo of the Type 31 frigate design

Viasat UK has received a contract to provide ultra high frequency (UHF) satellite communications (SATCOM) for the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 frigates.

UHF SATCOM is a mission-critical capability that will provide the Type 31 frigates with secure integrated voice and data services for communications between Royal Navy maritime vessels and headquarters. It is also a vital component to enable maritime task group operations, providing secure beyond line of sight (BLOS) communications between ships and mobile units such as sea boats, boarding teams and helicopters.

“This UHF SATCOM capability will ensure the Royal Navy Type 31 frigates will have the robust, secure, world-wide UHF voice and data services it needs for modern warfare operations in the current information advantage environment,” said Steve Beeching, managing director, Government Systems, Viasat UK. “We are very proud to be able to supply our world-class technology to the UK Ministry of Defence. The importance of the UHF SATCOM capability in enabling defence to co-ordinate limited assets, at its disposal, while effectively supporting Allies globally cannot be understated.”

The Type 31 frigates are being built by Babcock under a contract from November 2019. The five ships are to be delivered by 2027 at a price of £250 million per ship. The 138-meter ships will carry Bofors 40 Mk4 and Bofors 57 Mk3 naval guns and vertical launch system (VLS) cells for Sea Ceptor missiles.