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Royal Navy reveals names of its future Type 31 frigates

Royal Navy Inspiration-class frigates
Photo: Royal Navy

The UK Royal Navy has unveiled the names of its five future Type 31 frigates that will together be known as the Inspiration-class.

The names were revealed by the service’s chief, Royal First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin, after they were approved by Her Majesty The Queen.

HMS Active, Bulldog, Campbeltown, Formidable and Venturer draw their names from warships and submarines that have previously served in the Royal Navy.

As explained, each name has been selected “to represent key themes and operations which will dominate and shape the global mission” of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines: carrier operations (Formidable); operational advantage in the North Atlantic (Bulldog); forward deployment of ships around the globe to protect UK interests (Active); technology and innovation (Venturer); and the Future Commando Force (Campbeltown).

The names of the five future frigates were revealed at the First Sea Lord’s Seapower conference held in Arundel House.

“I welcome the announcement of the names of the Inspiration-class. Each of the names has been chosen for evoking those values we strive for: cutting-edge technology, audacity and global operations,” Admiral Radakin said.

“They represent the best of Britain’s world-class shipbuilding heritage and will fly the flag for decades to come.”

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.

The Inspiration-class will replace five general-purpose Type 23 frigates which have served the Royal Navy with distinction since the early 1990s. All of the new ships in the class will be built in Rosyth, where a new construction hall is nearing completion.

The first steel is due to be cut on the ships this summer and all five are due to be in service by 2028, operating alongside Type 26 or City-class frigates which will be dedicated submarine hunters and will replace the equivalent specialist Type 23s.