Cammell Laird, BAE Systems focusing on exports for Type 31e frigate

UK shipbuilder Cammell Laird is working hard to secure the bid to build a new class of Royal Navy frigates, the Type 31e.

The company is teamed with BAE Systems on the project and is already working to establish a supplier base for the construction.

During a “supplier conference”, organized together with BAE Systems and Society of Maritime Industries on February 20, the company showcased the export potential of Type 31e frigate focusing on exports as being central to the bid.

The UK defense ministry is expected to award the £1.25 billion Type 31e contract in March 2019.

The procurement process to design and build five Royal Navy T31e frigates was launched by the Government in 2017 and a key objective of the program is to attract overseas orders. Cammell Laird is bidding for the tender as prime contractor, in a teaming agreement with BAE Systems, with a warship design known as ‘Leander’.

Cammell Laird’s Type 31e project director Tony Graham told the conference the £250 million price tag for the “powerful and affordable” Leander would excite many overseas customers, as it lays plans for a global warship exports division.

“We have a global campaign plan for the Type 31e program and have identified opportunities in more than 20 countries. Our intent is to build a warship export business based on Leander,” he said. “The MoD has indicated it is willing to sign a business agreement alongside the contract to help industry export the Type 31e. This joint approach between the government and the Royal Navy producing a proper business plan for exports has never been seen before.”

Cammell Laird is set to launch a Type 31e website in March 2018 and will issue further details to suppliers shortly to secure quotes before submitting a final tender in the autumn.