Arrowhead 140 design for UK Type 31e frigate revealed

A Babcock-led industry team has officially unveiled the Arrowhead 140 concept as their design for the UK defense ministry’s Type 31e general purpose light frigate program.

Illustration; Type 31 frigates; Arrowhead 140 design. Photo: Babcock

Babcock, Thales, OMT, BMT, Harland and Wolff and Ferguson Marine are all part of the team bidding for the UK MoD’s £1.25 billion Type 31e program.

As announced on Thirsday, the Arrowhead 140 will have a hull form based on the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates OMT designed for the Royal Danish Navy.

The decision to base the Arrowhead on the in-service Danish frigates is aimed at lowering program risks, the team said, adding that their Type 31e contender was engineered to minimise through-life costs.

At almost 140m the platform will optimise operational flexibility. This ‘wide beam’ ship is easier to design, easier to build and easier to maintain due to its slightly larger size, Babcock said.

“Arrowhead 140 will provide increased survivability, operability and capability – compared to a standard 120m design. When you consider that this ship can be delivered at no extra cost and that it will support improved radar performance, increase platform stability and facilitate better helicopter operations in bad weather, whilst enhancing crew comfort – we believe it will bring a significant edge to modern naval capability,” Craig Lockhart, Babcock’s managing director, Naval Marine said.

Arrowhead 140’s distributed build and assembly approach, comprising Babcock Appledore in North Devon, Ferguson Marine on the Clyde, Harland and Wolff in Belfast with integration at Babcock Rosyth, Fife, optimises the partners’ UK facilities, innovation and skills whilst cleverly ensuring capacity for parallel programmes remains. All of which is geared to generate a genuine resurgence in shipbuilding across the UK and when coupled with the virtual design alliance between Babcock, OMT and BMT it supports the intent of the UK National Shipbuilding Strategy.