Three shipbuilding consortia get funds for their Type 31e frigate plans

Three shipbuilding teams have received funds from the UK to continue developing their plans for the construction of Type 31e frigates.

On December 10, 2018, the country’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) awarded three contracts for the Competitive Design Phase.

The contracts have been awarded to consortia led by BAE Systems, Babcock and Atlas Elektronik UK and are valued at up to £5 million each, according to Stuart Andrew, UK’s Defense Minister.

As explained, the Competitive Design Phase is the first stage of the design process which will allow suppliers to demonstrate how they can deliver the Royal Navy’ threshold capability by the target date and within budget. The contracts will fund industry to prepare detailed proposals for the design and build of the five Type 31e frigates.

The MoD has issued to each team an Invitation to Negotiate for the Single Design and Build contract. The winning bidder is expected to be announced by the end of 2019.

“This is the first frigate competition the UK has run in a generation and today we are funding three shipbuilding teams with extremely exciting concepts to continue developing their plans,” Minister Andrew said.

“Next year we will announce the winning bidder, and one of these designs will go on to bolster our future fleet with five new ships, creating UK jobs and ensuring our Royal Navy maintains a truly global presence in an increasingly uncertain world,” he added.

The UK plans to spend £1.25 billion for five ships, giving an average price of £250 million per ship. The first vessel would be delivered in 2023, with all five newbuilds to be delivered by the end of 2028.

The UK restarted the competition for the construction of Type 31 frigates in August after it was halted due to what the defense ministry identified as inadequate competition prior to awarding CDP contracts.

Photo: Photo: BAE Systems/Cammell Laird