Babcock secures first export contract for new frigate design

UK-based aerospace, defence and security company Babcock has secured the first export contract for its Arrowhead 140 (AH140) frigate through a design licence agreement with PT PAL Indonesia (Persero), a state-owned enterprise that builds and maintains ships for military and commercial use.

The breakthrough deal comes two years since Babcock’s AH140 design was first announced as the preferred bidder for the UK Type 31 frigate programme at DSEI 2019, with the contract confirmed in November of the same year.

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The new agreement was signed at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2021 event in London. The design licence will enable PAL to build two Arrowhead 140 frigates in Indonesia with bespoke design modifications for the Indonesian Navy.

“The Arrowhead 140 frigate design, benefits from a proven hull-form that has been tried and tested in real-world operational environments from NATO and coalition task forces to national regional and deployed operations,” according to the company.

The baseline Arrowhead 140 design can be configured to meet a broad range of naval requirements and, with Babcock’s support PAL will now engineer the required modifications to configure the Arrowhead 140 for the Indonesian customer.

“Working with our Indonesian colleagues this contract will see Arrowhead 140 frigates built in Indonesia, by the local workforce, contributing directly to the social and economic value of its sovereign shipbuilding community and country as a whole. We look forward to further opportunities to support PAL as the programme matures,” David Lockwood, CEO of Babcock said.