Babcock hires marine services provider to work on UK’s Type 31 frigates

UK-based marine services specialist Shield Marine Services has been awarded the contract for the supply and installation of the fire, thermal and acoustic insulation to the Type 31 frigates for the Royal Navy.

As disclosed, the order was received from Babcock International which is building the frigates for the Royal Navy at its Rosyth site in Scotland. The contract includes the equipment for the supply of five vessels.

“We have been building, as a part of Shield Services Group, for several years now and the opportunity to play our part in the construction of what will form a key part of the Royal Navy’s fleet for the next years is deeply rewarding,” Derek Lewry, Managing Director of Shield’s Marine Services division, commented.

“We have always looked to support the UK Armed Forces, from recruiting personnel coming into the private sector, to signing the Armed Forces Covenant. This contract award brings us even closer, which is extremely exciting for me and all of the team at Shield Services Group,” Luke House, Chairman of Shield Services Group, added.

The Royal Navy has picked Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 proposal as the preferred design for its Type 31 frigates. The fleet of five ships will be built at an average production cost of £250 million per ship.

The Arrowhead 140 design is based on the Iver Huitfeldt-class Frigate, currently in service with the Danish Navy.

Each of the Type 31 frigates will be equipped with the Sea Ceptor air defence missile system, a 57mm main gun and two 40mm Bofors, and a 4D radar. The units will also have capabilities to operate with Merlin or Wildcat helicopters.

Furthermore, they will be able to carry the planned persistent operational delivery systems or PODS, a ‘plug and play box of tricks’ carrying drones, autonomous minehunting equipment, a command center for commando raiders or humanitarian aid.

In September last year, Babcock International officially started the construction of the first vessel, HMS Venturer. The ship is scheduled to enter the water next year.

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Photo: Type 31 frigate artist rendering; Hamworthy