UK’s Type 31 frigate program hits major milestone

Shipbuilding company Babcock International has revealed that the Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigate program reached a major milestone when the team recently moved a 177-tonne hull block into position on the first frigate.

According to the company, this activity marks the consolidation of the first grand block, one of eight that will make up the vessel currently being assembled at the Rosyth facility.

“The first grand block consolidation is a significant step towards the successful delivery of the first ship in this pathfinder programme for the UK’s National Shipbuilding Strategy,” Sean Donaldson, Managing Director of Babcock’s Energy and Marine business said.

To remind, in April this year, the construction started on the first Type 31 vessel, HMS Venturer.

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Each ship is larger than the current Type 23s they replace but slightly shorter and lighter than HMS Glasgow and the seven other planned Type 26 frigates also being built for the fleet in Govan, just 35 miles away.

The 26s will focus on anti-submarine warfare – like eight Type 23s fitted with towed arrays – leaving the 31s to carry out patrols wherever they are needed, from conducting counter-terrorism/drug smuggling patrols in the Indian Ocean to helping out in the aftermath of a disaster.

The company plans to deliver all five Type 31 units by 2028.

The 31s have been designed and are being built for the Royal Navy, but with one eye firmly on the export market; the Polish and Indonesian navies have selected the design for their future fleets.

Photo: Babcock International/LInkedin