Babcock has reached another major milestone on the Type 31 program, to deliver five Inspiration Class frigates for the Royal Navy, as it cut steel marking the official start of HMS Active’s build program at Rosyth.
Coming just 16 months since steel was cut on the first ship, HMS Venturer, Babcock welcomed senior guests from the UK Government and Royal Navy, alongside international industry to witness the traditional shipbuilding ceremony.
The construction of the Type 31 frigates is part of a wider investment in UK yards and industry under the government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy of more than £4 billion over the next three years alone.
The T31 programme is on track to deliver all five Inspiration Class ships by 2028. Progress continues at pace, with the first ship, HMS Venturer having both engine sets installed and work progressing towards the consolidation of the hull. Babcock’s investment in advanced manufacturing and technology at Rosyth make it possible to build two ships side by side in the new Assembly Hall.
Babcock’s Chief Executive Officer, David Lockwood said: “We are immensely proud to be marking another key milestone on the five ship, Type 31 programme at Rosyth. The first cut of steel for HMS Active is a momentous occasion for this critical UK defence programme as we put another ship into production.”
“The Type 31 programme is a game-changer in the delivery of naval platforms, and we are already witnessing the tangible benefits that the programme will deliver; not just the emergence of a fleet of cutting-edge frigates for the Royal Navy, but also increased employment, new technologies and infrastructure investment.“
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 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.