Thales achieves radar milestone for UK’s Type 31 frigate program
French equipment provider Thales has revealed that surveillance radar which will be fitted on Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigates passed factory acceptance tests.
As informed, the radar passed its factory acceptance test at the end of February this year. This was witnessed by y a delegation of customers including Babcock International and the UK Ministry of Defence.
This radar will be used initially for integration testing before being installed on-board the Type 31.
“The Type 31 program is very important to Thales and we are proud to play such a pivotal role in it. This Factory Acceptance Test demonstrates our commitment to delivery in accordance with specification,” Gerben Edelijn, Vice-President Thales Above Water Systems, said.
“The success of this milestone is very important to the T31 enterprise. We’re proud to be part of this national endeavour and to be providing mission critical systems to our customers,” Alex Cresswell, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Thales in the UK said.
To remind, Babcock started the construction of the second vessel in this class, HMS Active, in January this year.
The Type 31 frigate program is a step in the UK Government’s plan to increase the number of warships in the Royal Navy over the next 20 years. 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.
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.
The Type 31s will replace five general-purpose Type 23 frigates that have served the navy since the early 1990s. The new frigates are scheduled to enter service in 2027.