Babcock: Float-off of UK’s first Type 31 frigate expected in first half of 2024
UK shipbuilder Babcock has revealed that the Royal Navy’s first Type 31 frigate HMS Venturer will be floated off in the first half of 2024.
“HMS Venturer is progressing through construction and assembly with the complete hull now in place and the superstructure taking shape. Main engines, gear boxes and diesel generators are installed with supporting systems being fitted around them. The next major milestone will be float-off, expected in the first half of 2024,” the company stated.
The announcement came as part of the company’s half-year financial results.
In April 2022, in the brand-new assembly hall in Rosyth dockyard in Scotland, Babcock laid the keel of HMS Venturer. The company signed a contract for the construction of five ships. The keel for the second vessel in this class, HMS Active, was laid in January 2023.
The Type 31s are one of two classes of frigate under construction for the Royal Navy. They will conduct duties around the globe where the presence of a major Royal Navy warship is required – such as curbing drugs trafficking in the Caribbean or Middle East, working with NATO in the Mediterranean, and providing humanitarian relief and assistance.
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 UK company plans to deliver all five Type 31 frigates by 2028.