British Type 31 Frigate Passes Critical Design Phase

The Babcock-led Team 31 has completed the Whole Ship Critical Design Review (WSCDR) for the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) new Type 31 frigate, paving the way for the start of production later this year.

In parallel with design activity, Babcock continues to progress a major programme to modernise and upgrade the facilities at its Rosyth site. This includes a new covered assembly hall – large enough to accommodate two Type 31 frigates side by side – and a large hardstanding out front.

Announcing the milestone on 27 April, Babcock said this was “a key indicator of the compliance, maturity, and engineering risk in proceeding into production”.

Babcock, leading an industry team also comprising Thales, OMT and BMT, was in November 2019 awarded a GBP1.25 billion (USD1.74 billion) design and build contract for the five-ship Type 31 frigate programme. The Arrowhead 140 ship design selected for Type 31 is an adaptation of the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate platform already in service with the Royal Danish Navy.

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The WSCDR, comprising a series of specific reviews to assess the maturity of the individual systems and equipment, was conducted virtually over 10 days during the first quarter of this year. An independent board of 12 subject matter experts reviewed the design, interrogated the engineering team, and provided advice to Babcock (as design authority), with attendees and contributors from the UK Ministry of Defence.

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