Babcock Team 31 Unveils Frigate Design
Babcock Team 31 has unveiled its proposed design for the Royal Navy's new Type 31e warship. Called the Arrowhead 140, the design is a contender for the £1.25 billion ($1.63 billion) shipbuilding program which will see the Royal Navy replace five Type 23 frigates with five new Type 31s.
The Babcock-led consortium includes Thales, OMT, BMT, Harland and Wolff and Ferguson Marine, and the Arrowhead 140 design is based on a design already in service with the Royal Danish Navy.
The consortium says the vessel has an established, ‘at sea’ design baseline which can be developed to meet global requirements. With U.K. engineering at its core, and developing OMT’s Iver Huitfeldt hull form currently in service, Arrowhead 140 will lower program risks, says the consortium.
The ship is 140 meters (460 feet) long and has a wide beam, making it easier to design, easier to build and easier to maintain due to its slightly larger size, says Babcock Team 31. It also features embedded iFrigate digital technology that facilitates economic through-life support.
Arrowhead 140’s distributed build and assembly approach, comprising Babcock Appledore in North Devon, Ferguson Marine on the Clyde, Harland and Wolff in Belfast with integration at Babcock Rosyth, Fife, optimizes the partners’ U.K. facilities, innovation and skills whilst ensuring capacity for parallel programs remain, says Lockhart.
The design incorporates the latest iteration of Thales’ TACTICOS combat management system with fully open architecture. Currently in service for 25 years and exported to 24 navies globally, this system and equipment in-service support package is flexible over the lifetime of the platform and aims to maximize combat system capability.
Craig Lockhart, Babcock’s Managing Director, Naval Marine said: “Arrowhead 140 will provide increased survivability, operability and capability – compared to a standard 120-meter (394-foot) design. When you consider that this ship can be delivered at no extra cost and that it will support improved radar performance, increase platform stability and facilitate better helicopter operations in bad weather, whilst enhancing crew comfort – we believe it will bring a significant edge to modern naval capability.”
British company BAE Systems launched its proposed design for the Type 31e frigate in March. BAE is in a joint bid for the Type 31e contract with Liverpool shipbuilder Cammell Laird. The design is in part based on the Khareef class of corvettes delivered to the Omani navy by BAE.