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The Babcock stand was awash with champagne following the UK MoD’s announcement that Babcock Team 31 had been selected as the preferred bidder, together with partner, Thales, to deliver the Royal Navy’s new T31 general-purpose frigates. Five vessels will be built at a cost of £250 million per ship, with the company’s Rosyth facility as the central integration site.

The award follows a comprehensive competitive process; during the design phase Babcock Team 31 was selected alongside two other consortia to respond to the MoD’s requirement.

Babcock CEO, Archie Bethel, said that Arrowhead 140 is modern warship that meets the maritime threats of today and tomorrow and its selection recognises it as the best design, build and delivery solution for the UK’s RN Type 31 frigates. A key element of the Type 31 programme is offering a design that be of interest and potential to secure overseas customers, thereby offering future potential for UK jobs. The frigate is engineered to minimise through-life costs and will incorporate the proven Thales Tacticos combat management system, which is already in use with 26 navies around the world.  Formal contract award will be later this year following a period of discussions with the MOD and its supply chain. The first ship is scheduled to be launched in 2023.

Tim Guest