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Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.

What will be the result of the 'Lighter Frigate' programme?

Programme cancelled, RN down to 14 escorts
51
11%
Programme cancelled & replaced with GP T26
13
3%
A number of heavy OPVs spun as "frigates"
120
26%
An LCS-like modular ship
21
4%
A modernised Type 23
22
5%
A Type 26-lite
65
14%
Less than 5 hulls
21
4%
5 hulls
63
13%
More than 5 hulls
91
19%
 
Total votes: 467

donald_of_tokyo
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 10 Dec 2018, 12:09

shark bait wrote:BAE are now the lead after the shakeup, Cammell laird are now subcontractors to BAE.
Thanks, very interesting. It is so written in the FT article?

In UKDL article, they still say
For Leander, BAE Systems will partner with Cammell Laird, who would ‘Prime, build and assemble’ the vessels at their Merseyside facility while the Clyde will focus on the Type 26 Frigates. Cammell Laird would be main contractor with BAE providing design and combat systems.
https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/type-31 ... announced/

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby shark bait » 10 Dec 2018, 12:30

yes

FT.com wrote:BAE, Britain’s largest defence contractor, has taken the lead role in the bid from its partner Cammell Laird, the shipbuilder. One of the aspirations of the shipbuilding strategy was to increase competition among British shipyards for naval contracts. Cammell Laird was originally the prime contractor in the consortium, with BAE taking the position of sub-contractor.

It is understood that the two companies swapped their roles when the competition was re-started in August.


also...

Image

What do we make of the government furnished equipment bit? The wording is unclear, it could be a big deal, the chances of getting a decent product are massively increased if the MOD free issue old equipment.

There is little issue scrapping a T23 early to rob it for parts.
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Halidon
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Halidon » 10 Dec 2018, 16:49

shark bait wrote:What do we make of the government furnished equipment bit? The wording is unclear, it could be a big deal, the chances of getting a decent product are massively increased if the MOD free issue old equipment.

There is little issue scrapping a T23 early to rob it for parts.

It really depends, in US Navy contracting language it might not (probably doesn't) read the way it should for and RN contract and I don't want to get peoples' hopes too high/dashed by being too certain with my pronouncements. That disclaimer out of the way, the line "It remains our intention to seek a firm price contract for five ships, less an amount of Government Furnished Equipment, for £1.25 Billion" simply reads to me as the £1.25 Billion price for "the ships" and the cost of the GFE that will be added to fit them out are separate, it doesn't have any bearing on where the equipment comes from nor describe a limit to the cost of it. If so, this would be a pretty stark contrast to this statement from a year ago
The program is looking for five Type 31 frigtes with a hard price ceiling of $250 million, a price that includes all the government-furnished equipment, said Simon Bollum, the Ministry of Defence’s chief of materiel (ships).

Now, I'm certainly not saying this means they're going to go as far as the USN and add Government Furnished Equipment equal (or greater than) the "base" cost, but if the program's restructuring really has broken out the GFE from that hard cap, it may explain why the industry expects things to go more smoothly this time. It certainly could point to "cannibalizing" some T23 for critical systems, it could also point toward a buy of new, affordable equipment to fit the class out. Responsible UK defence journalists should press for more information on what the GFE plan is.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Tempest414 » 10 Dec 2018, 17:12

would be nice to see some new images of what Babcocks and Altas have come up with

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 10 Dec 2018, 17:18

A long waited announcement with a tantalizing lack of detail. God forbid the MoD let the taxpayers know what's actually going on.

Just a couple or so random thoughts:

1. Up to 5 million for the design contracts. Talk about cheap, that's not enough to keep the board rooms supplied with tea and crumpets. The competitors will have to fund the bids out of their own resources.

2. Probably explains why Bae took prime, CL doesn't have the resources to fund this size bid nor accept a billion pound fixed price contract. Unfortunately that diminishes Leanders chances of winning due to the irrational hatred of Bae in some parts of UK government. I do wonder if this opens the door to CL building T26 blocks tho.

3. If the Treasury were fair and reasonable (stop laughing), the cost of GFE would merely be the cost of recovering and refurbishing said equipment. Not cheap but not as much as brand new kit. For instance Babcocks recently showcased their new ability to refurbish the RN's 4.5" gun.

4. A whole year to negotiate a contract. Totally ridiculous.

5. Babcocks is still proposing A140 for 250m each? Good luck with that. But it isn't Bae, keep reminding the MoD of that.

6. The German bid is a joke. Even less UK content than the A140. The Germans are not going to give away the IP. And after Brexit? Look for the MoD to throw another contract or two their way to say thank you for making up the numbers.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 10 Dec 2018, 17:21

Halidon wrote:
shark bait wrote:What do we make of the government furnished equipment bit? The wording is unclear, it could be a big deal, the chances of getting a decent product are massively increased if the MOD free issue old equipment.

There is little issue scrapping a T23 early to rob it for parts.

It really depends, in US Navy contracting language it might not (probably doesn't) read the way it should for and RN contract and I don't want to get peoples' hopes too high/dashed by being too certain with my pronouncements. That disclaimer out of the way, the line "It remains our intention to seek a firm price contract for five ships, less an amount of Government Furnished Equipment, for £1.25 Billion" simply reads to me as the £1.25 Billion price for "the ships" and the cost of the GFE that will be added to fit them out are separate, it doesn't have any bearing on where the equipment comes from nor describe a limit to the cost of it. If so, this would be a pretty stark contrast to this statement from a year ago
The program is looking for five Type 31 frigtes with a hard price ceiling of $250 million, a price that includes all the government-furnished equipment, said Simon Bollum, the Ministry of Defence’s chief of materiel (ships).

Now, I'm certainly not saying this means they're going to go as far as the USN and add Government Furnished Equipment equal (or greater than) the "base" cost, but if the program's restructuring really has broken out the GFE from that hard cap, it may explain why the industry expects things to go more smoothly this time. It certainly could point to "cannibalizing" some T23 for critical systems, it could also point toward a buy of new, affordable equipment to fit the class out. Responsible UK defence journalists should press for more information on what the GFE plan is.


I think you are misreading the statement. I think it says the cost of GFE must be met within the fixed cap. So 250 mill of GFE means just 1 billion for the ships. It is badly worded.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby chinook88 » 10 Dec 2018, 18:28

BAE Leander in Exponaval (Valparaiso - Chile)
https://www.exponaval.cl/index-ing.php

Image

Image

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Dec 2018, 18:38

shark bait wrote:The wording is unclear, it could be a big deal, the chances of getting a decent product are massively increased if the MOD free issue old equipment.
heh-he, sorry!
Halidon wrote:That disclaimer out of the way, the line "It remains our intention to seek a firm price contract for five ships, less an amount of Government Furnished Equipment, for £1.25 Billion" simply reads to me as the £1.25 Billion price for "the ships" and the cost of the GFE that will be added to fit them out are separate, it doesn't have any bearing on where the equipment comes from nor describe a limit to the cost of it.
Well, the MoD has been subjected to (after RAB at the beginning of this millennium, to... CLoS & IFRS accounting policies - kicking and screaming, but yes: that is the transfer price. Though Ron does not believe :lol: it.
... shall I start a new thread on the alphabet soup (of accounting policies, and what price stickers they put on equipment transfers ?) :clap:
Halidon wrote:a price that includes all the government-furnished equipment, said Simon Bollum, the Ministry of Defence’s chief of materiel (ships).

Ron5 wrote: Unfortunately that diminishes Leanders chances of winning due to the irrational hatred of Bae in some parts of UK government. I do wonder if this opens the door to CL building T26 blocks tho
... it will
Ron5 wrote: cost of GFE would merely be the cost of recovering and refurbishing said equipment. Not cheap
not cheap... but for a different reason ;)

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 11 Dec 2018, 16:44

More pictures from Tim Fish in Chile. Can't spot any differences from previous pics of previous exhibitions.
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 11 Dec 2018, 16:58

I read the GFE statement again: "It remains our intention to seek a firm price contract for five ships, less an amount of Government Furnished Equipment, for £1.25 Billion,..."

Seems clearer to me this morning that the cost of the GFE is to be included in the 1.25 billion.

Which leads to to one more beating of that dead horse i.e. how much would that cost be for kit taken from a retiring Type 23?

I think I've been chasing a red herring in thinking the book value of the gun has any relevance to this question. The book value is an accountants way of calculating the value of the asset to the MoD. However you calculate that value (replacement cost vs depreciated original price) it doesn't change the fact that the MoD already owns the asset.

So why would the Type 31 budget owner have to reach into his pocket to buy an asset that the MoD already owns? Who would he make out the check to? Himself?

I think the answer is obvious: he wouldn't. So I think the cost to the Type 31 program would just be the removal of the kit from the Type 23 and its refurbishment. The cost of re-installing on the Type 31 would be covered by the shipbuilder under the 1+ billion.

[apologies to my lord jim who doesn't like this kind of stuff :D]

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby shark bait » 11 Dec 2018, 22:28

donald_of_tokyo wrote:
shark bait wrote:BAE are now the lead after the shakeup, Cammell laird are now subcontractors to BAE.
Thanks, very interesting. It is so written in the FT article?

Apparently Cammell laird didn't pass the MOD's capital adequacy test so BAE had to take the prime.

Ron5 wrote:So why would the Type 31 budget owner have to reach into his pocket to buy an asset that the MoD already owns? Who would he make out the check to? Himself?

I have witnessed similar things happening, and I wouldn't put it passed the MOD to write down the value as an efficiency saving. But I hope common sense will prevail and your closing sentence is correct, it would make the world of difference to the T31.

How much of a difference would a load of excellent and cheap recycled equipment make to the T31?
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby matt00773 » 12 Dec 2018, 07:58

shark bait wrote:How much of a difference would a load of excellent and cheap recycled equipment make to the T31?
The answer is that the difference would be massive: Artisan radar, Sea Ceptor, CMS-1, BAE Shared Infrastructure equipment, Type 2050 sonar. If the assumption is correct, all the contractor would have to do is to design for, refurbish?, and install the equipment. It would be good to get a government statement on this.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 12 Dec 2018, 08:07

Those very nice photos from Chile made me, for the first time, to add a premium to a fast(er) firing gun being in the position in front of the bridge
- the CIWS and the 30mm's being grouped so close together, even though in other ways positioned in an excellent way

So far getting anything that is currently not 'std' in the RN (esp. as we about 20 pieces of one sort available) has seemed like a wasteful (though not in other ways bad) option.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 12 Dec 2018, 13:01

matt00773 wrote:
shark bait wrote:How much of a difference would a load of excellent and cheap recycled equipment make to the T31?
The answer is that the difference would be massive: Artisan radar, Sea Ceptor, CMS-1, BAE Shared Infrastructure equipment, Type 2050 sonar. If the assumption is correct, all the contractor would have to do is to design for, refurbish?, and install the equipment. It would be good to get a government statement on this.
Some notes:

- CAMM and CMS-1: At least 2 of the 5 T23GP currently does not have Sea Ceptor (Iron Duke and Monmouth, am I right?). I really think it is better to let them as it is, to be stored as reserve or even sold for export. In place, extend the disbanding date of the 2 of the 3 modified T23GPs for 2 years. Argil 2023-->2025, Lancaster 2024-->2026. Montrose can keep its date, 2027. Note 2023 is only 5 years from now.

I think the modified T23 carries 3-sets of 12-unit control electronics for CAMM, and T31e with 12-cell CAMM only needs 1 of them. Re-using the modification program for Iron Duke and Monmouth, we can easily have 6-sets of the electronics. Enough for 5 Leander T31es.

- CMS-1 and BAE Shared Infrastructure equipment: Computer can be recycled, but its system integration may be man-power consuming. Also, ripping them off from old T23GP needs special care, because we want to re-use those kits. It will be "cheaper" than starting from zero, but will not be so cheap.

- Type 2050 sonar: Those of the 5 T23GP was not modified, while the 8 for T23ASWs are, under the "Sonar 2050 Technology Refresh programme". Modification cost may be not expensive, but I am not sure about the current status of the 5 S2050 on T23GPs.
see https://www.sea.co.uk/news/supply-sonar ... oyal-navy/

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Pongoglo » 14 Dec 2018, 14:38

Ron5 wrote:More pictures from Tim Fish in Chile. Can't spot any differences from previous pics of previous exhibitions.


Have to admit if it came as depicted I could just about live with BAE's offering as the Type 31, although clearly ours would come with a Mk 8 gun. With most of the weapons and equipment ported over from the T23 as GFE, Artisan, Sea Ceptor, Harpoon (in the interim), S2050 sonar, BAE's own CMS-1 and the 30mm guns, it should come in quiet comfortably at <£ 250 Mil.

Clearly the Mk 41 would be new purchase but as others on here have stated the launchers themselves come in quite cheap (<£3 Mil GBP, is that per cell or for an 8 cell unit, anyone know?). Also we would need to purchase additional Phalanx or perhaps we could draw on an as needed basis from the RFA's pool, much as we currently do with the Bay's.

IMHO however the biggest weakness with this design is that unlike Arrowhead (either variant 120 or 140) it lacks a Merlin capable hanger, forcing us to rely totally on an already too small Wildcat pool. Also at 3,600 FLD in terms of survivability it is a tad too small, in fact not much larger than a Type 21. Critically however it packs too few CAMM, barely enough to be effective in self defence let alone for the consort escort role.

To my mind there are a couple of solutions however. We could either quad pack the Mk 41 which with the two forward 'mushroom tubs' would allow a max load out of 44 CAMM, significantly more than the T23. Alternatively we could bin it altogether in the RN version, replacing it in its current position with two more 'mushroom tubs' for a total of 24 CAMM. Ideally of course we could do both by moving the Mk 41 further aft, perhaps with a moduler arrangement similar to the STANFLEX concept thus allowing you the option of replacing the 20 ft ISO's with an 8 or 16 cell Mk 41 dependant on mission and task?

T31 BAE.jpg
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby dmereifield » 14 Dec 2018, 14:47

Pongoglo wrote:
Ron5 wrote:More pictures from Tim Fish in Chile. Can't spot any differences from previous pics of previous exhibitions.


Have to admit if it came as depicted I could just about live with BAE's offering as the Type 31, although clearly ours would come with a Mk 8 gun. With most of the weapons and equipment ported over from the T23 as GFE, Artisan, Sea Ceptor, Harpoon (in the interim), S2050 sonar, BAE's own CMS-1 and the 30mm guns, it should come in quiet comfortably at <£ 250 Mil.[/attachment]


I'd be delighted if it was that capable, for the £250idh mn budget. I'd be disappointed with the low number of calm and the lack of Merlin capable hangar, but relieved overall if it were that well kitted. I just can't see it, I think it be less capable than you have described, sadly.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 14 Dec 2018, 15:14

Pongoglo wrote:
Ron5 wrote:More pictures from Tim Fish in Chile. Can't spot any differences from previous pics of previous exhibitions.


Have to admit if it came as depicted I could just about live with BAE's offering as the Type 31, although clearly ours would come with a Mk 8 gun. With most of the weapons and equipment ported over from the T23 as GFE, Artisan, Sea Ceptor, Harpoon (in the interim), S2050 sonar, BAE's own CMS-1 and the 30mm guns, it should come in quiet comfortably at <£ 250 Mil.
Umm, I do not think that much will come with £250M average. It is only a quarter of a T26's average cost.

I bet it will be,
- Baseline: Artisan, 12 CAMM, CMS-1, a 57mm or 76mm gun (simple version = very cheap), 2x 30mm guns, a CIWS, chaff/flare launchers and a Wildcat.
- Optionally: Sea Sensor ship torpedo defense system and 8x Harpoon will be there (shown in the photo), while I doubt Mk.41 will be there in RN version (have no idea how to use it).
- Hopefully: Even not seen in the photo is hull mounted sonar.
- I do not want a 114 mm gun, which is man-power consuming, no future, and surely be costing more for maintenance in near future.

Not well equipped, I agree. But because it costs only a quarter of T26, I think it is OK. Only thing I hope is to "bias" the equipment = to make 2 or 3 of the 5 hull almost fully armed with options, while another 3 or 2 can be less armed (say, even without CAMM).
IMHO however the biggest weakness with this design is that unlike Arrowhead (either variant 120 or 140) it lacks a Merlin capable hanger, forcing us to rely totally on an already too small Wildcat pool.
Lack of Merlin capable hangar is sad but not critical because there is anyway too small Merlin pool. On the other hand, Wildcat pool is larger (if T26s are to carry Merlin), so there will be no big problem here, I guess?

A ship with a cost only a quarter of a T26's average cost. We shall not forget this fact.

If more money came, we can add CAMM on the Mk.41 VLS location to make it 24 missiles in total, add a S2050TR hull sonar, or add a very simple hull sonar and a CAPTAS-2.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 14 Dec 2018, 16:07

It will be a depressing long time before we find out :-(

I do wish the MoD were not so secretive/sensitive to criticism. Only one of the three bidders has even acknowledged their success in getting design contracts. Sigh.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 14 Dec 2018, 16:15

Pongoglo wrote:Also at 3,600 FLD in terms of survivability it is a tad too small


Pretty sure that's light displacement.

Also, that's the size the RN is asking for i.e. around 120m/4k tons.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 14 Dec 2018, 16:41

Pongoglo wrote: the biggest weakness with this design is that unlike Arrowhead (either variant 120 or 140) it lacks a Merlin capable hanger, forcing us to rely totally on an already too small Wildcat pool. Also at 3,600 FLD in terms of survivability it is a tad too small, in fact not much larger than a Type 21. Critically however it packs too few CAMM, barely enough to be effective in self defence let alone for the consort escort role.


Won't go to the missile count as there must be hundreds of entries by now. While I agree that we should build for flexibility (Merlin & ASW taskings... anyone; even if only in the future), I can't quite see how the Wildcat pool is too small
- ASuW provision for T-45s
- same for the (first 5) T-31s
- a few to be the "ready" copter to fish out aircrew should a take-off or a landing go awry
- even the RM/SF "light attack provision" though not official seems to be 4 airframes

Will that (summed up) stretch the numbers?

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby bobp » 14 Dec 2018, 19:36

Ron5 wrote:More pictures from Tim Fish in Chile. Can't spot any differences from previous pics of previous exhibitions.


Is this the export version of the T31. I see it has been designated T31e.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Caribbean » 14 Dec 2018, 23:20

That mast is interesting - is it intended to mount flat-panel radar?
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 15 Dec 2018, 03:05

Ron5 wrote:
Pongoglo wrote:Also at 3,600 FLD in terms of survivability it is a tad too small


Pretty sure that's light displacement.
Really?
It has the same length, width, similar draught, to ANZAC frigate which is said to be 3600t Full Load.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Dec 2018, 05:13

Ron5 wrote:Only one of the three bidders has even acknowledged their success in getting design contracts. Sigh
What do you read into that behaviour?

"BAE Systems, Babcock and Atlas Elektronik UK will now each compete to design and manufacture the new warships. The Type 31e program sees for the delivery of five frigates at a cost of $1.5 billion. Stuart Andrew, Minister for Defence Procurement, told media that it was the first frigate competition the UK had run "in a generation". "One of these designs will go on to bolster our future fleet with five new ships, creating UK jobs and ensuring our Royal Navy maintains a truly global presence in an increasingly uncertain world," he said. The Type 31e frigates will be sitting between the high-end capability delivered by the Type 26 and Type 45, and the constabulary-oriented outputs to be delivered by the five planned River-class Batch 2 OPVs and will cover maritime security, maritime counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations, escort duties, and naval fire support missions. The MoD expects to announce a preferred bidder by the end of next year "

If I was :D :D the MoD I would add one more to the list, for its efficacy (over NGFS alone):
"Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system can be deployed on the US Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout and is designed to help detect and localize minefields and obstacles when flown over a beach or other coastal landing area. COBRA uses a fast-scanning LIDAR laser, 3D imaging camera, and target recognition algorithms. Data collected by COBRA an be sent to an amphibious landing force through the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Assault Breaching System (JABS), which could either direct a JDAM air assault on the beach to clear mines or could feed the location of mines to the precision navigation and lane marking systems on the amphibious vehicles coming ashore."
- why bother with clearing when you can do breaching so much more quickly?

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby jimthelad » 15 Dec 2018, 09:49

Didnt work on DDay or Inchon. Over 1000 tonnes of ordinance landed in 30 minutes in the prep of both beaches and most of the mines remained.


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