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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"
118
26%
An LCS-like modular ship
20
4%
A modernised Type 23
21
5%
A Type 26-lite
65
14%
Less than 5 hulls
21
5%
5 hulls
63
14%
More than 5 hulls
88
19%
 
Total votes: 460

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

Postby Caribbean » 10 Apr 2019, 17:50

Scimitar54 wrote:The cost of any Refurbishment required properly lies with the Ship Builder, even if the RN does act as it's sub-contractor for refurbishment.

And, probably more significantly, transfers all responsibility for the reconditioned equipment to the ship builder (along with all responsibility for maintenance, health and safety issues etc etc). That was specifically mentioned in a speech back towards the beginning of the process as something that the RN did not want to get involved in
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 10 Apr 2019, 20:07

Who removes it?
Who refurbishes it?
Who provides guarantees for it?
Who supports it in service?

I think the cleanest way is for the OEM (or who ever has taken that over) buys the equipment from the MoD, refurbishes and resells with warranties to the shipbuilder.

That's how Phalanx and Mk 45 work.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Aethulwulf » 10 Apr 2019, 20:52

The other big difficulty with using second hand kit from the T23s is timing.

There is not a big enough gap between the first out of service date of the T23s and the first in service date of the T31 for equipment to be cross-decked between these two ships.

In fact, the timelines are such that equipment coming off the first retiring T23 is probably only going to be available to be fitted to the third T31 being built.

So any consortium wanting to, for example, use Artisan radars from T23s is probably going to have to buy 2 new sets and re-use just 3 old sets.

This is another factor in the cost/benefit analysis for re-using kit from the T23s.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby serge750 » 10 Apr 2019, 21:53

Isn't HMS Argyll due to decommission in 2023 ? with the other T23 to follow at approx. yearly intervals, if the T31 design is selected end of year then a couple of years building the first T31, initial sea trials etc maybe there will be time to transfer equipment? will be well tight,

As suggested before the best option would be to decommission one soon to save money/crew now which would also help with the equipment transfer then maybe decommission a couple of others a year or so early aswell if the T31 runs to schedule.... or just slow down the T31 by a year till 2024? looks like it could be heading that way if the current trend of F arsing about are the norm !!! :lol:

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Aethulwulf » 10 Apr 2019, 22:22

serge750 wrote:Isn't HMS Argyll due to decommission in 2023 ? with the other T23 to follow at approx. yearly intervals, if the T31 design is selected end of year then a couple of years building the first T31, initial sea trials etc maybe there will be time to transfer equipment? will be well tight,

As suggested before the best option would be to decommission one soon to save money/crew now which would also help with the equipment transfer then maybe decommission a couple of others a year or so early aswell if the T31 runs to schedule.... or just slow down the T31 by a year till 2024? looks like it could be heading that way if the current trend of F arsing about are the norm !!! :lol:
Its nice to see that you think none of these bloody obvious ideas occurred to me, or indeed any of the bidders.

So how likely to win is a consortium that as part of their bid states they are either going to deliver the ships a year late, or their bid is reliant on the RN decommissioning their ships early?

If I remember correctly BAE are buying three full ships sets of new equipment for the T26 before they plan to start using equipment from the decommissioned T23ASWs. The T31s are to be built on a much quicker timeline and drumbeat, making it even harder to cross-deck equipment within the build process.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby serge750 » 11 Apr 2019, 17:58

I do apologise Aethulwulf if my post came across as you & the bidders never thought of the transfer of equipment properly, I agree the time line will be tight,

If the budget for the T31 is so tight, I'm just not sure buying new equipment would be the best move ? it is a option just like the other options suggested, maybe if the equipment is to worn out to transfer they will, time will tell I guess...

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Repulse » 13 Apr 2019, 18:28

"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Aethulwulf » 14 Apr 2019, 23:11

Jane's article on Arrowhead 140

https://www.janes.com/article/87872/size-matters-arrowhead-140-takes-aim-at-type-31e-frigate-prize

Some quotes from behind the paywall:

Babcock is advancing its arguments for Arrowhead 140 along four key lines:
    the reduced risks arising from the adaptation of an existing parent design with a demonstrable low-cost build pedigree;
    the advantages of a large platform with regard to better seakeeping, optimised support, and more generous margins for adaptation through-life;
    the benefits of an open combat system architecture built around the widely exported Thales TACTICOS combat management system (CMS);
    and the adoption of a UK-wide distributed block-build strategy firmly aligned to the intent of the NSbS


According to Mark Harvey, Babcock’s Type 31e bid director, “We are taking the Iver Huitfeldt frigate design and enhancing and updating it to meet the UK’s requirement”. OMT is the lead for the parent design, drawing on the lineage of the Iver Huitfeldt class, while BMT Defence Services is supporting platform design and customisation specific to Type 31e. “The three major changes are the incorporation of additional boat bays [doubling from two to four], an RN-specific combat system, and compliance to latest regulations,” Harvey said. “In the latter case, this includes taking the design into Lloyd’s Naval Ship Rules, compliance with ANEP 77 Naval Ship Code, and all environmental legislation [for example, MARPOL Tier III].”


Babcock believes that the inclusion of the TACTICOS CMS in its Type 31e bid is a key discriminator on two counts. First, that TACTICOS could provide RN operations teams with an open, intuitive, and adaptable operations environment. Second, that the TACTICOS pedigree and existing operator base will improve the export potential of Type 31e given Thales’s experience in integrating a range of sensors and weapons with the system.
As regards main combat system equipment, Thales has specified its own NS100 medium-range E/F-band surveillance radar but remains circumspect on other weapon/sensor selections. “We have essentially ‘chilled’ the design, and are currently completing competitive assessments for various other systems across the supply chain,” said Mansfield. “But at this stage it is a little too early to go public on who those are.”


Team 31’s approach to ship construction is a distributed build strategy. Fabrication of modules will be shared across Belfast-based Harland and Wolff, Ferguson Marine on the Clyde, and Babcock’s Rosyth facility in Fife, with final assembly and integration at Rosyth. “Our strategy is based on utilising the core strengths of each of our partners to deliver the most assured, on-time delivery,” Harvey said. “So we’re looking at Harland and Wolff, where they have the capability for heavy steel fabrication, for all the complex hullform blocks where all the complex seatings are; we’re looking at Ferguson Marine because they’re very good with all the shaped arrangements, particularly around the bow section, and we’ve got our Babcock team putting together the remainder of the structure. That includes tying in with Thales, specifically around the complex bridge/operations/mast area, as part of our build strategy.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Apr 2019, 06:53

The first quote is a good summary of what has been said before.
taking the design into Lloyd’s Naval Ship Rules, compliance with ANEP 77 Naval Ship Code
being that specific, is it
A. a statement that the ship will exceed IHs (which have been tested for key warship aspects), or
B. a barb agains one or the other competitor, for not being compliant?
own NS100 medium-range E/F-band surveillance radar but remains circumspect on other weapon/sensor selections
puts a lot of the debate here to rest
final assembly and integration at Rosyth
has this been said before...if SSSs were to be built in the UK, it is unlikely to happen on the Clyde
- so some 'bridge' building in the rationale for the bidding group?

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Repulse » 15 Apr 2019, 08:33

Aethulwulf wrote:Fabrication of modules will be shared across Belfast-based Harland and Wolff, Ferguson Marine on the Clyde, and Babcock’s Rosyth facility in Fife, with final assembly and integration at Rosyth.


So nothing in England then - personally I think spreading the build outside of Scotland is a key requirement to protect against an IndyRef2 - closing Appledore was very shortsighted.

The main issues I have with the Arrowhead design are twofold:
- The best export opportunity is selling the design and build / support services - both of which are very limited with this design.
- With it’s IH background, people will believe (or hope) it becomes a “real” Frigate drawing attention away from the real first class assets needed which should be built in as high a volume as the RN can afford. As Sir H’s recent article notes, a “cheap” platform will not replace the key ASW role of the T26, neither would it the AAW capabilities of the T45.

For me, my vote is for the smallest Leander design to complement the B2 Rivers in the global presence/ Littoral escort role, coupled with more cash for real tier one assets (T26s,P8s,Merlins,SSNs).
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby inch » 15 Apr 2019, 13:22

But I think unfortunately repulse the may / and definitely a corybin gov will never put money into getting more t26 p8 etc, it's just not what their about mores the pity and a corybin gov prob go further and cut in my view ,who knows ? So we be lucky to have 8 t26 anyway

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Poiuytrewq » 15 Apr 2019, 16:24

ArmChairCivvy wrote:...has this been said before...if SSSs were to be built in the UK, it is unlikely to happen on the Clyde
- so some 'bridge' building in the rationale for the bidding group?
It's a chessboard and there are various possible outcomes.

I think there is a high likelihood that RN will want the A140 if it meets the legal and affordability criteria. This was Babcocks competition to lose from the start but by shutting their only English yard at Appledore it certainly won't help, unless there is a commitment to reopen if the contract is awarded to Team31.

Reading between the lines it's highly likely that the FSS budget would stretch to 3 hulls if built abroad or two if built in the UK. It also appears that the MOD and RN are happy to see this contracted awarded to an overseas bidder to secure the 3rd hull.

The only way to justify sending the FSS contract abroad is if the UK had no spare capacity. These arguments are circulating already but they are clearly rubbish. The U.K. has the capacity but some infrastructure in the yards would need replaced or improved that is undoubtedly true.

The answer to the MOD's prayers could be the FLSS vessels. The conversions for two or possibly even four vessels (DFID) would keep a yard busy for a number of years, maybe until 2025/2026 if four are procured. This would reduce UK shipbuilding capacity to a level where all yards were busy if not at full capacity and it could be argued the FSS contract would have to be sent abroad to maintain the necessary timescales etc.

Something like this,

Barrow: Astute and Dreadnought
Govan/Scotstoun: Type 26
Rosyth: Lead yard for Type 31
H&W: Type 31
Fergusons: Type 31
Cammel Laird: FLSS conversions
A&P: Bidding for blocks
Appledore: Closed

This would be better,

Barrow: Astute and Dreadnought
Govan/Scotstoun: Type 26
Rosyth: Lead yard for Type 31
H&W: FLSS conversions plus blocks for FSS
Fergusons: Blocks for FSS
Cammel Laird: Lead yard for FSS
A&P: Blocks for T31
Appledore: Blocks for T31

Of course HMG could just let 50% of the above yards go to the wall again which is as likely as any possible scenario in my opinion but time will tell.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Poiuytrewq » 15 Apr 2019, 16:30

Repulse wrote:..my vote is for the smallest Leander design to complement the B2 Rivers in the global presence/ Littoral escort role
Do you mean something like the 103m/105m variant?

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Repulse » 15 Apr 2019, 18:44

Poiuytrewq, yes - basically a Al Khareef with RN standards / systems plus a Merlin capable flight deck. Ideally a class of 8 to partner with the 8 OPVs.

This would allow them to be forward based when needed, including escorting the FLSS but be more globe trotting than the relatively static OPVs who would be in based in the UK and forward based for FIGS, WIGS, Med and Oman duties.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 15 Apr 2019, 18:51

Thanks to Athelwulf for posting the Jae's material.

All good stuff but I must respond to one sentence "and the adoption of a UK-wide distributed block-build strategy firmly aligned to the intent of the NSbS".

If I understand SJP's work, he wasn't recommending a distributed block building strategy just to keep as many shipyards as possible ticking over with dribbles of work that would be too small in themselves to justify investment in modernizing their aged, noncompetitive, infrastructure.

In other words, he wasn't suggesting distributed block building just for the hell of it. He knows just like everyone else, it costs more to do that than build at one site.

No, he suggested having non-shipyard companies that were not in the shipbuilding business but are capable of assembling large steel structures at low cost using up to date processes, bid wildly against each other to build T31 blocks and so dramatically lower overall cost.

I'm sure Babcock's knows this and are just spinning SJP's words to become an "end" instead of a means to an end. In past I would scoff at the chances of this working but as we've seen amply proven recently, UK politicians and UK civil servants are remarkably stupid and swallow any kind of old rubbish.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 17 Apr 2019, 16:57

Poiuytrewq wrote: This was Babcocks competition to lose from the start but by shutting their only English yard at Appledore it certainly won't help


I am reading on, but maybe the whole thing is about "rejuvenation" considering Arrow's overall length (close to its name) of 138.7m when HMS Scott (the biggest build in that facility) with its just over 131 m had to be sitting diagonally, to fit at all?

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Poiuytrewq » 17 Apr 2019, 20:12

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote: This was Babcocks competition to lose from the start but by shutting their only English yard at Appledore it certainly won't help
I am reading on, but maybe the whole thing is about "rejuvenation" considering Arrow's overall length (close to its name) of 138.7m when HMS Scott (the biggest build in that facility) with its just over 131 m had to be sitting diagonally, to fit at all?
Maybe, but if HMG really want a English Escort production facility Appledore wouldn't be high up the list even if the infrastructure was improved.

The decision to shut Appledore may make financial sense for Babcock but strategically it could prove to be a mistake. The T31 bid was incredibly strong with yards in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It ticked a lot boxes on the political front but a distributed build spread across the length and breadth of the UK isn't the most efficient method of construction and I suspect it simply wasn't worth Babcocks trouble to keep both Rosyth and Appledore open.

It's also highly likely that to build 5 Arrowhead 140's for £1.25bn doesn't leave Babcock with much of a profit margin so tough decisions had to be taken.

If the T31, FSS and FLSS conversions are all awarded to UK bidders it will be interesting to see if there is any interest in the purchase of H&W. That's a yard with almost unlimited potential, certainly in a UK context.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ~UNiOnJaCk~ » 07 May 2019, 18:41

MoD 'to scrap cut-price frigates plan' after fears ships would not be able to protect themselves

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/20 ... -250m-per/

According the the Telegraph, the T-31 looks likely to be getting the bin...

Can't see the rest behind the subscription wall sadly.

Anyone who can fill in?

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Aethulwulf » 07 May 2019, 18:53

MoD 'to scrap cut-price frigates plan' after fears ships would not be able to protect themselves

Hopes of bolstering the Royal Navy with a fleet of five “bargain” frigates at an all-in cost of £250m per vessel have foundered after the Ministry of Defence conceded the ships could not be delivered at that price.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy unveiled in 2017 floated the concept of a new class of budget warship that would support the UK’s shipbuilding sector by spreading work around yards, along with breaking BAE Systems' near-monopoly.

Named the Type 31e - with the “e” denoting it was for export - the new ships were priced at a point that would be attractive to export customers, with a tight deadline of the first one going into service in 2023.

However, Whitehall and industry sources have confirmed the £250m target has now effectively been abandoned after warnings that a viable vessel could not be built at the price.

It is understood that what the MoD terms “government-furnished equipment” - thought to cover items including weapons and sophisticated software - will now not be included in the costing.

The MoD is also taking on more financial risk related to the project, such as foreign exchange movements and inflation pushing up the cost for bidders.

“The parameters have changed,” said one Whitehall insider. “We’re reverting back to a more normal form of procurement.”

Naval experts raised concerns that at £250m the ships could be under-armed and not able to protect themselves, making them a liability rather than an asset to the Navy.

The first tender to build the Type 31e was halted last summer, with the MoD saying that there were “insufficient compliant bids”.

It is now understood that industry concerns about how capable a vessel could be delivered under the price cap was part of the reason the original competition was scrapped.

Bidders for the Type 31e include a partnership of BAE Systems and Cammell Laird, and groups led by Babcock and Thales, as well as one bid headed by Atlas Electronik UK.

“At £250m for everything, it was a very big risk for industry to take on,” said one industry source involved in the bidding. “The basic cost of £250m for a ship hasn’t changed, but now some equipment won’t be included in that price. Financial conditions around the contract such as inflation and currency risk have also been altered.”

Defence analyst Howard Wheeldon described the development as “good news for the Navy”. He added: “It sounds like a way forward for the Type 31e has been found, paving the way for the Navy to get the ships it needs.”

An MoD spokesman said: “The preferred bidder for the design and manufacture of the ships will be announced by December 2019, and we intend to purchase five ships at an average production cost of £250m per ship.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/05/07/hopes-cut-price-frigates-navy-dashed-mod-gives-way-250m-per/

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Caribbean » 07 May 2019, 19:07

So - the plan's been changed, not the frigates scrapped. Seems to me that this is just catching up with what was apparent (to some at least) when they restarted the competition - GFE is no longer part of the £250m.
As stated back at the beginning of the process - more money would be made available if it proved impossible to build them at the planned price cap.
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby bobp » 07 May 2019, 19:22

Well good news that they are still going to be built. And that the decision is still the end of this year.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Aethulwulf » 07 May 2019, 19:28

UK newspaper posts story with misleading headline - shock news!

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ~UNiOnJaCk~ » 07 May 2019, 19:44

There's me getting caught out with the headline and a lack of subscription! :clap:

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby bobp » 07 May 2019, 20:33

yes just the plan was scrapped not the ships.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby dmereifield » 07 May 2019, 21:00

bobp wrote:yes just the plan was scrapped not the ships.


So, what does a £250million, including integration costs - but not costs of - GFE, Leander look like?

Likewise what does an A140 look like?

Are we getting close to a proper light frigate in terms of build standard, sensors, defense equipement and armaments etc?


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