Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [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
52
10%
Programme cancelled & replaced with GP T26
14
3%
A number of heavy OPVs spun as "frigates"
127
25%
An LCS-like modular ship
22
4%
A modernised Type 23
24
5%
A Type 26-lite
71
14%
Less than 5 hulls
22
4%
5 hulls
71
14%
More than 5 hulls
103
20%
 
Total votes: 506

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Jensy
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Jensy »

Most of the rest of this article is similar to our speculation here. However a little more detail:
The answers to these questions will likely emerge from a new assessment phase being undertaken by UK stakeholders in the Type 31 programme and the US Navy to determine how the Mk41 could be integrated into the frigate and the potential financial implications.
Speaking to Naval Technology, a Royal Navy spokesperson said: “The Mk41 vertical launching system will deliver surface launched strike operations against a full spectrum of targets. Working closely with the US Navy, we have commenced an assessment phase to explore the options and costs associated with fitting T31 with Mk41. It is too early to provide any further information whilst this commercially sensitive work is ongoing.”
https://www.naval-technology.com/featur ... -spectrum/

I'm doubling down on my speculation that this is part of wider attempts by Babcock to renegotiate the Type 31 contract. Certainly a better method of negotiation than threatening layoffs and talking of moving business abroad. The arrangement with Poland might well have played a role if Mk.41 is being integrated with and fitted to their Miecznik Class ships.

Also would note that until we get confirmation, MK.41 numbers could be anywhere between 8-32 cells.

Must say though: the Royal Navy know how to play the game far better than either of the other services....
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Ron5 »

If it were my money, which it isn't, i would not install the mk 41's and instead use the money on increasing the number of CAMMs, adding NSM, upgrading the radar from bargain bin, and fitting a effective sonar.

These ships could be then made into decent escorts. Not sure adding 32 cruise missiles moves the dial much.

BTW the declared aim of the type 32's is to provide a superior platform for deploying unmanned assets i.e. the thing that the type 31's are particularly useless at.
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Ron5 »

RunningStrong wrote: 19 May 2023, 12:17
wargame_insomniac wrote: 18 May 2023, 23:23 As I said yesterday it is a great sign of what we hope the RN can achieve, but lets not bank on it yet.
Completely agree. It would be greay to have Mk41 on T31. It would be amazing to have 4 whole modules on T31. But I don't think anyone can say that with certainty yet, it's an aspiration without a budget.
You have no idea if there is budget for this or not.

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Repulse »

Seems that the RN is again erring towards a smaller high end escort fleet, which is I think appropriate given the requirement and circumstances. However, if we are going from a “Hi/Med” structure we can’t just go “Hi”, we need to go to a “Hi/Lo” or it will be stretched and unable to ensure opportunities for training and progression. This is where the OPV/LSV fleet needs to be thought about properly.

Also, I’m sure it will be unpopular, but I think now it is inevitable that the T31 becomes the RNs NATO frigate. It’s lack of capabilities under the water is less of an issue when integrated with other capabilities / navies.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Repulse wrote: 19 May 2023, 14:31 This is where the OPV/LSV fleet needs to be thought about properly.
Agreed.

RN is very closely to setting up an extremely balanced and highly effective fleet for the next 25 years. If the funding for the Mk41s is secured in the IR refresh then most of the big ticket items are sorted until 2030.

The LSVs are intriguing but IMO ultimately different to the large OPVs that are needed to delay the T32 for the foreseeable. I expect the LSVs to be OCV based and therefore slow and with low endurance.

The priority now is to secure a second batch of T31 plus the required OPVs with whatever budget was initially proposed for the T32. Clearly it wasn’t £2.5bn which is why the T32 is on ice.

The other priority is maximise the Amphibs and demonstrate clearly what is going to expected of the FCF over the next decade. It’s vital.

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Caribbean »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 19 May 2023, 11:17 I would argue for 22 throughly credible AAW,ASW and GP escorts with the gaps filled by highly cost effective OPVs.
Well - 24 escorts for me (and I'm still not certain whether it would be better to have 9 x T26, 9 x T31 & 6 x T83, or 8 of each), but otherwise that sounds about right.

The T32 "frigate" should be re-imagined to fill a similar role to the Holland class OPVs (OPV and some low-end frigate duties), but designed around carrying pods & offboard systems to add capabilities as and when needed (anything from pollution control to towed arrays to HADR containers).

Keep the ships themselves cheap and simple and put the money into the pods & their capabilities
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by tomuk »

Ron5 wrote: 19 May 2023, 14:15 BTW the declared aim of the type 32's is to provide a superior platform for deploying unmanned assets i.e. the thing that the type 31's are particularly useless at.
Have you got a quote for that? I read that it should have a focus on unmanned I have also read that it should support the LRGs ie act as escort.

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by tomuk »

Caribbean wrote: 19 May 2023, 16:05
Poiuytrewq wrote: 19 May 2023, 11:17 I would argue for 22 throughly credible AAW,ASW and GP escorts with the gaps filled by highly cost effective OPVs.
Well - 24 escorts for me (and I'm still not certain whether it would be better to have 9 x T26, 9 x T31 & 6 x T83, or 8 of each), but otherwise that sounds about right.

The T32 "frigate" should be re-imagined to fill a similar role to the Holland class OPVs (OPV and some low-end frigate duties), but designed around carrying pods & offboard systems to add capabilities as and when needed (anything from pollution control to towed arrays to HADR containers).

Keep the ships themselves cheap and simple and put the money into the pods & their capabilities
No PODS are a complete waste of time, it is just the Navy trying to look exciting by being 'innovative' as a cover to having no money. If a ship needs a sonar fit it. If a ship needs missiles fit a VLS, if the ship needs to host a UAV put it in a hangar.
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Caribbean wrote: 19 May 2023, 16:05
Poiuytrewq wrote: 19 May 2023, 11:17 I would argue for 22 throughly credible AAW,ASW and GP escorts with the gaps filled by highly cost effective OPVs.
Well - 24 escorts for me (and I'm still not certain whether it would be better to have 9 x T26, 9 x T31 & 6 x T83, or 8 of each), but otherwise that sounds about right.

The T32 "frigate" should be re-imagined to fill a similar role to the Holland class OPVs (OPV and some low-end frigate duties), but designed around carrying pods & offboard systems to add capabilities as and when needed (anything from pollution control to towed arrays to HADR containers).

Keep the ships themselves cheap and simple and put the money into the pods & their capabilities
Just properly mann and equip and utilize the already planned 19 escorts. This is the first priority for RN.

Without significant man-power increase, which will not happen without significant pay rise = significant money investment, there is no hope RN can increase operational ships' number.
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by serge750 »

I would be happy to just have two T31 with 24 CAMM & NSM for lower threat defensive/flag waving tasks, eg med, gulf ) & three T31 with 32 x mk41 even if the T26 go down to 16 mk41 to help with costs .....then it's more viable under the bean counters cost cutting, then it means just buying 32 mk 41....

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Caribbean wrote: 19 May 2023, 16:05 …6 x T83, or 8…..
IMO it really depends on the UK’s Ballistic Missile Defence. Is it going to be fulfilled by the T83? If so it really needs to be eight.
The T32 "frigate" should be re-imagined to fill a similar role to the Holland class OPVs (OPV and some low-end frigate duties), but designed around carrying pods & offboard systems to add capabilities as and when needed (anything from pollution control to towed arrays to HADR containers).

Keep the ships themselves cheap and simple and put the money into the pods & their capabilities
Completely agree apart from the size of the OPV. Fitting all of those evolving off-board systems is going to take up a lot of space plus acting as a littoral enabler for the FCF will require accommodation, medical facilities and possibly multiple helicopters.

Taking all of that into consideration it needs to have a LOA similar to the T31 but with a wider beam. A UK adapted Vard 7 313 would be ideal. Aim for a £750m programme budget for 5 hulls and slot them into the Rosyth drumbeat.

The PODs budget could be huge depending on how ambitious the program actually becomes. Done properly however it could also be very exportable.
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Ron5 »

tomuk wrote: 19 May 2023, 16:13
Ron5 wrote: 19 May 2023, 14:15 BTW the declared aim of the type 32's is to provide a superior platform for deploying unmanned assets i.e. the thing that the type 31's are particularly useless at.
Have you got a quote for that? I read that it should have a focus on unmanned I have also read that it should support the LRGs ie act as escort.
For what it's worth ..

https://questions-statements.parliament ... -20/118499

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by RunningStrong »

Ron5 wrote: 19 May 2023, 14:17
RunningStrong wrote: 19 May 2023, 12:17
wargame_insomniac wrote: 18 May 2023, 23:23 As I said yesterday it is a great sign of what we hope the RN can achieve, but lets not bank on it yet.
Completely agree. It would be greay to have Mk41 on T31. It would be amazing to have 4 whole modules on T31. But I don't think anyone can say that with certainty yet, it's an aspiration without a budget.
You have no idea if there is budget for this or not.
What's wrong Ronnie?

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by RichardIC »

Ron5 wrote: 19 May 2023, 17:07
tomuk wrote: 19 May 2023, 16:13
Ron5 wrote: 19 May 2023, 14:15 BTW the declared aim of the type 32's is to provide a superior platform for deploying unmanned assets i.e. the thing that the type 31's are particularly useless at.
Have you got a quote for that? I read that it should have a focus on unmanned I have also read that it should support the LRGs ie act as escort.
For what it's worth ..

https://questions-statements.parliament ... -20/118499
It's worth sweet FA. Type 32 was announced on the hoof and then questions started getting asked about it which resulted in this nebulous answer. Type 32 is vapourware.

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by new guy »

T31 programme cost: £400m+
USN 4th constellation contract: £422m.
Considering that USN has x5 more to order, the well equipped constellation class will probably eventually be very close price wise to T31. Very different but this is still notable. also, In typical fashion, T31 is stated to have a ~100 crew and the constellation's having ~200 crew. lol.
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... -u-s-navy/

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by tomuk »

Ron5 wrote: 19 May 2023, 17:07
tomuk wrote: 19 May 2023, 16:13
Ron5 wrote: 19 May 2023, 14:15 BTW the declared aim of the type 32's is to provide a superior platform for deploying unmanned assets i.e. the thing that the type 31's are particularly useless at.
Have you got a quote for that? I read that it should have a focus on unmanned I have also read that it should support the LRGs ie act as escort.
For what it's worth ..

https://questions-statements.parliament ... -20/118499
So not a "superior platform for deploying unmanned assets" then.

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

new guy wrote: 19 May 2023, 20:09 T31 programme cost: £400m+
USN 4th constellation contract: £422m.
Considering that USN has x5 more to order, the well equipped constellation class will probably eventually be very close price wise to T31. Very different but this is still notable. also, In typical fashion, T31 is stated to have a ~100 crew and the constellation's having ~200 crew. lol.
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... -u-s-navy/
Not sure this "USN 4th constellation contract: £422m" includes government furnished equipment. Maybe not. Any info?

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by JohnM »

The estimated cost for the first 10 frigates is $12.3 Billion, with the last few costing $870 Million each..

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Tempest414 »

new guy wrote: 19 May 2023, 20:09 T31 programme cost: £400m+
USN 4th constellation contract: £422m.
Considering that USN has x5 more to order, the well equipped constellation class will probably eventually be very close price wise to T31. Very different but this is still notable. also, In typical fashion, T31 is stated to have a ~100 crew and the constellation's having ~200 crew. lol.
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... -u-s-navy/
As said above you need to clear what is being ordered this contract is more like the 250 million contact for T-31 i.e Babcocks got a 1.25 billion pound contract to build 5 T-31 = 250 million each
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Tempest414 »

tomuk wrote: 19 May 2023, 16:16
Caribbean wrote: 19 May 2023, 16:05
Poiuytrewq wrote: 19 May 2023, 11:17 I would argue for 22 throughly credible AAW,ASW and GP escorts with the gaps filled by highly cost effective OPVs.
Well - 24 escorts for me (and I'm still not certain whether it would be better to have 9 x T26, 9 x T31 & 6 x T83, or 8 of each), but otherwise that sounds about right.

The T32 "frigate" should be re-imagined to fill a similar role to the Holland class OPVs (OPV and some low-end frigate duties), but designed around carrying pods & offboard systems to add capabilities as and when needed (anything from pollution control to towed arrays to HADR containers).

Keep the ships themselves cheap and simple and put the money into the pods & their capabilities
No PODS are a complete waste of time, it is just the Navy trying to look exciting by being 'innovative' as a cover to having no money. If a ship needs a sonar fit it. If a ship needs missiles fit a VLS, if the ship needs to host a UAV put it in a hangar.
In a world were money is not a problem you would be right but if we take T-31 it dose not need a TAS for 75% of its work and it becomes a drag on manpower were if we were to have say 8 T-31's and 4 TAS Pods with there crews then when needed it could be fitted will it be as good maybe not will add to the ASW picture yes

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Tempest414 wrote: 20 May 2023, 06:54 As said above you need to clear what is being ordered this contract is more like the 250 million contact for T-31 i.e Babcocks got a 1.25 billion pound contract to build 5 T-31 = 250 million each
£2Bn is the program cost. We can see many independent contracts directly by MOD to, at least, MBDA and Thales. Not sure how many others will be there. But, NAO reports clearly says £2Bn. In other words, that is the number RN/MOD reported to NAO.

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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

tomuk wrote: 19 May 2023, 16:16No PODS are a complete waste of time, it is just the Navy trying to look exciting by being 'innovative' as a cover to having no money. If a ship needs a sonar fit it. If a ship needs missiles fit a VLS, if the ship needs to host a UAV put it in a hangar.
I think a bit different. PODS are NOT mainly for VLS nor ASW. If is more HADR, special smallish UAS kits (much smaller than the ones to be operated from the flight deck), additional electricity generator, additional accommodation, stores, more boats and so on.

I totally agree if you need AAW capability, add more VLS not PODS. If more ASW, just add CAPTAS4-CI, no CAPTAS PODS. CAPTAS-1 class light ASW equipment may be with PODS. But it means it is not for frigates, but more for OPVs or OSVs or LSVs.

So, PODS is very useful, but not in such a way to compensate the high-end war fighting capabilities. This is my impression.
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Tempest414 »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 20 May 2023, 10:23
Tempest414 wrote: 20 May 2023, 06:54 As said above you need to clear what is being ordered this contract is more like the 250 million contact for T-31 i.e Babcocks got a 1.25 billion pound contract to build 5 T-31 = 250 million each
£2Bn is the program cost. We can see many independent contracts directly by MOD to, at least, MBDA and Thales. Not sure how many others will be there. But, NAO reports clearly says £2Bn. In other words, that is the number RN/MOD reported to NAO.
yes quite right but my statement was in context to the post up thread where the 4th Constellation class build contract was given and was 526 million dollars which was the build without GFE

Constellation program cost 12 billion
Constellation program cost per ship 1.2 billion
Constellation build cost plus GFE = 840 million

Type 31 program cost 2 billion
Type 31 program cost per ship 400 million
Type 31 build cost plus GFE 280 million
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by Caribbean »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 20 May 2023, 10:28 So, PODS is very useful, but not in such a way to compensate the high-end war fighting capabilities. This is my impression.
Agreed - PODS are for adding capabilities to base platforms. The base platform still has to be capable of it's main task (whether that be patrol, HADR, peer combat or whatever). I would see them being used mainly to (say) add-on ad-hoc mine-hunting or survey capability to a frigate or OPV, or a defensive suite (eg 30mm ASCG & optical system or perhaps even an SSTD system) to a STUFT vessel.

Personally I also believe that offboard ASW systems are going to be commonplace in a few years time, allowing any vessel to contribute to the underwater picture. That said, I do think every vessel should also have at least a hull-mounted sonar, suitable for their purpose (from low-end COTS/MOTS systems on OPVs upwards).

At the moment, I don't think the physical dimensions of the basic POD have been fully defined. From looking at the XV Patrick Blackett it could well be the TEU, with smaller systems being fitted inside the TEU footprint. If that is the case, then a containerised CAPTAs system simply becomes another POD. The USN is talking about having CAPTAS systems available for adding to merchant vessels, should the need arise.
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Re: Type 31 Frigate (Inspiration Class) [News Only]

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Caribbean wrote: 20 May 2023, 11:39...then a containerised CAPTAs system simply becomes another POD. The USN is talking about having CAPTAS systems available for adding to merchant vessels, should the need arise.
Which CAPTAS? I know CAPTAS-1 with its winch and analysis system is on one TEU (actually 2 0.5TEU containers). Will CAPTAS-4CI fits in? If the sonar does, where shall be the analysis system located?

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