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Babcock completes design review of Type 31 frigate


According to a press release published by Babcock on April 28, 2021, Team 31 has successfully completed its Whole Ship Critical Design Review (WSCDR) which is a key indicator of the compliance, maturity and engineering risk in proceeding into production as we mature the 3D CAD model. The WSCDR was held virtually over a period of ten days and comprised of a large number of specific reviews to assess the maturity of the individual systems and equipment for the Type 31 Frigate.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist impression of new Assembly Hall with Type 31 Frigate exiting (Picture source: Babcock International)


An independent board of twelve experts reviewed the design, interrogated the engineering team and provided valuable advice to Babcock (the Design Authority), with attendees and contributors from the UK Ministry of Defence. The board were pleased with the rate of progress made since the Preliminary Design Review in June 2020 and the level of technical maturity of the design, especially given the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19.

Completing the Whole Ship CDR provides Team 31 with the confidence to fully develop the 3D CAD model and move towards the generation of build drawings in readiness for first steel cut and ship assembly later this year. Production work at Rosyth has been underway since last year on construction of ship cradles, build stools and ground supports. These form part of the essential infrastructure required to enable construction, and are designed to support the vessels upright as they are being built.

The WSCDR is a significant milestone in the Type 31 programme and reflects the fantastic progress being made since contract award. The facilities and technology investment in Rosyth has got underway, with manufacturing bay refurbishments, the installation of state of the art advanced manufacturing equipment, and the New Assembly Hall will be completed towards the end of this summer before the start of ship assembly.

Team 31 has placed a large number of Supply Chain contracts to date representing nearly 80% of the value. The remaining supply chain contracts will be placed in line with the procurement plan, with the first major equipment deliveries due later this year.

Team 31 is currently operating across the UK in Rosyth, Bristol, Devonport and Crawley, growing and mobilising in readiness for ship assembly starting later this year. At the peak, approximately 1250 people will work on the programme across the UK.

The Type 31 programme consists of five general purpose frigates with a production cost of £250 million per unit. The T31 builds upon the already successful Iver Huitfeldt Global Frigate design, incorporating changes to provide a compliant and adaptable modern platform.

The Type 31 frigates have a standard displacement of about 5700 tons and a length of 138,7 meters. The diesel main power plant under the CODAD scheme should provide a full speed of 28 knots. The frigates will arm with BAE Bofors 57mm naval guns.