UK and Poland sign Statement of Intent for the three Arrowhead-140 frigates

According to information published by the UK Government on October 4, 2022, the Ministers signed the Arrowhead-140 Statement of Intent which provides a framework for the UK Government and The Government of Poland to collaborate on the procurement and operation of three Arrowhead-140 frigates.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the Arrowhead-140 frigate (Picture source: Babcock)

The Type 31 frigate or Inspiration class, formerly known as the Type 31e frigate or General Purpose Frigate (GPF), is a planned class of frigate intended to enter service with the United Kingdom's Royal Navy in the 2020s alongside the submarine-hunting Type 26 frigate. Designed by Babcock International, it is also marketed under the name Arrowhead 140 and was based on the hull of the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate.

On 4 March 2022, Babcock announced that it won the Polish frigate competition. The Polish Armaments Agency selected Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 (AH140) from three different platform design proposals provided by the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium.

The design of Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 frigate originates from an air defence frigate, but is able to change operational role rapidly depending upon capability needs and will meet naval requirements both now and in the future.

Arrowhead 140 is a multi-mission surface combatant capable of conducting AAW, ASuW, ASW and EW operations and is operationally proficient in both blue water and littoral areas.

Capitalising upon a mature and proven design, Arrowhead 140 will deliver an assured frigate capability which is best placed to serve multi-operational demands.

The Type 31 frigate will have a length of 138.7 m (455 ft 1 in), a displacement of 5,700 t (5600 long tons) and will be able to reach a top speed of 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph).

She will be powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system including four diesel engines, two propellers, and two variable shaft lines.

The Type 31 will be equipped with innovative technology and will benefit from advanced capabilities fitted onboard, including MBDA’s Sea Ceptor, a supersonic anti-air missile defence system, as well as a 57mm and two 40mm Bofors naval guns, a 4D radar system and able to house a Royal Navy helicopter.