Babcock holds steel cutting ceremony for Royal Navy's Type 31 frigate Active

According to a PR published by Babcock on January 24, 2023, the international defence company, has reached another major milestone on the Type 31 programme, to deliver five Inspiration Class frigates for the Royal Navy, as it cut steel marking the official start of HMS Active’s build programme at Rosyth.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Steel cutting ceremony for the second Type 31 frigate HMS Active. (Picture source: Babcock)

Coming just 16 months since steel was cut on the first ship, HMS Venturer, Babcock welcomed senior guests from the UK Government and Royal Navy, alongside international industry to witness the traditional shipbuilding ceremony.

Joining the ceremony were veterans from the former Royal Navy Type 21 frigate and namesake HMS Active, which played a key role in the Falklands Conflict, who joined the ceremonial start to production at Babcock’s digitally led advanced manufacturing facility.

A key component of the UK’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Type 31 programme will support a direct UK workforce of around 1,250 people including 150 apprenticeships and a further 1,250 people in the supply chain at the height of the programme.

Following contract awards in Poland and Indonesia respectively, where work continues on both programmes, international interest remains strong in Babcock’s inherently flexible Arrowhead 140 platform, which the Type 31 frigates are based upon.

In Poland, Babcock is working closely with PGZ by transferring knowledge that will support the MIECZNIK frigate programme. This follows the class design contract awarded to Babcock in 2022 and builds on the strategic partnership in the naval sector between the Polish and UK Governments’.

The T31 programme is on track to deliver all five Inspiration Class ships by 2028. Progress continues at pace, with the first ship, HMS Venturer having both engine sets installed and work progressing towards the consolidation of the hull. Babcock’s investment in advanced manufacturing and technology at Rosyth make it possible to build two ships side by side in the new Assembly Hall.

About the Type 31

The design is intended to be flexible, allowing it to be used for a variety of roles such as anti-submarine warfare, air defense, and general-purpose operations.

The Type 31 frigate has a displacement of approximately 5,700 tons, making it a relatively small but capable warship. With a length of 138.7 meters, the ship is designed to be highly maneuverable and capable of operating in a variety of roles.

The frigate is equipped with a variety of sensors, including radar and sonar, as well as a variety of weapons, including guns, missiles, and torpedoes. The ship's crew of 110 includes a variety of specialists, including engineers, weapons officers, and communications personnel.