11 Sep 2017

MoD announces procurement programme for T31e frigates

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin has released plans for the procurement of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31e frigates.

The announcement follows on the heels of Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon unveiling of the MoD’s ambitious new National Shipbuilding Strategy, outlining a commitment to encourage a more competitive industry, grow jobs across the country, and put a focus on exporting state-of-the-art British ships.

It is envisaged the competition, unveiled by senior leaders from the Ministry of Defence, Royal Navy and Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), will boost the UK shipbuilding industry and provide the route to grow the Royal Navy fleet.

A price cap has been set of no more than £250M each for the first batch of five frigates. In line with standing UK policy on warships, they will be built in the UK. They could be built in a way which could see them shared between yards and assembled at a central hub.

The first ships are set to be in service by 2023. Shipyards will be encouraged to work with global partners to ensure the vessel is competitive on the export market.

The Type 31e frigate will replace five of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates. The other eight Type 23s are already set to be replaced by the upcoming Type 26 class.

Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said the launch of the Type 31e programme was the first step towards realising the new National Shipbuilding Strategy.

She said: “It will take the very best of British engineering, innovation and drive to achieve it and, as a nation, we have shown time and time again that we have what it takes to deliver. This programme will re-energise a world-leading, vibrant and competitive British shipbuilding industry.”

image © UK MOD Crown Copyright

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