Type 31 General Purpose Frigate (GPFF)

The Royal Navy Type 31 General Purpose Frigate (GPFF) is a new class of vessel designed to provide a lower cost vessel in the capability space between the Batch 2 River Class OPV and Type 26 Frigate.

The Royal Navy Type 31 General Purpose Frigate (GPFF) is a new class of vessel designed to provide a lower cost vessel in the capability space between the Batch 2 River Class OPV and Type 26 Frigate.

This series will examine the history of the Type 31 GPFF and as details emerge, the capabilities section will be updated.


Table of Contents

BAE Type 31 Cutlass - Copy Introduction
HMS Tyne Type 31 History 
 BMT Venator 110 Image 2 Type 31 Capabilities


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September 8, 2016 10:44 am

I do not think they’ll be much debate over the FIGS role. In my view with HMS Proector lacking the hangar capability of HMS Endurance, have a River with a hangar is a reasonable request.

Also, the 1SL has already stated that the future Rivers could be used for APT(S). For such a role, given the likely scenario of rescuing sailors in distress or supporting our BOTs, then again helicopter capability should be insisted on.

It’s interesting that the 1SL did not mention WIGS as a possible future River role. It could be that there have been issues with the Batch 1 vessels supporting this role, or more likely it is assumed that they will continue to do it (rotating with a RFA). Firstly, I’d say then that with this role 5 OPVs is not enough. Secondly, surely forward basing a ship to be there 100% of the time and releasing a RFA for broader duties given the strech makes sense.

October 18, 2016 2:03 pm

Bad reporting?
Not type 31 related strictly, personally I’d have thought it the ideal ship to send assuming it’s got choppers, ribs and plenty of marines onboard?


October 24, 2016 2:54 pm

Jane’s says the French are going after the African market with a 95m multi role ship armed with 30mm + .50 cal + room for 20 containers. Your dream ship that is not a frigate perhaps TD?

November 4, 2016 1:31 pm

So, Leander or Type 21 as inspiration? Leander for names, without question. Maybe chuck a bit of LCS into the mix for good measure.

November 5, 2016 4:54 pm

So the news today, says the government will definitely order the 8 T26 by next Summer. We shall see.

November 7, 2016 12:30 pm


“A BAE spokeswoman wasn’t able to give the planned, in-service date for the first vessel.

However, the spokeswoman gave some indication of the intended delivery rate, saying the work on the second of the 7,000-ton warships is scheduled to start around 25 months after cutting of steel on the first vessel. The third ship will follow 20 months after that, before the program settles into an 18-month drumbeat of delivery. ”

Also talks of potential to build the T31s on a modular basis at different yards and then assemble on the Clyde. That would seem to me to conflict with the exclusivity provisions of ToBA, which on the face of it say that all FFs and DDs have to be built by BAES…

Ivan Z
Ivan Z
November 9, 2016 9:39 pm

Although all the Type-31 designs appear to have 30mm guns, only the most expensive includes a CIWS.
Do the designers like ignoring the Anti-Ship Missile (ASM) threat?
Relying on a batch of SAM’s to deal with all air threats is fine, until the supply has been used up, which would be quickly in any confrontation or basic saturation attack.
The current Type-23 has no CIWS, why should this mistake not be rectified in the new Type-31’s?
Even the old Type-21 Amazon class, though small, have been fitted with a Phalanx CIWS by there new owners – the Pakistani Navy.

We are supposed to learn from the mistakes of the past, ASM’s (especially when synchronised and used in numbers) are one of the most lethal threats.
(That said, I still don’t understand why the Type-45’s do not have four CIWS as a minimum).

November 12, 2016 9:14 am

Janes is saying the Royal Navy will retire its block 1c Harpoon, by the end of 2018, with no replacement planned in the short term.

November 13, 2016 9:56 am

The budget committee of the German parliament has just approved 1.5 billion euros for 5 new K130 corvettes, according to defensenews.

Ben from Hayling
Ben from Hayling
November 22, 2016 5:11 pm

TYPE 31 versus TYPE 26 Lite.

The only reason for the Type 31s instead of more Type 26s is cost.
As the Type 31 is to be cheaper than the Type 26 it will obviously be expected to be less capable than the Type 26.
But cost savings could also be made by adopting the Type 26 Lite. That is a Type 26 with some equipments left out, but leaving enough to match the capability of the smaller Type31 and being much cheaper than a standard T26.
Indeed it is quite possible that the larger Type 26 Lite could cost less than the smaller Type 31.
Items which could be left out of the T26 in order to bring the costs down are:- Type 2087 Towed Sonar Array, the 3 x 8 cell Mk42 VLS, the 2 x Phalanx CIWS, the Merlin Helicopter and the two Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines. The maximum speed would be that obtained from Diesel Electric propulsion alone, probably a bit faster than the offshore Patrol Vessels. I assumed the Type 31 would be no faster. Removing these items will result in the Lite version being much cheaper than a standard T26.
Items which would be left in the T26Lite are:- the Type 997 Artisan Radar, Scot-5 Satcoms, EW systems and Decoys, eight x 6cell Seaceptor VLS, 1 x BAE 5inch Mk45 gun, 2 x DS30Mk2 30mm guns, Miniguns and GPMGs, a Wildcat helicopter, Sea Venom air to surface missiles, the Type 2050 Bow Sonar, and Stingray torpedoes launched from either STWS or MTLS or by the Wildcat helicopter using a Match type system. So defence against surface threats would be met by the SeaVenom missile armed Wildcat, and the 5” and 30mm guns. Defence against air threats would be met by Seaceptor missiles, 30mm guns and soft kill decoys. Defence against underwater threats would be by Stingray torpedoes launched from STWS (or MTLS) or the Wildcat. This would give a satisfactory weapon and sensor outfit for a ‘flexible general purpose frigate’, (a latter day Leander, but much more effective.) I doubt if the Type 31 would have any more, and I doubt if the Naval Staff would want any less.
If the costs of the Type 26 Lite are less than the Type 31 this would do no harm to foreign sales, particularly as the RN would be seen to be operating the Type 26 Lite which could well be a more imposing vessel than the Type 31.
The Type 26 Lite should be provided with “For But Not With” (FBNW) facilities on build, for all the equipments omitted. That is deck seatings, power supplies, wiring and cabling up to the appropriate compartment JBs, etc. so that the equipments could be installed readily at a future date if required. In the meanwhile the trim of the Type 26 Lite would be maintained by fitting ballast in the form of mild steel slabs designed to fit on the FBNW seatings.

Now let’s consider the costs under the following headings.
A. Concept Studies would have to include both the T31 and the Type26 Lite in order to satisfy the politicians that all options had been considered. A DRAW
B. Design Costs. For the Type 31 a full ship design would be required. An expensive undertaking. For the Type 26 Lite most of the design has already been done. All that would be required are calculations and drawings for the ballasting to allow for the equipments omitted. TYPE 26 LITE WINS HANDS DOWN.
C. The Shipyard Setting Up Costs. These one off costs would be required for the Type 31, but have already been met for the Type26 and hence the Type26 Lite. TYPE 26 Llte Wins.

Rocket Banana
November 29, 2016 1:39 pm

If T26 and T31e are built in parallel, doesn’t that skupper the future “drum beat” of future ships? #UKShipbuildingStrategy

The Other Chris
November 29, 2016 2:36 pm

Yes, intentionally.

A stretched out drumbeat increases wage costs, as wages are typically a function of time and not product.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
November 29, 2016 2:53 pm

SJP has been given a target by a bunch of people a short distance away from me. That target is BAES.

In essence he is saying BAES get the T26 to get their house in order. After that everything is up for grabs.

What he doesn’t explain is where the food for all these other entities comes from. There is a deafening silence wrt any more money. Nor is there a steer as to where the magical export orders that are assumed to sustain the enterprise are likely to materialise from.

Game of chicken reaching its climax. BAE now have two cards – one is to blitz T26 to get it on contract and try to demonstrate they can hold costs in the hope of staving off full implementation in the actual NSS (this is just an independent study all of a sudden) to be published in Spring.

Or they can announce immediate closure of the Clyde………and call NCHQ bluff.

November 29, 2016 3:46 pm


thanks for the update [haven’t got a clue what a couple of the acronyms stand for though ;) ]

When i read Sir John Parker’s report, this morning, I thought of you for the ‘critical friend’ role [what we would call it in my industry anyway] or as Sir John recommends ‘an external technical consultant should provide constructive challenge’ [Recommendations for Governance No. 8, pg 2, Covering letter to Ministers]

… you’d be perfect.

good to know you are still lurking…

Rocket Banana
November 29, 2016 4:59 pm

The other way to look at it is that BAES doing T26, and T31e being “up for grabs” allows T26 to be the last thing built on the Clyde (in a nicely delayed sense)… or if things go smoothly, not.

What I don’t really understand is the apparent focus on T31e. Do we have a queue of customers for a British built ship or something?

November 29, 2016 8:30 pm

Type 31e? What is the lower case “e” for? If someone suggests “export” I may very well top myself.


Oh bugger! See his letter to Ministers for what the “e” stands for:


The Other Chris
November 30, 2016 10:20 am

Largest concern is the shift from “National Shipbuilding Strategy” to “UK National Shipbuilding Strategy: an independent report”.

Steven Duckworth
Steven Duckworth
November 30, 2016 7:14 pm

@ Ben of Hayling
I like the lite !
The classic fitted for but not with.
No need for a complete new design (BAES have spent £100m’s designing ( not detailing even! ) the T26 ) , just leave out the very expensive extras but provide the services and leave the allocated space in place unused till budgets allow or the T26 Full has an upgrade and the ‘obsolete’ kit can be crossed over to the Lite.
The BAES yards will need no new jigs , cnc programming etc and based on previous commentators posts once the first few ships have been built the build time (= money!) drops drastically which = more savings!

December 2, 2016 3:14 pm

Given, the huge trade gap & the weakness of the Pound ( due to over low interest rates), should we aim to make the T31 as British as possible? So, 114mm gun, 12 of the deck launch Sea Venom (that are under development now), SeaCeptor, Stingray or Spearfish torps, Wildcat helo.
Might sacrifice a few unlikely exports, but save some foreign reserve cash.

Peter Elliott
December 2, 2016 8:30 pm

Sir John clearly wants T31 to be the BMT Venator, built mostly in England by an alliance of Camell Laird and Babcock. While up on the Clyde BAES are told to focus on getting T26 right. Whether the MoD will have the balls to go for this plan and risk the wrath of Nicola Sturgeon remains to be seen. It also raises the question what all the yards will work on in the 2030s once both classes are done. New Air Warfare Destroyers? Or new Amphibs? Or just more of T26 and T31 to build up fleet? Big questions.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
December 5, 2016 10:53 am

I’m not sure it’s Sir John who has placed his faith in CL and Babcock. There are other forces in play who would rather have a proctological examination with a red-hot poker than give anything else to BAES. Whether these people are correct – or even well-informed – is another matter entirely.

No-one in their right mind is going to buy a new 4.5″ gunned ship. Ammunition supply is a major issue, let alone capability.

The Other Chris
December 5, 2016 11:05 am


What are your feelings on a block build approach for GPFF involving the non-BAES yards?

How does that compare to a single yard/location “frigate factory” (or similar) approach?

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
December 5, 2016 4:02 pm

It’s nonsense. It has been jacked up because certain people in NCHQ think they can pressure/punish BAES by this mechanism. Unfortunately, those people in NCHQ have never built a ship in their lives.

What worked for QEC, where you had to do distributed build to meet the timeline and because it could not be built in a oner anywhere in the UK, does not translate into it being a sensible thing to do for a much smaller ship. Particularly when the much smaller ship does not have the programme budget to accommodate all the unit inspections, sign-offs, transport costs and increased outfitting costs that you’ll get by shipping it’s constituent units around the country.

I suspect Sir John knows this – and to be fair to him he gives the MoD (and HMT) a proper kicking when he reviews governance and finance of RN shipbuilding projects. It is also absolutely correct to highlight that BAES have fallen into a mindset where they are reasonably sure they aren’t going to win lots of export work and so concentrate on paying their bills via the MoD – because they have a requirement placed on them (by MoD) to provide a domestic complex warship building capability, so base their plans solely on that and charge accordingly. If the NSS alters BAES corporate behaviour, then fair play – but I’m sceptical about the chances of success.

What is indisputable is that there was little or no call for more money which is the root problem in terms of both shipbuilding, but more importantly RN crew numbers. What that means is that you’re gambling on a short-term period where the limited amount of money available has to support more facilities, in the hope that significant export orders turn up to save the day, before the money runs out. Not holding my breath personally.

Where it was disappointing was that it did not call for all UK government-owned and operated ships to be built in the UK. That’s not a huge number of ships (or associated budget), but might have made more of a difference. But then I understand his remit was constrained to warship building by those whose idea it was in the first place…..

The Other Chris
December 5, 2016 4:52 pm

Really interesting! Thank you very much for the insights :)

December 5, 2016 7:09 pm

May be a daft thought but has anyone considered that type 31 ought perhaps to be be built using some sort of private finance initiative where the shipbuilder pays for them and leases them to the navy for say 15 years including all maintenance costs (exept weapons systems).At the end of the lease period the navy could have the option of buying them outright for market price or they could be sold on to other countries.I seem to remember that a similar scheme was used to finance HMS echo & enterprise.This might be attractive to the government given how cash strapped HMG currently is. This would require them to be built by a group or consortium that would be able to maintain as well as build them

Rocket Banana
December 6, 2016 8:43 am

If I were BAES and we’re given the “opportunity” to build T26 whilst T31 deliberately went elsewhere I’d milk the MoD for all they were worth because I’d know that at the end there was nothing left for me.

Such is the power of a monopoly.

“…it did not call for all UK government-owned and operated ships to be built in the UK”. Sensible idea. Interesting documentary on the BEEB last night about shipbuilding and its collapse after the post-war boom.

Peter Elliott
December 6, 2016 2:32 pm

The biggest unanswered question about a “2 Yards concurrent build” approach is what work there will be for both yards afterwards?

The report calls for a 30 year planning horizon but doesn’t propose what work goes in the back 2/3 of that time frame. One yard could possibly be given replacement Amphibs. The other a new class of AWD. But where does that leave our “world beating” T45?

I’m on record as calling for a “scrap and build” approach. The short successful life of HMS Ocean is a good example of this. Maybe this will come to pass for combat ships too. But only if HMG can stomach the upfront cost and governance requirements.

December 6, 2016 3:36 pm

If I were bae systems I would just put the ship building division up for sale and if no one wants it shut it dwn.

On a side note I chuckled at mr fallons latest comments that US company’s need to give better offset deals to U.K. Company’s for contracts. Perhaps should of though of that prior to falling over themselves like a deck of cards to order P8, apache and protector for next to no return

Rocket Banana
December 6, 2016 4:22 pm


That was my immediate question (last week) as soon as I read the suggestion: T26 and T31 in parallel skuppers the “drum beat” idea… although, as you point out, there are more than just FF/DD.

We are an island nation and are reliant on the sea for trade. By sticking two fingers up at the EU we’re probably more reliant on the sea for trade. NaB has a very valid point in bringing the “other ships” into the NSS equation too.

Peter Elliott
December 6, 2016 4:44 pm

Developing the “game of chicken” theme it is worth asking, in the event of insolvency, who actually owns what?

Who owns the freehold to the Clyde Yards? Are they actually Royal Dockyards?

And who currently owns the IP to the T26 Design?

In other words if BAES were to put their shipbuilding arm into administration could HMG simply pre – pack the necessary assets into a phoenix company rather like Byers did to Railtrack…?

December 6, 2016 4:51 pm

We maybe an island nation however almost 50% of trade by value arrives by air!

Rocket Banana
December 6, 2016 5:47 pm


The government have the power to nationalise BAES so can’t see the point in faffing around with the alternative.


By value maybe. Microchips, safron and gold though, are not actually important to our survival… Unless the microchips are the ones’ you put in the microwave and the safron is part of a curry ;-)

When oil, beef and 6″ shells start turning up 50% by air you’ll have me. Until then “value” means nothing :-)

Peter Elliott
December 6, 2016 6:54 pm


Not all nationalisations are the same. It turns on the question of compensation to shareholders. Which is why I posed the question of who actually owns the key assets. No point nationalising a trading entity with no value in it if you already have tenure over what you need to start over.

Rocket Banana
December 6, 2016 9:34 pm


Sorry, you’re right, I got way ahead of myself. When I suggested nationalisation I’d already assumed that the nation had been shafted by a monopoly and the state was simply seizing their assets and not paying any compensation to shareholders.

For the record, I don’t agree with nationalisation. I just disagree more with PLC monopolies on fundamentals (e.g. national security).

December 6, 2016 9:48 pm

Elephant in the room is RN is not large enough to sustain ship building and no one wants to buy what we design. There’s no real requirement to increase the number of ships in the RN so the merry go round continues till someone grows a set and make a painful decision.

Perishables (food and medicines) are two of the largest uses of air cargo particularly from the US and Asia.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 7, 2016 6:29 am

@ Mark

Trade by value :) Even the food you talk about is luxury stuff. Imported staples come in on container ships and if you can fly in enough gas and oil to keep the lights on then good luck. Sitting typing this a few thousand miles away from the UK conducting some contingency planning with the US, trust me keeping SLOCS open is a serious focus at higher levels.

As for the RN not needing more hulls or being big enough to sustain ship building. You can always use more hulls and we are stretched but just about coping. The decision to retain the ability to design and build complex warships is a government one.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
December 7, 2016 11:06 am

There are no Royal Dockyards any more. In any case, the Clyde yards have never been dockyards and only under public ownership when British Shipbuilders was created. When that was dissolved in the 80s, the land ownership went to the new companies – in the case of the Clyde Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd and Kvaerner Govan. So I’d have a very strong bet, the freehold is owned by BAES.

The IP for the T26 will have been done under Defcon705 at least, which means the Crown has full user rights. Access to the info will not be a problem. Finding someone to build it, would be.

There are plenty of requirements for more RN ships (as acknowledged in SDSR15 and other policy prior to that), just as there is plenty of requirement for a bigger FAA, leading to a bigger RN and even – God forbid – a bigger RAF. Trouble is there is no political will to pay for it. Two very different things.

El Sid
El Sid
December 12, 2016 5:22 pm

Memory says that one of the Clyde yards is on land partly/mostly/all leased from Peel, don’t quote me on that though.

@Simon “the state was simply seizing their assets and not paying any compensation to shareholders”
That’s the kind of thing that happens in Venezuela and Argentina. It’s generally regarded as a Bad Thing – security of ownership is key to a functional economy.

I think the long-term aim should be to do something along the lines of what was mooted for Dover a few years ago before it got watered down. It’s all about getting all parties to pull in the same direction, and putting investment where it can be matched by financial capability. The key is to separate assets from the operating company.

Put the land in long-term ownership of government, whether that’s the Crown Estates or a pension fund, or Holyrood equivalents. I suspect there’s a deal to be done offsetting the value of the assets versus taking back on some of the pension liabilities to mean little cash has to change hands. The landowners then lease the facilities to an operating company for 10% of turnover, giving the landowner an incentive to invest in their assets to support the business. Operating company is a cooperative/owned by an employee trust or similar, which encourages a holistic view when setting wages etc, and means money stays in the system and doesn’t leak out to external shareholders.

December 14, 2016 6:55 pm

Having been initially quiet enthusiastic about a Type 31 based on the BMT Venator design I began to have some doubts not least as to how you could pack all that capability into a 110 metre, <4000 ton hull, especially when compared in size to a Type 23;

Venator 110: Length: 117 meters Beam: 18.0 meters Draft: 4.3 meters Tons: 4,000 tons

Type 23: Length: 133 meters Beam: 16.1 meters Draft: 7.3 meters Tons: 4,900 tons

Interestingly and by comparison the Batch 3 Type 22 was 5,300 tons and 148.1 meters long, a Type 21 3,360 tons and 117 meters long, and a Leander weighed in at 2,962 tons and was 113.4 meters in length.

Given that the Venator design is said to be able to offer a Merlin sized flight deck with a 2 x Wildcat hanger, a 5 inch gun, a 24 Cell VLS and a mission bay able to resource 3 x RHIBS, it all seems to be a bit implausible that you could squeeze that amount of capability into a vessel quiet a bit smaller than a Type 23. With innovative design and modern build techniques it appears however it can be done but at the expense of what? Take the Singapore Navy's Formidable class frigate, in all but draft smaller than a Venator 110;

Formidable Class: 3,200 tons Length: 114.8 meters Beam: 16.3 meters Draft: 6.0 meters

Like the proposed Venator 110 design the Formidable's lack gas turbines relying on 4 x MTU CODAD diesel electric generators each producing 9,100 kilowatts and which still achieve a respectable 27 knots, but they do manage a towed array sonar, 2 x triple ASW torpedo tubes, 8 Harpoon and a 32 Cell Sylver A50 VLS. Only the gun is a bit light, a 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid as opposed to the 127mm proposed for the Venator 110, however if we ended up with eight similar vessels as the Type 31 to back up the eight Type 26 it might not be that bad a result and with export potential to boot?


Peter Elliott
December 15, 2016 11:24 am

You can have a lot of kit and systems in a small hull. What you lose out on is range and endurance. Questions to ask with all the T31 designs will be around Bunkerage, Magazines and Stores.

andy reeves
andy reeves
January 9, 2017 6:10 pm

its been leaked that a type 31 has been provisionally priced at around 250 million!(even though its not designed yet! thats no going to increase fleet size as fast as some would hopet

Mr. A. Smith
Mr. A. Smith
January 9, 2017 10:40 pm

I don’t see many River Class patrol vessels flying off the shelves to other Navies so I don’t see how using an existing design and stretching them by 20/30 metres is going to suddenly make them attractive and in demand for exporting in future.

We need to create a new ship (E.g. BMT’s Venator design) for the Type 31 from scratch which is attractive for export use, stealthy, will be built quickly under distributed ‘block construction’ methods in multiple shipyards and which will in turn create jobs throughout the country. We would then use this new Type 31 vessel as a marketing tool to showcase the ship and it’s weapons (E.g. CAMM, Brimstone Sea Spear, Spear 3 etc.) for export globally. Ideally we need to build 8 to 12 of these new Type 31 ships for the Royal Navy.

We, as a nation, cannot afford to buy ships from one supplier who writes out blank cheques to themselves to the tune of £1 Billion a warship.

Not many navies will buy the 150m long Type 26 from us nor will they have the cash to spend £1 Billion on it either.

We need competition to drive down costs, increase innovation and create jobs throughout the country.

We urgently need more ships.

Building a new vessel is a fantastic opportunity to create jobs, increase exports, create new and support existing supply chains and help our industries.

Buying ships only from BAE at £1 Billion each and having them made in only one ship yard is not the solution and this is clearly not working.

We should also scrap our Type 23 ships in the UK and recycle the steel so it can be used in future ships. This would create further jobs, savings and help protect industries.

The Other Chris
January 10, 2017 9:17 am
The Other Chris
January 10, 2017 12:38 pm

Actually, the River-class (or, more accurately, the design family) is one of the most successful warship exports from the UK in recent decades.

Including the Amazonas, Rivers, Clydes, Krabi’s, and Al-Shamikh’s et al, there’s 17 built or building, 3-4 second-hand sales on the cards, and 15 prospects of differing likelihoods.

Not bad going for one of VT’s last hurrahs.

January 10, 2017 2:51 pm



How is it possible then that the River class OPV is not even short listed for this competition. Given that BAE Systems Australia is ‘a subsidiary of BAE Systems plc, [and] is one of the largest defence contractors in Australia’ you might have thought they would have taken the ‘off the shelf’ design of its UK sister company and, voila, for very little effort, offered the River class as the answer …

That it is not short listed could be for a multitude of reasons, I dont even know if BAE offered the River class [if not why not?], if they did, what made the Australian MOD decide not to short list it…

I understand TOBA, it is an uncomfortable business reality of a shrinking demand for naval ships in the UK, but the idea that BAE will compete for exports with the type 26/31 is a delusion if they cant even get shortlisted for the above…

oh , the mess …


The Other Chris
January 11, 2017 10:23 am

SEA 1180 is a bit of a special case, closer to the UK’s old MHPC program: Of which the new Rivers will be fulfilling the “PC” component and the Tupperware Life Extension the “M” bit, leaving the “H” part unanswered for now.

The RAN are (have been?) working with the MOD/RN on their approaches to the issues, however the two navy’s are on completely different life-cycles for the vessels in question now.

SEA 1180’s main purpose is replacing several classes of more numerous vessels with a single class of fewer vessels without losing capability.

Their approach is to go modular, as per what the Søværnet did with the StanFlex 300 to achieve the same result, on a hull form compatible with Hydrography and MCM.

The River-class either isn’t compatible with these modifications or the cost of modifications is comparable or in excess to a bespoke class.

The Other Chris
January 24, 2017 10:18 am


Given T26 and T31 “mission bays” – is there a standard for plugging equipment into the bay for water / power / data / HVAC or similar?

If not, how are those services to be delivered to a module or ISO Container, presuming equipment is not self-contained? Are there existing outlets near tie-down points or underfloor/overhead containment throughout for running services from shipboard risers or the like?

Trying to get a concept for the bays operation. Not expecting anything as formalised as StanFlex 300, but would be happy to be pleasantly surprised!

Ronin Wokou
Ronin Wokou
January 28, 2017 1:40 pm

So Type 26 Lite? will be big and expensive, the Type 31 needs a new approach to getting a hull that can be capable, expandable in capability for the future and doesn’t cost the earth. The cost escalation for the T26 is just an example of something that started as a replacement for a T23 and is now as big as the T45! go figure! The strategy has to be exportable and cost effective otherwise it wont go anywhere in UK Government or overseas for that matter. There is also a load of talk around the design, so whose can we use? RR? BMT? or how about a proven international design that is then built here? I think that there are other designs here in the UK that haven’t been promoted everywhere as much as BMT’s so don’t get talked about. I think that if we leave the RN to dictate the design it will be a large and expensive ship, should be driven by exports and then adapted for the UK, NSBS alludes to this approach, anything else will just end up delayed, expensive and never used anywhere else….. oh that’s the Type 26 again!

Mr. A. Smith
Mr. A. Smith
February 14, 2017 12:49 pm

Here’s a new design proposal from Steller Systems called Project Spartan as reported by Save The Royal Navy.Org:


I’m looking forward to seeing more detailed specifications for the Project Spartan and it adds another credible and promising option for the Type 31.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick
August 29, 2017 3:40 pm

Movement on Type 31, DefenseNews by Andrew Chuter – £250 million per ship, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys ?
some quotes
Shipbuilding bosses and other executives have been invited to a central London meeting for Sept. 7 to be briefed on the broad outline of the Type 31 light frigate program by ministers as well as officials with the Navy and the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment and Support agency,

Details of the program are sparse; but after nearly two years of concept work, the MoD appears to have finally cranked up progress with three separate events within 20 days aimed at laying out the plan to acquire the warships.

The Defence Contracts Bulletin notice said the Sept. 7 announcement will be an industry briefing covering details of the program, including the pre-procurement and procurement phases. This will be followed with the MoD’s ship acquisition team outlining further program details and holding discussions with industry at the upcoming DSEI exhibition in London in mid-September and industry day briefings on Sept. 27 and 28.

The program official said the unit cost that the MoD was working toward for the Type 31 frigates was closer to £250 million than the £330 million reported by the media.

The prospect of a cheap and cheerful frigate has raised concerns among analyst’s that the warships will only be suitable for constabulary duties like anti-smuggling and piracy prevention rather than front-line war fighting.


September 6, 2017 5:53 pm

Well if the 250 mil price doesn’t include all the high ticket price items being transferred over from Type 23s as they retire…

The Other Chris
September 7, 2017 7:35 pm

Babcock’s Arrowhead 120:


Brochure and video links toward the bottom.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x