BMT Defence Services (Stand S3-360) is highlighting the flexibility of its Venator frigate design at DSEI, with different variants being scoped for the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) Type 31e programme and the US Navy’s nascent FFG(X) requirement.
Venator has been conceived by BMT as a flexible and adaptable ‘parent’ design achieving the optimum balance between capability, survivability and cost. Since its inception in 2012, the concept has been matured through tank testing, and increasing engagement with shipbuilders and systems suppliers. Further hydrodynamic tank testing of the Venator hullform begins at the Haslar test facility later this month.
BMT has been working since late 2015 to develop a Venator-110 design solution to meet the UK’s emerging General Purpose Frigate requirement, latterly designated Type 31e.
The competitive phase for the fast-track Type 31e programme will kick off in early 2018; the RN is initially looking to buy five ships, at a not to exceed price of £250 million per unit, for introduction from 2023.
BMT argues that Venator offers the RN a highly credible choice − from perspectives of both capability and survivability − because it has been designed from the outset as a cost-effective warship, as opposed to a scaled up offshore patrol vessel or corvette. The company also points out that Venator has also been designed for modular block construction, allowing for multi-site build strategies for both UK and export customers.
More recently, BMT has responded − through its US-based sister company BMT Designers & Planners − to the US Navy’s recently issued FFG(X) request for information (RFI). To meet the US Navy’s more demanding multi-mission specification, the company has tailored the parent design to produce a 120m Venator variant able to accommodate the additional equipment fit and crew specified in the RFI.
Power and propulsion has also been modified to meet the FFG(X) requirement. While the baseline Venator uses a combined diesel and diesel machinery arrangement, the increased speed requirement laid out for FFG(X) has seen BMT design an alternative combined diesel electric and gas propulsion package incorporating a single Rolls- Royce MT30 gas turbine.