- The MoD plans to award up to four seven-month competitive design phase contracts
- A firm price of GBP1.25 billion has been set for the procurement of five Type 31e frigates, with the first to be delivered before the end of 2023
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is preparing to release a combined pre-qualification questionnaire and invitation to negotiate (ITN) to industry for the Type 31e general purpose frigate competitive design phase (CDP).
Up to four seven-month CDP contracts are planned to be awarded, with a single contractor or consortium subsequently downselected for design and build (D&B).
Forming the centrepiece of the MoD’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Type 31e programme envisages the fast-track acquisition of a globally deployable frigate geared towards forward-deployed maritime security, presence, and defence engagement operations. A firm price of GBP1.25 billion (USD1.7 billion) has been set for the procurement of five frigates, which are intended to enter Royal Navy service from 2023 to replace the five general purpose-roled Type 23 frigates.
The CDP is a funded phase of the T31e programme, during which suppliers will develop their designs to a required maturity point. The ITN is due for release on 12 March, with submissions due for return to the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation in early April. Contract awards are planned to follow before the end of April.
Potential competitors have already engaged in a value management process with the DE&S Type 31e project team. According to DE&S, the value management dialogue has allowed the MoD and candidate bidders to explore ‘trade space’, understand programme parameters and iterate potential design solutions so that unnecessary cost can be driven out of proposed solutions, while ensuring that quality and capability are maintained as far as possible.
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