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First steel cut on Type 31 frigate programme

First steel for the future HMS Venturer was cut at Babcock's Rosyth yard on 23 September. (Babcock)

Babcock has cut steel on the first of five new Type 31 Inspiration-class general-purpose frigates on order for the UK Royal Navy (RN).

A ceremonial cut for the first-of-class – to be named HMS Venturer – was performed at the company's Rosyth yard on 23 September. The event also saw the new assembly hall on site named as β€˜The Venturer Building'.

Babcock was selected for the Type 31 programme in September 2019, with a GBP1.25 billion (USD1.71 billion) contract for five ships signed in November that year. The Type 31 is based on the Arrowhead 140 design, itself evolved from the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate previously developed by OMT for the Royal Danish Navy.

The symbolic first cut of steel for Venturer was conducted at Babcock's new advanced manufacturing facility, a key part of the company's digital transformation at Rosyth. This includes panel lines with robotic welding capability, as well as other semi-automated manufacturing machines.

Venturer is due to enter the water in 2023, and is scheduled to enter service with the RN in 2027. All five Type 31 frigates are to be delivered by the end of 2028, with the last due to enter RN service in 2030.

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