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First Type 31 integrated combat system readies for FAT in Q3

The UK Royal Navy's Type 31 frigates are being equipped with the TACTICOS Baseline 2 combat management system. (NAVYPIX/Richard Scott)

The first Type 31 integrated combat system is on course to undergo factory acceptance testing (FAT) in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023, Thales has confirmed.

Speaking to media at Thales UK's facilities in Templecombe, UK, Julie Martin, naval senior account director, said that delivery of the first Type 31 mission system was on schedule.

“The key focus for us right now on the Type 31 is the fully integrated combat system FAT, which we've got coming up in late September this year,” she said. “We've got a number of FATs for individual equipments and individual subsystems in the run up to that – all of which are goingto plan and on schedule at the moment,” she added.

UK shipbuilder Babcock is delivering five Type 31 Inspiration-class frigates, based on the Arrowhead 140 design, for the Royal Navy (RN) under a GBP1.25 billion (USD1.59 billion) contract awarded in November 2019.

Thales, under subcontract to Babcock, is responsible for the delivery and integration of the full Type 31 mission system, which comprises the combat system, integrated communication system (ICS), and integrated bridge and navigation system (IBNS). Thales' scope of supply includes a version of its TACTICOS Baseline 2 combat management system (CMS), its NS100 E/F-band dual-axis multibeam surveillance radar, the Gatekeeper panoramic electro-optical surveillance system, Mirador Mk 2 electro-optical surveillance/fire control directors, the TopLink tactical datalink processor, and the ICS. The IBNS is being provided by Anschütz.

“At the moment, at the Thales facility in Hengelo, in the Netherlands, we're doing factory acceptance tests of the hardware for the combat system and some other items,” Martin said.

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