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Team Calibre established to bid for Type 31 Through Life Support

UK Royal Navy Type 31 general-purpose frigate design (artist's impression). The MoD is expected to launch the competition for Type 31 TLS in late 2024. (Babcock)

KBR, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, and V Group have allied to bid for the delivery of through-life support (TLS) for the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) new Type 31 frigates.

Announcing the formation of Team Calibre on 22 May, the three companies said their alliance would marry V Group's technical capabilities from commercial shipping with the extensive complex programme delivery and technical expertise of KBR and Frazer-Nash. An industry competition for the TLS contract is expected to start later in 2024.

Five Type 31 Inspiration-class frigates are on order from Babcock, with first-of-class HMS Venturer planned to enter front-line service in 2027 and all five delivered by 2030. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in November 2023 announced its intention to contract for “an efficient and economically viable Type 31 support solution that achieves the high levels of [platform] availability required to sustain operations at the intensity and global range that the UK's defence commitments demand”.

According to the MoD tender notice, which included a register of interest and associated pre-qualification questionnaire, the Type 31 TLS contract will last eight years, with up to two one-year extension options. The arrangement – which will cover ‘float' and ‘move' aspects of the Type 31 platform – is intended to implement commercial ship management and technical support approaches that seek to maximise platform availability, and thus represents a significant departure for the RN.

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