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Thales completes factory acceptance tests for Type 31 frigate mission system

Images released by Babcock in February 2024 showing progress being made on the hullform and superstructure of the future HMS Venturer at its facilities in Rosyth, Scotland. (Babcock International)

Thales has successfully completed factory acceptance tests (FATs) for the first Type 31 mission system, the company announced on 28 February.

UK shipbuilder Babcock, leading the ‘Team 31' consortium, is delivering five Type 31 Inspiration-class general-purpose 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, as part of Team 31, is responsible for the delivery and integration of the full Type 31 mission system, which comprises the combat system, integrated communications system (ICS), and integrated bridge and navigation system (IBNS).

Thales said that completing delivery of the three main system-level FATs was a major target for the RN's new Type 31 frigate during 2023.

The FAT for the ICS, which is being delivered by Thales SIX in Crawley, in the UK, was completed in September 2023.

This was followed by the successful completion of the combat system FAT in November. The combat system, which is produced at Thales' facility in Hengelo, in the Netherlands, is based around a version of the company's TACTICOS Baseline 2 combat management system, and includes its NS100 E/F-band dual-axis multibeam surveillance radar, the Gatekeeper panoramic electro-optical surveillance system, and Mirador Mk 2 electro-optical surveillance/fire-control directors.

Later in November the IBNS FAT was successfully completed. The IBNS is provided by Anschütz UK.

Following the successful completion of the mission system milestones, Thales said the next phase of the project will involve the installation, integration, and testing activities onboard the first-of-class Venturer (F 12),

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