skip to main content

Type 31 first-of-class launch slipped to gain benefit of covered build

HMS Venturer seen under construction in Rosyth in July 2023. (Crown Copyright)

Babcock will delay the launch of the UK Royal Navy's first Type 31 Inspiration-class general-purpose frigate to maximise the benefit of outfitting under cover.

The future HMS Venturer, which was originally planned to be in the water before the end of 2023, will now not be launched from Babcock's new Rosyth shipbuilding facility until the first half of 2024, Janes has been told.

Babcock – leading the Team 31 industry consortium with Thales, OMT, and BMT – was in November 2019 awarded a GBP1.25 billion (USD1.52 billion) design and build contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the five-ship Type 31 frigate programme. The Arrowhead 140 ship design selected for Type 31 is an adaptation of the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate platform in service with the Royal Danish Navy.

The MoD has earlier stated that the Type 31 first-of-class was “expected in the water in 2023”. However, John Howie, Babcock's chief corporate affairs officer and interim chief executive – marine, told Janes the company was now looking to launch the lead ship in “next spring [2024]”.

“What we've effectively decided to do, in collaboration with the [MoD] customer, is to keep the ship in the covered build hall for as long as we could on the basis that it's more operationally effective to carry on the outfit programme while the ship [is under cover] rather than in dry dock,” he said. “So it's kind of a conscious programme decision.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...