Babcock Team 31 has unveiled Arrowhead 140 as its design for the UK Royal Navy’s new £1.25 billion Type 31e general purpose light frigate programme.
Launching the new platform, ‘Team 31’ – led by Babcock and including fellow industry experts Thales, OMT, BMT, Harland and Wolff and Ferguson Marine – underlined the vessel’s established, ‘at sea’ design baseline which can be developed to meet global requirements.
With UK engineering at its core, and developing OMT’s Iver Huitfeldt hull form currently in-service for the Royal Danish Navy, Arrowhead 140 will lower programme risks through its tried and tested baseline design and is engineered to minimise through-life costs whilst delivering a truly leading edge frigate.
Craig Lockhart, Babcock’s Managing Director, Naval Marine said: “Arrowhead 140 is a proven, capable, and adaptable general purpose frigate design that, if selected, will meet the UK Royal Navy’s and global customers’ expectations both now and in the future.”
At almost 140m the platform will optimise operational flexibility. This ‘wide beam’ ship is easier to design, easier to build and easier to maintain due to its slightly larger size. And with embedded iFrigate™ technology able to deliver digitally enabled through life support, it offers extensive value for money – all within the same budget.
Craig Lockhart said: “Arrowhead 140 will provide increased survivability, operability and capability – compared to a standard 120m design. When you consider that this ship can be delivered at no extra cost and that it will support improved radar performance, increase platform stability and facilitate better helicopter operations in bad weather, whilst enhancing crew comfort – we believe it will bring a significant edge to modern naval capability.”
Arrowhead 140’s distributed build and assembly approach, comprising Babcock Appledore in North Devon, Ferguson Marine on the Clyde, Harland and Wolff in Belfast with integration at Babcock Rosyth, Fife, optimises the partners’ first-class UK facilities, innovation and skills whilst cleverly ensuring capacity for parallel programmes remains. All of which is geared to generate a genuine resurgence in shipbuilding across the UK and when coupled with the virtual design alliance between Babcock, OMT and BMT it squarely supports the intent of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Craig Lockhart continued: “More than just building a ship, Babcock Team 31 offers a unique opportunity for global navies to tap into the complete design, build and support capability for the T31e frigate. Individually all of the Babcock Team 31 members have exceptionally strong portfolios of activity and collectively we are able to introduce to the market Arrowhead 140; a general purpose light frigate package that we believe is second to none.”
Incorporating the latest iteration of Thales’ TACTICOS combat management system with fully open architecture sets Arrowhead 140 combat systems apart. Currently in service for 25 years and exported to 24 navies globally, this system and equipment in-service support package is flexible to customers’ needs over the lifetime of the platform and will maximise the combat system capability for customers. It is a system that has time and time again proven to be a leading edge solution for navies fighting tomorrow’s war.
And with extensive procurement required throughout the lifetime of the project, opportunities predominantly for UK based small to medium sized enterprises will be available to help to meet time, costs and quality standards. Interest is already strong in Team 31’s bid with more than 100 supply companies meeting Team 31 representatives at a Society of Maritime Industries facilitated suppliers’ conference in Fife.
Based on Arrowhead 140, Team 31 can build modern platforms that navies can use to tailor to their own specifications and when you add world leading experience in naval platform in-service support with a deep understanding of support cost drivers, Babcock Team 31 offers a glimpse into an exciting new world of UK and international ship build delivery and intelligent ship support with Arrowhead 140.