New Generation of Royal Navy Frigates to Be Built by Babcock

Date: November 8, 2019

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As a UK-based investment casting company, Dean Group believe in staying up to date with the latest news in the manufacturing industry, as well as with the latest information on the sectors we work with, such as UK military and defence.

Recently, engineering firm Babcock has been in the news for winning a £1.25 billion contract to build a new generation of ships.

After the problems defending British flagged oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, the prime minister has chosen Babcock to build these new frigates in an effort to increase the number of warships in the Royal Navy.

This project will see the construction of five Type 31 warships and secure hundreds of jobs at Rosyth, Fife, where the frigates will be assembled. There are already 1,500 employees at this site, but the contract will use an additional workforce of, approximately, 1250 highly skilled roles in multiple locations across the UK; 150 new technical apprenticeships are expected to be created.

Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 team won the bid against rivals which include a Cammell Laird/BAE Systems consortium. This building work will start by the end of 2019 and the first ships are expected to be delivered by 2023, with the work finishing in 2027. Babcock won the bid against rival companies and, in partnership with the Thales Group, will build the new ships at an average cost of £250 million per frigate.

The Type 31 frigates are smaller and more cost-efficient and the Type 26 that is being built at Upper Clyde shipyards. These ships have been designed with flexibility in mind, with the ability for equipment to be upgraded or reconfigured for different roles. This design is derived from the Iver Huitfeldt frigates developed for the Danish Navy. In essence, the project aims to minimise through-life costs while still delivering a cutting-edge frigate with a proven and exportable combat management system provided by Thales.

Currently, the Royal Navy has 19 warships, so the new additions to the fleet will help the UK to increase its global presence.

Boris Johnson believes the UK to be a ‘great shipbuilding nation’ and that UK naval vessels are helping the modern world in many ways. He went on to add: ‘What it delivers is high quality jobs for younger people – really high-skilled jobs for young people in this country – but also massive export opportunities of vessels that not only help to keep the peace but tackle piracy and help dealing with immigrations issues across the seas.’

The new frigates are also referred to as Type 31e, for exportability, since this is a major factor the UK government is considering – the goal is to secure export orders from foreign navies, which would support the UK economy and jobs.

Export clients would receive unrivalled price, performance and flexibility.

At Dean Group, we understand the importance of the UK defence sector and its global position, as well as how crucial it is to create thousands of jobs across the country.

Our casting processes are ideal for producing parts for several different industries, including military and defence, from components that will be placed on ships and aircraft to parts for weapons and communication systems.

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