RogerBW's Blog

Type 31e Frigate Suspended 26 July 2018

The UK's Type 31e Frigate programme has suddenly been suspended.

The official claim is a lack of "compliant bids"; there were only two, one from BAe Systems (currently out of political favour after not even pretending to try to stay within budget, and making major errors in the design and construction of the Type 45) with Cammell Laird based on the Omani Khareef class corvette, the other from Babcock and BMT based on the Danish Ivar Huitfeldt class.

Neither had any real hope of meeting the "hard" cost limit of £250 million per ship (the Khareefs cost something like £100m each, seven to ten years ago, but without the capabilities that the Royal Navy wanted; the Ivar Huitfeldts cost the Danes £246m each at about the same time, and reused a load of hardware from older ships), but that's never stopped the MoD before. I suspect rather that this is a simple way to save money while blaming someone else; the news was buried until Parliament had recessed for the summer. The Navy needs ships, but doesn't seem to have any particular enthusiasm for this one, which sits awkwardly between the front-line combatants it claims to replace and the OPVs (and even the OPVs cost rather more than this one's meant to).

Given the chaos created by other recent governmental decisions, I suspect this project will be quietly forgotten and the Navy will shrink again.

Tags: naval type 31

  1. Posted by John Dallman at 01:28pm on 26 July 2018

    I suspect you're right. I'm having a strong feeling of "Gawd, this government is crap, I could do better myself."

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