Royal Navy’s New Type 31 Frigates

The names of the five future frigates, to be built by Babcock in Rosyth, were revealed during First Sea Lord’s Seapower conference.

With the approval of the Queen, the ships are to be named HMS Active, Bulldog, Campbeltown, Formidable and Venturer – with the Royal Navy saying the names were drawn from “warships and submarines whose deeds and missions are intended to reflect and inspire current and future Royal Navy operations.”

The names were selected to represent ‘key themes and operations’ that are set to dominate the mission of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

Formidable will represent carrier operations; Bulldog, the operational advantage in the North Atlantic; Active, the forward deployment of ships across the globe; Venturer, the drive for technology and innovation; and Campbeltown representing the Royal Marines new Future Commando Force.

Announcing the names, Radakin said: “I welcome the announcement of the names of the Inspiration-class. Each of the names has been chosen for evoking those values we strive for: cutting-edge technology, audacity and global operations,

“They represent the best of Britain’s world-class shipbuilding heritage and will fly the flag for decades to come.”

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The five new Type 31 Frigates and in-development Type 26 Frigates will replace the Royal Navy’s outgoing Type 23 Frigates. The first steel for the five new Type 31 ships is due to be cut this summer and are all due to be in service by 2028.

Radakin said the new ships would be at the heart of a ‘maritime renaissance’ brought in by the UK’s recent Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper.

The name HMS Active was previously used by Type 21-class frigate, HMS Active, built by then Vosper Thornycroft in the 1970s. Active saw service during the Falkland’s war.

HMS Bulldog was previously used by a B-class Destroyer notable for having captured a complete German Enigma machine and codebooks during WW2 from the German submarine U-110 in 1941.

HMS Campbeltown was previously used for a Batch 3 Type 22 frigate and a Town-class destroyer transferred from the US Navy to the Royal Navy during WW2. The Town-class Campbeltown participated in the raid on St Nazaire.

An Illustrious-class aircraft carrier previously held the name HMS Formidable. The ship participated in Operation Torch, the allied invasion of North Africa in 1942.

HMS Venturer was a British Submarine notable for sinking two German U-boats and five Merchant ships during WW2. HMS Venturer is known as the only submarine to sink another submarine while both were underwater.