Babcock’s Team 31 has completed its Whole Ship Preliminary Design Review (WSPDR) for the Type 31 frigate bringing to a close the programme’s engineering functional design phase.

Babcock said the review ‘provides a key indicator of the compliance, maturity and engineering risk in proceeding into Detailed Design and maturing the 3D CAD model.’

Babcock Type 31 programme director Graeme Thomson said: “Completing the Whole Ship PDR is a key milestone for the Type 31 programme and signals our move into Detailed Design.

“I’d like to thank all involved; a lot of hard work went into achieving this positive outcome. I look forward to the next stage in this exciting and challenging programme.”

Babcock held the WSPDR virtually over 10 days in June, with an independent board of 15 experts reviewing designs and speaking to the engineering team. The WSPDR was attended by representatives from the UK Ministry of Defence.

Babcock said: “The independent board were impressed with the rate of progress made since contract award in November 2019, and the level of technical maturity of the design.

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“The engineering team in particular, and all contributors to the successful WSPDR, are to be commended for their efforts.”

Babcock added that progress on the Type 31 frigate programme ‘continues at pace’ with, in April, the company beginning work on a new assembly capable of housing two Type 31 frigates.

In April, Babcock also revealed the first of the ships supply chain contracts, with Rolls Royce MTU supplying the ships main engines and diesel generators. Other confirmed suppliers include Renk, MAN energy solutions, Blunox and Darchem Engineering.

Type 31 is designed as an affordable frigate that will serve alongside the Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigates being built by BAE Systems. Royal Navy has ordered five Type 31 vessels and eight Type 26.

While the total cost of the Type 26 programme is set to be £8bn, the five Type 31 vessels will be built for £1.25bn. The split acquisition of ships is designed to allow the navy to replace its ageing Type 23 Frigates on a like-for-like basis.