The Royal Navy’s Type 31 Inspiration-class frigates are poised to boost navigational capability due to the integration of Exail’s Marins inertial navigation systems (INS).

This collaboration between Exail, a naval navigation player, and Anschutz, a German navigation systems provider, marks a step in enhancing the UK’s maritime defence.

Exail’s Marins INS offers navigation, functioning independently of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). This feature is important in an era where digital threats, such as GNSS spoofing and jamming, pose risks to navigational integrity. The Marins INS ensures that Type 31 frigates maintain locational awareness.

In September 2023, Babcock reached a milestone with the keel-laying of HMS Active, the second Type 31 frigate, amidst a financial dispute with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).  Babcock and the MoD were embroiled in a Dispute Resolution Process over cost increases attributed to global inflation and supply chain disruptions, potentially amounting to £50m to £100m per ship.

Jens Higgen, Regional Sales Director at Exail, commented on the significance of the contract, stating, “We take great pride in contributing to the Royal Navy’s mission success through the supply of our Marins INS for the T31 frigates. This contract underlines the quality and reliability of Exail navigation systems, which are maintenance-free and fully meet the stringent military requirements of the most modern combat ships.”

GlobalData’s “The Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market 2023-2033” highlights that the Royal Navy’s major procurement programmes over the forecast period include the acquisition of Type 26, Type 31, and Type 32 frigates, among others.

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The Type 31 frigates are set to replace the ageing Type 23 frigates, thereby expanding the Royal Navy’s operational capabilities across general-purpose roles. By incorporating Exail’s Marins INS, these new frigates will navigate and ensure sustained operational readiness in the face of electronic warfare tactics.

The INS technology is crucial for missions involving complex navigation routes and manoeuvres in contested environments.

Exail’s selection by Anschutz for this role is a testament to Exail’s navigation solutions, which are already in service across the Royal Navy’s fleet. These include the Astute-class nuclear attack submarines, Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, and Vanguard-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.

Anschütz has achieved milestones in equipping the UK Royal Navy’s Type 31 Inspiration-class frigates with technology. Anschütz completed the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) for its Warship Integrated Navigation and Bridge System (WINBS) to enhance navigation and tactical capabilities on these vessels.

The Type 31 frigates, equipped with navigation systems, are expected to play a role in deterring aggression and safeguarding UK interests.

Integrating Exail’s Marins INS into the Type 31 Inspiration-class frigates enhances the Royal Navy’s resilience against modern electronic threats.