Babcock International has awarded a contract to UK-based Shield Marine Services to support the UK Royal Navy’s Type 31 general purpose frigates.

Value of the contract has not been disclosed. It will see Shield Marine deliver and install the fire, thermal and acoustic insulation for all five Type 31 frigates.

In November 2019, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) contracted the Babcock-led consortium to deliver the £2bn ($2.57bn) Type 31 programme.

Shield Marine Services division managing director Derek Lewry said: “This contract is a significant win for our Marine Division, which cements us as a key supplier to the maritime defence sector. 

“We have been building, as a part of Shield Services Group, for several years now and the opportunity to play our part in the construction of what will form a key part of the Royal Navy’s fleet for the foreseeable future is deeply rewarding.

“We have great expertise within Shield Marine to be able to deliver to the highest level and look forward to the challenges ahead.”

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According to Shield Marine, deliveries will start from this year and run up to the end of 2026.

Expected to be delivered by 2028, the five Type 31 frigates will replace the Royal Navy’s Type 23 or Duke-class multi-role ships.

Babcock’s Arrowhead 140 (AH140) baseline design was chosen by the UK Navy for the Type 31 frigate.

The Arrowhead 140 design is based on the Iver Huitfeldt class frigate of the Royal Danish Navy.

Each Type 31 frigate is 139m long, with a displacement of more than 5,700t.

Construction works on the first vessel started in September 2021 with the first steel cut at Babcock’s Rosyth site in Scotland.