Thales is set to open a new facility in the UK to develop its TACTICOS naval combat management system, designed to meet current and future military needs.

The naval combat management system is part of a proposed solution for the Royal Navy’s £1.25bn Type 31e general purpose light frigate programme.

The company is part of the Babcock-led Team 31, which proposed to offer the Arrowhead ship solution to meet the requirements of the future Type 31 frigate programme.

Team 31, which includes Thales, OMT, BMT, Harland and Wolff and Ferguson Marine, is bidding for the frigate competition.

Under the joint project, Thales will deliver the next-generation mission system components, including sensors, countermeasures and communications.

The new UK centre of excellence will enable the company to extend its combat system design and delivery capabilities within the country.

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Thales UK Defence Mission Systems vice-president Eddie Awang said: “The build-up of capability in the UK is an exciting opportunity to build on the strength of the Thales Group and best position us to support and grow our business for UK domestic and export customers.

“We are looking forward to continuing the close working relationship we have established with Babcock on delivering this pathfinder programme. The mission suite we are proposing for Type 31 is tried and proven and also offers the capabilities to deliver a truly digital and innovative solution for the Royal Navy.”

"The mission suite we are proposing for Type 31 is tried and proven and also offers the capabilities to deliver a truly digital and innovative solution for the Royal Navy."

The facility will allow Thales to expand technical capabilities at its sites in Bristol and Crawley, England.

Furthermore, the centre seeks to create a capability within the TACTICOS product line to provide support to the Navy and the export initiatives for the Type 31 platform.

The TACTICOS naval combat management system is in service with 26 navies globally.

In May last year, Team 31 unveiled Arrowhead 140 concept as its design for the Type 31e competition.

Babcock Marine chief executive John Howie said: “Our Babcock Team 31 partners, Thales are world leaders in combat systems integration. Our proposal to fit the Thales TACTICOS combat management system into our Arrowhead-140 design for the Royal Navy will give the UK a world-leading combat management system and ensures that we have a platform and mission system capability that will maximise the export potential of Type31e.”

Under the frigate programme, the UK Ministry of Defence intends to procure a class of five globally deployable frigates.

The ships are expected to enter service with the Royal Navy starting from 2023 to replace the ageing Type 23 class frigates.