The British Royal Navy has selected Thales as the mission systems integrator for its Type 31 general purpose frigate programme.

As part of Babcock Team 31, the company will deliver the combat system, communications systems and the navigation and bridge system for the frigates.

Under the programme, the British Government will get a fleet of five ships at an average production cost of £250m per ship.

T31, an adaptable and technology-enabled global frigate will be the Royal Navy’s newest class of ships following a comprehensive competitive process. The first ship is scheduled in the water in 2023.

The programme is set to increase a workforce of around 1250 roles in multiple locations throughout the UK and about 150 new technical apprenticeships are expected to be developed.

The work is expected to support an additional 1,250 roles within the UK supply chain.

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Thales UK chief executive Victor Chavez said: “Thales has been at the forefront of innovation with the Royal Navy for over 100 years.

“We are immensely proud of the trusted critical solutions we provide to the Royal Navy to protect our waters. This means we can continue to expand our significant UK footprint whilst also looking to export markets.”

Type 31 is a multi-role frigate that equips mariners with real-time data to support immediate and complex decision-making.

It will offer a new class of ship to the Royal Navy with the ability to deliver a range of peacekeeping, humanitarian and warfighting capabilities.

Last September, the Royal Navy selected Babcock as its preferred bidder to build the UK’s new fleet of five Type 31 frigates.

Thales also opened a new Naval Combat Management Centre in Crawley, West Sussex in an effort to expand its footprint in the UK and increase its mission system capabilities and future growth.