The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reportedly suspended its plans to acquire the proposed low-cost Type 31e general-purpose light frigate for the Royal Navy.
The government’s original aim of purchasing a ‘budget frigate’ within five years has been put on hold due to insufficient funding, reported The Times.
At least five ships will need to be acquired by the British Royal Navy to maintain the current size of its surface fleet.
According to the MoD, the five Type 31e frigates were intended to replace five of the current Type 23 vessels.
An MoD spokesman was cited by the publication as saying that the competition phase is set to be restarted as a result of a lack of compliant bids, which has led to a lack of effective competition.
The spokesman was quoted by DefenseNews as saying: “There have been no changes in our plans to procure a first batch of five new Type 31e frigates to grow our Royal Navy.
“We still want the first ship delivered by 2023 and are confident that industry will meet the challenge of providing them for the price tag we’ve set.”
The MoD initially announced plans to procure the new Type 31e ships in September last year.
The first of the planned Type 31e ships are slated to be in service by 2023 and will to be constructed in sections by a number of different shipyards across the country.