Leander is a new general purpose frigate being designed by Team Leander, which is headed by Cammell Laird, in collaboration with BAE Systems.
The frigate is being developed under the Type 31e general purpose frigate programme, which is intended to address the requirements of the British Royal Navy. The Type 31e frigate programme along with Type 26 frigates is designed to replace the Type 23 frigates.
Leander frigate’s design submitted by Team Leander is one of the three designs shortlisted for the construction of the Type 31 frigate. The final bidder for the programme is expected to be announced in 2019.
Leander is designed to perform multiple missions, including maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and interdiction, counter-piracy, as well as humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
The design and combat systems of the vessel will be provided by BAE Systems, whereas the construction and assembly works will be handled by Cammell Laird.
Leander general purpose frigate design and features
The Leander general purpose frigate will have a length of 117m and a moulded beam of 14.6m. Design draft and light seagoing air draft of the vessel will be 4.5m and 27m, respectively.
Hull form is optimised to conform to the naval standards and ensure mission readiness in difficult situations. It is intended to reduce maintenance costs and minimise risks involved when operating in harsh environmental conditions.
The frigate features two boat bays on either side of the hull, which will be used for the rapid deployment of rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) and unmanned systems.
The large mission bay of the vessel enables storage of large ISO containers and cranes and offers flexible space for the accommodation of additional cargo.
Operating air temperature range of the frigate will be between -9ºC and 45ºC, while the seawater temperature range will be between 0ºC and 32ºC.
The vessel will also be available in four different configurations with variable lengths, including 99m, 102m, 117m, and 120m. It can accommodate a maximum of 137 passengers and will have a displacement of 3,677t.
Further customisation can be made by the installation of additional weapon systems, militarised combat management systems, and platform equipment based on customer requirements.
The flight deck of the frigate will offer a large area for the landing and take-off of helicopters. It will feature landing lights and flight deck safety equipment.
Weaponry onboard Leander general purpose frigate
The forward bow deck of the frigate will feature a weapon station mounting a 57mm to 127mm heavy machine gun, while the stern is equipped with three weapon mounts, which can be armed with 20mm to 40mm secondary guns. The firepower of the vessel is further enhanced by multiple general purpose machine gun (GPMG) mounts.
A large deck area can be installed with a Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS), a Mark 41 vertical launching system (VLS), and more than 12 common anti-air modular missile (CAMM) launchers. The VLS can fire a range of missiles, including anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, anti-surface, and land attack missiles.
Sensor suites and payloads
The combat management system supplied by BAE Systems will provide multi-level security and a shared infrastructure to the on-board troops.
The sensor suite onboard the frigate includes a Type 997 Artisan Radar, hull-mounted sonar, twin tow array, navigational equipment, and a decoy launching system.
Propulsion and performance features of the frigate
Leander general purpose frigate will be equipped with a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system. The power-plant will integrate two engines with a power production capacity of 9.1MW each. The propulsion system will also include twin shafts and controllable pitch propellers (CPP).
The powertrain will be composed of a Z-type port and U-type starboard-type gearboxes. The slow-speed electric drive propulsion system onboard the vessel will address the vessel’s auxiliary power requirements. Two 700kW electric motors will be fitted on to the twin shafts in the vessel.
The propulsion system will enable the vessel to attain a maximum speed of 25kt. The maximum speed when driving on electric power is 12kt, while the maximum range while travelling at 12kt and 16kt speeds will be 8,100nm and 7,600nm respectively. The vessel can continuously perform operations for 35 days.
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