Venator-110 general-purpose light frigate was unveiled in September 2013. Credit: BMT Group.
The frigate can be armed with three-cell ExLS VLS system. Credit: MBDA.
A scale model of Venator-110 light frigate seen during DSEI 2017 exhibition. Credit: Ministry of Armed Forces, France.

Venator-110 general-purpose light frigate is one of the three design variants of the Venator-110 platform developed by BMT Defence Services to fulfil a range of mission needs for naval and coastguard forces.

With its advanced weapon configurations, the Venator-110 light frigate performs maritime security, naval boarding, combat, close consort defence and support missions to other naval units.

The warship was unveiled at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition held in London, UK, in September 2013. It was also demonstrated to international customers at the Pacific 2017 maritime exhibition and conference held in Australia.

The frigate was offered to the British Royal Navy’s Type 31e general-purpose frigate programme.

Venator-110 light frigate design and features

The Venator-110 general-purpose light frigate’s hull is designed to operate globally at different speeds in varying sea states and environmental conditions. The vessel has an overall length of 117m, draught of 4.3m, beam of 18m and displacement of 4,000t.

BMT’s Venator-110 combines lean manned and customisable capability with the low acquisition cost and proportions of a light frigate. The block-build design of the vessel allows different parts to be manufactured in various shipyards.

It can accommodate up to 106 personnel, including 85 crew members, ten helicopter operation and maintenance workers, as well as 11 optional marine boarding teams. It can also hold 18 interim operations personnel.

The ship also carries four large rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) to support a wide range of capabilities at sea.

A flight deck and hangar are provided at the stern for the operation of a medium-sized helicopter, such as the NH90, SH-60 Seahawk, AW101 Merlin, AW159 Wildcat and other future aviation platforms.

Venator-110 on-board weaponry

The multi-mission frigate’s modular design allows for the integration of various weapons and decoys based on mission requirements. The weapon options include 30mm or 40mm cannons, close-in weapon systems (CIWS), softkill decoys, lightweight surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, as well as a medium-calibre gun system.

The medium-calibre naval cannon mount located in the bow provides the frigate with anti-surface and anti-aircraft capabilities.

The vessel comes with different vertical-launch silo (VLS) options, including two or three units of three-cell Lockheed Martin ExLS VLS or a combination of two units of three-cell Extensible Launching System (ExLS) VLS and a single eight-cell Lockheed Martin Mk41 Strike Length VLS. Each cell houses up to four MBDA Sea Ceptor missiles.

Navigation bridge

An integrated navigation and bridge system (INBS) developed by Raytheon Anschütz is installed in the middle of the ship to manage and control the vessel’s operations.

Featuring an International Maritime Organisation (IMO)-certified navigation system, the INBS integrates with the ship’s combat management system (CMS) and integrated platform management system (IPMS).

An additional mission bay is provided adjacent to the RHIBs to further increase mission flexibility.

Venator-110 on-board sensors

The Venator-110 general-purpose light frigate incorporates different types of sensors to target, engage and destroy a range of maritime and air targets.

The sensors include variable-depth towed-array sonar, hull-mounted sonar, multi-role surveillance radars, laser-warning system, radar and electro-optical fire control director and active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars. It also includes an infrared search and track (IRST) system, electronic support measures (ESM), communications intelligence (COMINT) and electronic intelligence (ELINT) systems.

Venator-110 warship propulsion and performance

The frigate is equipped with a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system consisting of four diesel engines, two independent shaft lines and controllable pitch propellers.

The vessel offers a maximum speed of 25k and is capable of travelling a distance of 6,000nm at 15k.

Venator-110 variants

Two other variants of the Venator-110 platform are the Venator-110 patrol frigate and Venator-110 patrol ship.

The Venator-110 patrol frigate is intended for use by naval forces to perform tasks such as maritime security, regional enforcement and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) in low-threat environments.

This Venator-110 variant is suited for coastguard applications, including counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, evacuation of entitled personnel and maritime protection.

The patrol ship is the Venator-110’s low-cost variant that ensures maritime security in low-threat environments, making it perfect for coastguard applications.

Variants of the Venator-110 can be uniquely modified to best fit the intended use and cost while retaining common cost-effective characteristics such as hull form and propulsion design.