The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has released the pre-qualification questionnaire asking industry teams to declare themselves for the competitive design phase of the Type 31e frigate programme.
Up to four design contracts will be awarded and a formal contract for Design & Build of the new generation warships for the Royal Navy is expected to be concluded by the 4th quarter of 2019.
The first warship is to enter service in 2023.
In a change of thinking, the Type 31e (e for export) frigates are being designed to be exportable right from the outset and the BAE Systems offering has received significant interest at DIMDEX, “We have already got interest from two customers and we have had visits from a lot of potential customers, who want to know more about this very capable warship programme,” a company official told Daily News at the just concluded show.
A key aspect of the Type 31e programme will be adaptability of the warship to meet customer requirements and the installation of a new Combat Management System, which is receiving an investment of GBP10 million. The new CMS will be hosted on shared infrastructure, which reduces the space and cooling requirements for the system.
Five Type 31e frigates will replace five Type 23 General Purpose warships, while eight Type 26 warships will replace the Type 23 anti-submarine warfare ships.
The cost of the first five Type 31e warships is pegged at GBP250 million pounds for each ship of the class.
BAE Systems is showcasing its proposed design for the Type 31e frigate competition at the ongoing exhibition and has partnered with British commercial shipbuilder Cammell Laird. The other competitor for the programme is Babcock which has partnered with Thales.