Babcock Team 31 has been selected by the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) as the preferred bidder to deliver its new warships.
Led by Babcock, and in partnership with the Thales Group, the Type 31 general purpose frigate programme will provide the UK with a fleet of five ships – at an average production cost of £250 million per ship.
Following a comprehensive competitive process, the first Arrowhead 140 design is scheduled to launch in 2023.
At its height the programme will maximise a workforce of around 1,250 highly-skilled roles in multiple locations throughout the UK, with around 150 new technical apprenticeships likely to be developed.
The work is expected to support an additional 1,250 roles within the wider UK supply chain.
With Babcock’s Rosyth facility as the central integration site, the MOD says that the solution will provide value for money and directly support the principles of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Work on the fleet will begin as soon as formal contracts are awarded later this financial year.
Detailed design work will start immediately with manufacture commencing in 2021 and finally concluding in 2027.
“It's been a tough competition and we're delighted that Arrowhead 140 has been recognised as offering the best design, build and delivery solution,” says Babcock CEO, Archie Bethel.
“The Arrowhead 140 is a modern warship that will meet the maritime threats of today and tomorrow – with British ingenuity and engineering at its core.
A key element of the Type 31 programme has been to supply a design with the potential to secure a range of export orders.