Fleet Solid Support Ship RAS Type 45 destroyer

Why has the Royal Navy’s Fleet Solid Support Ship competition been suspended?

In a surprise move, the MoD confirmed yesterday that it has suspended the international tender process for up to 3 Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships to be built for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Here we consider the context and possible reasons for this decision.

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More details of the Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigate emerge

At the start of the Type 31 frigate project, it was always acknowledged that credibility of the vessel would hinge on the weapon and sensor fit as much as the platform itself. The Arrowhead design selected by the MoD is mature but there is still another year of detailed design work and certification to complete. Although far from comprehensive, some details of the programme and the frigate’s weapon and sensor fit are now available.

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What does the closure of Harland and Wolff shipyard mean for the Royal Navy?

Having not constructed a warship for 50 years, the announcement that Harland & Wolff in Belfast had gone into administration this week might seem to be of little consequence to the Royal Navy. The company’s involvement in bids for the Type 31e frigate programme had provided a glimmer of hope for the yard’s future and potential re-engagement as a naval supplier. Obviously distressing for the workers in Belfast, but also seen from a wider perspective, the dwindling number of shipyards in the UK cannot be good news for the RN or British sovereign naval construction capability.

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Arrowhead-14o Type 31e frigate

In focus – the Arrowhead 140 Type 31e frigate candidate

Derived from the Danish Navy’s Iver Huitfeldt class frigate, the Arrowhead 140 is the Babcock/Thales concept for the Type 31e frigate competition. Here we look at the Danish parent design and the Arrowhead proposal in detail.

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Type 31 Frigate Arrowhead 140

MoD recognises the £250M price cap for Royal Navy Type 31e Frigate is unworkable.

It has emerged that the MoD has accepted that it will have to provide additional funds to make the Type 31e a credible frigate that can defend itself in the face of modern threats. Here we take a brief look at the implications.

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In focus – the MEKO A-200 Type 31e frigate candidate

The Atlas Elektronik UK bid for the Type 31e frigate programme is based on the MEKO A-200 frigate. Although perhaps seen as the outsider of the 3 candidates, the A-200 design has several unique and innovative features that make it a very credible contender for the Royal Navy’s requirements. Without going into the unknowns of weapon and sensor fit, here we examine the pedigree and design of the A-200 platform.

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Type 31e friagate candidates

The Type 31e frigate candidates compared

This is a basic comparison of the three Type 31e frigate candidates using publicly available information. The consortiums are currently in the Competitive Design Phase, refining these concepts before the winner is selected in late 2019.

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