Babcock Team 31
Babcock Team 31 has been contracted by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to deliver five Type 31 frigates.
The contract, which was awarded in November 2019, signalled another decade of ship-build activity for the historic dockyard at Rosyth. Building on the unique experience and success of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, Babcock has brought together a highly experienced and integrated project team spanning several regions of the UK, to meet the challenging Type 31 programme. This pathfinder programme, as described by the MOD, is the first of its kind to be delivered under the new National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Re-energising the UKs’ maritime capability through modern UK ship design and build practices, the Type 31 programme will also support technology transfer into the UK through the command system and drive British shipbuilding expertise to match the Royal Navy’s pedigree as a world leader in naval platforms.
Type 31 will be at the heart of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet, deterring aggression and maintaining the security of the UK’s interests. They will work alongside the UK’s Allies to deliver a warship presence across the globe and enable a forward naval presence.
A key element of the Type 31 programme is to supply a design with the potential to secure a range of export orders thereby supporting the UK economy and UK jobs. Arrowhead 140 offers export customers an unrivalled blend of price, capability and flexibility backed by world-class experience.
Babcock can provide a UK build strategy that offers flexibility around programme requirements and capacity. However, customers may wish to develop local build and support capabilities and for this we are able to offer a range of export strategies to maximise local in-country content through design, technology and knowledge transfer.
Type 31 Design
Arrowhead 140 – Babcock’s solution for the Type 31 programme – Proven capable and adaptable design, build and support.
Key Platform Characteristics
MAIN ENGINE POWER
Driven by innovation and backed by heritage, Arrowhead 140 is a modern warship that will meet naval requirements both now and in the future. With British design and engineering at its core, this at sea design will lower programme risks through its tried and tested baseline design and is engineered to minimise through life costs whilst delivering a truly leading edge frigate.
Flexible and adaptable by design, the Type 31 general purpose frigate will undertake missions such as interception and disruption of those using the sea for unlawful purposes, collect intelligence, defence engagement and assisting those in need.
High levels of on-board automation allows for optimisation in crew numbers, with embedded technology that equips the mariner with real-time data to support instant and complex decision making. These highly intuitive systems support the survivability of the platform and make it a safer place to carry out missions, and with the future in mind, these technologies are readily adaptable for tomorrow, offering exceptional value for money.
Arrowhead 140 delivers high levels of survivability, operability and responsiveness with naval users able to achieve first class operational performance.
Type 31 Rosyth Build Site
Babcock’s Rosyth facility, home to one of the largest waterside manufacturing and repair facilities in the UK, has seen significant investment in the last decade, transforming the dockyard into the UK’s most modern maritime support facility.
Working closely with the UK MOD, the transformation has included more than £100m in physical infrastructure to support the successful delivery of the UK’s aircraft carriers and subsequent dockings. We are embarking on a new era of digitising our facilities and systems to bring advancements and efficiencies into the manufacturing, build and assembly process, establishing Rosyth as the UK’s most advanced shipbuilding facility.
Artist impression of Rosyth site with New Assembly Hall in place
Also included is the installation of additional Advanced Manufacturing capability and the construction of a new Assembly Hall, capable of housing two Type 31 Frigates for parallel build and assembly activity. The building brings productivity gains due to improved access, digital connectivity and a dry benign environment for shipbuilding.
Artist impression of new Assembly Hall with Type 31 Frigate exiting
At Babcock, we’re proud to be experts at what we do. Every day, our people use their specialist knowledge and skills to support the Type 31 programme.
We have all the required capabilities to cover the product life cycle from concept design to in service support, from programme and production managers, engineers and planners through to human resource and accountants in our support functions.
Team 31 has a passion for developing our people and working with local communities and supply chain partners to promote skills development and STEM careers, which leads to employment in skilled positions. At the height of the Type 31 programme we will maximise a workforce of around 1250 people throughout the UK, responding directly to the National Ship Building Strategy, by delivering local and national economic benefits through investing in both its supply chain, and the next generation of apprentice and graduates, whilst sustaining highly skilled workforces in multiple locations throughout the UK.
150 new technical apprenticeships will be developed, as well as upskilling current employees to ensure world-class levels of efficiency. We develop our own people through our graduate scheme and apprenticeships, supported by our partnership with universities and colleges. We will invest in the full lifecycle of skills, including; STEM, Early Careers training and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of the workforce.
For more information on career opportunities at Babcock visit: https://www.babcockinternational.com/careers/
Being a new design and build programme, there are opportunities to put in place approaches to make Type 31 production as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. Utilising an existing baseline platform design minimises the non-recurring engineering costs associated with delivery, and functional engineering risks are lowered as potential integration challenges have already been resolved. Its smart build credentials means it is primed for pre-outfitting with open compartments allowing for rapid assembly – supporting time and cost efficiencies.
Increasing digital processes at Rosyth, with the goal of optimising technology and making the programme more efficient, will dramatically reduce paper in the process and contribute to less use of this type of resource.
Digital transformation is at the heart of the Rosyth site’s growth.
Investment in facilities and manufacturing equipment will support the integration of technology and new working practices to create dynamic, effective and efficient, digitally enabled state of the art facilities, including a new Assembly Hall and Pulse Line.
The installation of the advanced manufacturing equipment forms part of ‘engineering with insight’ which encompasses latest software tools related to planning, material management, productivity and transition from build to through life support. New equipment brings significant productivity gains through seamless transfer of data from the ship design tool and machinery used for manufacturing ship components.
Ground breaking has commenced signalling the start of the civil works programme for the new Assembly Hall. The new hall and hard stand facility, initially used for the Type 31 programme, allows for the assembly of two vessels side by side, in a dry, covered environment.
Babcock is creating powerful and dynamic new ways of interpreting information across complex assets.
iSupport360, launched at DSEI 2019, is Babcock’s own approach to the integration of next level technology to create valuable information for the management of critical assets. By combining its expertise with unique insights across the enterprise, iSupport360 provides a powerful way for personnel to see the bigger picture and optimise the effectiveness of any asset such as; a ship, a submarine or critical infrastructure.
New Pulse lines will provide state-of-the-art automated panel manufacturing. This is a major element of the digital transformation on-site, creating a paradigm shift in the manufacturing process. Bringing modern shipbuilding techniques to life in a shipbuilding facility that the UK can be proud of.
Follow the live project timeline for Team 31, from the awarding of the contract, to the construction of the new Assembly Hall and the frigates themselves.
Type 31 programme update
Piling work begins at Rosyth for construction of a new assembly hall capable of housing two Type 31 frigates
Whole Ship Preliminary Design Review, marking the end of the engineering functional design phase
Ground breaking signalled the start of enabling works for the new Assembly Hall
Demolition work in Rosyth completed, ready for construction of the new Assembly Hall
UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) awarded the design and build of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 General Purpose Frigate to Babcock Team 31