Thales, as part of Babcock Team 31, has been selected to deliver the digital heart of the UK’s next-generation frigates, the company announced on 6 February.
The company will be the mission systems integrator for the Type 31 programme, delivering the combat system, communications systems and the navigation and bridge system. The T31 general-purpose frigate programme will provide the British government with a fleet of five ships, at an average production cost of £250 million (€295 million) per ship.
Following a comprehensive competitive process, the T31, a capable, adaptable and technology-enabled global frigate, will be the Royal Navy’s newest class of warships, with the first ship scheduled to be in the water in 2023.
At its height, the programme will maximise a workforce of around 1,250 highly-skilled workers in multiple locations throughout the UK, with around 150 new technical apprenticeships likely to be established. The work is expected to support an additional 1,250 jobs within the wider UK supply chain.
Thales is also expanding its capabilities in mission systems delivery in the UK. This will generate new jobs and technical skills in Crawley, West Sussex, where the new team has been established. A new naval combat management centre has also been developed, to provide a space for customers, employees and end-users to train, test and determine how solutions can deliver operational benefits and to continuously gain customer feedback.
“Thales has been at the forefront of innovation with the Royal Navy for over 100 years […] This means we can continue to expand our significant UK footprint whilst also looking to export markets,” observed Victor Chavez, Chief Executive of Thales in the UK.