Babcock International announced on 2 August that Team 31 has the Whole Ship Preliminary Design Review (WSPDR) for the Type 31 frigate, which is intended to enter Royal Navy service later this decade, replacing some of the service’s Type 23 vessels. The review marks the end of the engineering functional design phase of the programme.
A key indicator of the compliance, maturity and engineering risk in proceeding to detailed design and maturing the 3D CAD model, the WSPDR was the ‘whole ship’ culmination event of a significant number of specific reviews addressing the maturity of the individual systems comprising the Type 31 vessel. The review was held entirely virtually over a 10-day period in June, using an independent board comprising some fifteen subject matter experts, to review the design and interrogate the engineering team. Attendees and contributors included the UK MoD. The independent board was impressed with the rate of progress made since contract award in November 2019, and the level of technical maturity of the design.
“Completing the [WSPDR] is a key milestone for the Type 31 programme and signals our move into detailed design. I’d like to thank all involved, a lot of hard work went into achieving this positive outcome. I look forward to the next stage in this exciting and challenging programme,” commented Graeme Thomson, Babcock Type 31 Programme Director.
Progress on the Type 31 programme continues at pace. Babcock’s Rosyth facility has seen significant investment in the last decade and is embarking on a new era of digitising facilities and systems to bring advances and efficiencies into the manufacturing, build and assembly process for the frigates. This includes the installation of additional advanced manufacturing capability and the construction of a new assembly hall, on which work began in April, capable of housing two Type 31 frigates.