UK Partners Join Forces in Bid to Build Naval Frigates

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 18, 2017

  • (Image: Cammell Laird)
  • John Syvret (Photo: Cammell Laird)
  • (Image: Cammell Laird) (Image: Cammell Laird)
  • John Syvret (Photo: Cammell Laird) John Syvret (Photo: Cammell Laird)

 A new partnership between Cammell Laird and BAE Systems aims to position the companies to build five Type 31e Frigates for the U.K. Royal Navy.

The Teaming Agreement has been formed in response to the U.K. Ministry of Defense Request for Information and will now be part of a competitive tender process. Under the agreement, Cammell Laird will act as Prime Contractor to build the Type 31e Frigates with BAE Systems providing warship design, engineering capability and combat systems expertise.
Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret CBE said the company is proposing an frigate design, known as Leander, based on existing BAE Systems’ naval ship designs. 
“Our commercial approach to design selection on merit ensures that Leander meets the T31e requirements with a high level of adaptability to attract the widest range of international customers,” Syvret said.
The Cammell Laird consortium will include the A&P Group of shipyards and members of the broader U.K. supply chain, Syvret said, noting that this approach has proved successful in the construction of the £150 million ($200 million) new arctic survey vessel the RSS Sir David Attenborough, currently being built at Cammell Laird.
“This approach means Cammell Laird can offer huge agility for both U.K. and international customers through our consortia fabrication facilities in Birkenhead, Glasgow, Newcastle and Falmouth,” he said. 
“Cammell Laird has very much welcomed the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the T31e competition. We will offer a U.K. warship design, a U.K. combat system, a U.K. build and a supply chain with high U.K. content. We will be working with BAE Systems’ design teams to deliver certainty, speed and agility on this nationally important project. Cammell Laird is proud to be responding as Prime Contractor and we believe we have a T31e offer which will generate further export opportunity.”
Cammell Laird’s experience building Royal Navy warships includes the Leander classes of the 1930s (HMS Achilles) and the1960s (HMS Ajax). Cammell Laird also held a close working relationship with BAE Systems and the construction of 1,200 metric ton flight deck blocks for the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and blocks for the complex nuclear powered Astute Submarines.  
John Hudson, Managing Director, BAE Systems Maritime, commented, “We are pleased to be working with Cammell Laird with whom we have a strong and effective relationship, having worked with them on the Carrier and Astute programs. We believe our expertise in warship design and engineering capability, combat management systems and export campaigns, together with Cammell Laird, means we are in an excellent position to contribute to the success of the Type 31e program.”
On September 6, 2017 the Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon unveiled a new National Shipbuilding Strategy which meets the challenge set by Sir John Parker last November in his review of the sector. 
Sir John Parker’s independent report into British naval shipbuilding proposed far-reaching recommendations to transform the U.K. maritime industry and boost the prosperity of regions, shipyards and maritime supply chains across the country.
The National Shipbuilding Strategy sees the Government accept Sir John’s recommendations and step up to what he called a prospective ‘renaissance’ in British shipbuilding. Building on the Government’s industrial strategy, it outlines an ambition to transform the procurement of naval ships, make the U.K.’s maritime industry more competitive, grow the Royal Navy fleet by the 2030s, export British ships overseas, and boost innovation, skills, jobs and productivity across the U.K. 
The strategy announced the Government’s plan to procure new Type 31e General Purpose Frigates. A price cap has been set of no more than £250 million ($330 million) each for the first batch of five frigates. In line with standing U.K. policy on warships they will be built in the U.K., with the first ships set to be in-service by 2023.
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