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Babcock Team 31 has been selected by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) as the preferred bidder to deliver its new warships. Led by Aerospace and Defence company Babcock, in partnership with the Thales Group, the T31 general-purpose frigate program will deliver the Royal Navy with five light frigates, at an average production cost of £250 million per ship. The first ship is scheduled for launch in 2023. The ships follow Babcocks's Arrowhead 140 design, balancing between global mission capability in blue or white waters, both at an affordable cost. Work on the fleet of five ships will begin immediately following formal contract award later this financial year, with detailed design work to start now and manufacture commencing in 2021 and concluding in 2027.
The most recent Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) published in 2015 confirmed the British government intends to maintain the current sea power. Eight Type 26 frigates and Five Type 31 general purpose ships will replace the fleet of Duke class frigates over the next 15 years.
HMS Queen Elizabeth II arrived today at its home port at Portsmouth, following its first sea trial last month; With its sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, the new carriers will become the centerpiece of the Royal Navy.
BAE Systems was awarded £3.7 billion to build the first three Type-26 boats. Work on the first frigate, HMS Glasgow, began in July 2017. According to schedule, the Glasgow will be commissioned in 2021 and the 8th of this class is expected to enter service in the mid-2030s.