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Arrowhead - Babcock + Thales - Type 31e

The Babcock Team 31 is committed to delivering a proven, capable and adaptable frigate for global navies. Benefiting from the best of British, utilising cost and schedule benefits from a tried and tested distributed build strategy and capitalising upon a mature and proven design, Arrowhead 140 will deliver an assured frigate capability which is best placed to serve the adaptable demands of warfighting nations globally.

Developed from the proven OMT Iver Huitfeldt frigate, Arrowhead 140 builds on previous real-world NATO and coalition operational experience, providing an efficient design with an optimal layout. Its clever design enables improved capability whilst retaining its proven strengths. Arrowhead 140 is capable of fulfilling and supporting global maritime security requirements and representing defense interests world-wide. The design can accommodate a range of mission system configurations to meet operational and capability needs.

Based on an open system, the mission system manages a suite of sensors and associated communications to provide essential situational awareness, the ability to operate organic or offboard assets and the ability to conduct offensive and defensive operations. Designed to provide maximum capability and value for money, Arrowhead 140 uses modular construction and proven and commercially available systems and equipment.

Furthermore, Arrowhead employs Babcock’s iFrigateTM technology to reduce through life support costs. Arrowhead 140’s architecture can be configured to meet specific requirements. This general purpose frigate has in-built design margins to accommodate a variety of equipment choices for a broad range of roles, from low-threat security operations to task force deployments, ensuring it will remain a credible and capable option within an evolving multi-threat maritime environment.

Flexibility is a core element of the Arrowhead 140 design philosophy. Anti Submarine Warfare can be easily incorporated either during build or through life. Large re-configurable mission and payload areas onboard can provide flexibility across a range of operational roles, from HADRO (Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief Operations) to unmanned systems deployment and operation.

Babcock’s Team 31 offers a holistic breadth and depth of expertise to deliver a proven, capable and adaptable design, build and support solution for modern, global navies.

  • Babcock – prime; ship design, build, assembly, platform integration and commissioning at Rosyth
  • Thales – Combat Systems Integrator; combat management system and equipment design, build and integration
  • OMT – platform design for proven, in service baseline design
  • BMT – ship design and technical support
  • Harland and Wolff – block build capability with shipbuilding expertise and versatile facilities
  • Ferguson Marine – block build capability with commercial ship build expertise and versatile facilities.

Team 31 is a fully integrated project team headquartered in Bristol, at the heart of a pan-UK based ship design, build and support capability. Team 31 brings together a unique combination of:

  • naval and commercial vessel design, with extensive experience of compliance with both naval and commercial design standards
  • naval and commercial vessel build with modern, robust delivery practices
  • an established, proven and exportable combat management system
  • trusted combat systems design, build and integration experience
  • extensive naval engineering capability and highly skilled workforces
  • proven and efficient naval customer requirements and acceptance management processes
  • comprehensive safety and environmental management processes and compliance
  • world leading experience in naval platform inservice support with a deep understanding of support cost drivers

Proven multi-mission reconfigurable space able to host a number of TEU containers for capability including antipiracy detention facilities, disaster relief stores or additional accommodation. Spaces can be rapidly and simply used for HADRO through to war fighting operations, with volume spaces able to accommodate role-specific equipment in a modular form. The ability to fit the existing systems and equipment from the parent design is retained to provide flexibility in the capability supplied at build and through the life of the platform.

The platform will operate in all states and conditions with a Ship’s Company of less than 100 personnel. With dedicated accommodation for 160+ personnel and additional temporary accommodation, the platform can carry a significant number of Embarked Military Force, including Special Forces, littoral manoeuvre troops or additional command and control personnel.

Accommodation for Medium Calibre Gun options up to 5” (127mm) for maritime interdiction, self-protection and engagement of surface and land targets. Small Calibre Guns up to 40mm calibre can be located in predesignated upper-deck weapon positions. Capability options include Provision for up to 8 canister-launched SSGW; VL missiles (SAM/SSGW/Land Strike/ASW) up to 32 cells, and Close-In Weapons Systems.

Strike Length silo can be fitted to incorporate a combination of a larger number of anti-air missiles, vertical launch antisurface missiles, precision land strike missiles or ASW weapons such as ASROC. This particular adaptability feature, alongside the ability to install a 127mm (5”) medium calibre gun, host an organic helicopter such as AW-101 Merlin, install sensors such as a towed array/variable depth sonar and re-introduce a magazine-launched torpedo system, amongst other proven features, will allow the platform to be tailored on build and through-life to suit operational requirements from low-threat maritime security to warfighting in task group operations.

The layout of the design benefits from the experience of several years of real-world NATO and coalition operations, including integration within US Navy Carrier Strike Groups as an escort platform. These lessons learnt from the baseline design lead to key operational and mission areas within the Arrowhead 140 design that are situated to provide an optimal layout for operations in both peacetime and high threat operations. The key mission areas benefit from proximity to each other and protection through the relative location within the ship. Supportability of major equipment identified through shipping routes and space envelopes.

The propulsion arrangement is a proven and efficient CODAD architecture, already in service. This is demonstrated to provide a flexible speed range with 28+ knot maximum and 18 knot efficient cruising speeds, in a package with a low maintenance burden and consideration towards underwater radiated noise (URN) signature. The size of the platform allows sufficient fuel for long-range independent global operations. Space and systems configured for compliance with IMO Tier III regulations for ECAs.

Significant operational flexibility is inherent in a platform with the capacity of Arrowhead 140. Based on a proven NATO frigate design, with flexible spaces able to host disaster relief stores or civilians during evacuation operations among other roles; a demonstrated capability already employed within the in-service design. Four large dedicated Boat Bays with flexible launch and recovery capability to operate a variety of different offboard assets, such as RHIBs, Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) and Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs); able to deliver a range of roles from interdiction missions to Special Forces operations and littoral manoeuvre exploitation.

Arrowhead 140 delivers a proven flexibility and rapid ability to rerole/reconfigure to a changing operational environment. Mission flexibility An integrated communications suite for interoperability with own and coalition forces and civilian agencies. Medium and Short Range Radars for situational awareness, safe navigation, fire control and helicopter control. Radar ESM and Defensive Aids Suite to provide self-protection. EW capability upgrades available.

Electro Optical trackers for surveillance and gun fire control. Hull-mounted sonar for submarine detection/mine avoidance with capability options for towed array and torpedo defence. Thales TACTICOS™ Combat Management System utilising open architecture networks and computing environments to provide a scalable and upgradeable mission/combat management capability suitable for a wide range of mission profiles and scenarios.

The Flight Deck is designed for a wide range of naval aircraft and air systems, with a hangar that can accommodate an organic medium naval helicopter or lighter helicopter combined with unmanned air systems. Dedicated aviation magazine facilities to store and prepare air-launched weapons including ASW torpedoes and Anti-Surface missiles are provided. In addition a fuelling system to provide HIFR capability from a proven NATO flight deck is incorporated. The large flight deck provides the flexibility to launch and recover non-organic aircraft up to 15t in weight.

Team 31’s build strategy harnesses the experience of Babcock’s and Thales’ role within the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, where the assembly of Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers is being undertaken at Rosyth. The flexibility and resilience within build sites at Babcock Appledore, Harland & Wolff in Belfast and Ferguson Marine on the Clyde, and the integration site at Babcock Rosyth, significantly de-risks the build schedule while maximising UK regional prosperity. The team are utilising a proven modular build and outfit process that could potentially accelerate the T31e program and crucially provide additional capacity to deliver concurrent international orders and pipeline demands.

The T31e distributed build strategy has the benefits of:

  • a competitive and sustainable naval warship build capability
  • potential to accelerate the build programme
  • additional capacity to deliver parallel (international) orders/pipeline demands
  • underpinning the National Shipbuilding Strategy, delivering economic benefit to communities across the UK
  • maximising a workforce in excess of 3500 skilled and experienced employees
  • creating 150+ technical apprenticeships and training programme opportunities
  • driving a pan-shipyard innovation and improvement programme, pushing British shipbuilding expertise to match the Royal Navy’s pedigree as a world leader in naval platforms

As an established project team spanning several regions of the UK, Babcock Team 31 offers the dual advantage of distributing revenue across the UK and benefiting from existing relationships with a broad range of local supply chains. As a result, Team 31 can maximise the opportunity to deliver UK prosperity, delivering the National Shipbuilding Strategy’s intent for delivering economic benefits across the UK. By utilising a proven distributed build and single site assembly model, established suppliers surrounding existing facilities can be quickly mobilised. This offers potential speed and procurement advantages based on trusted relationships and familiar product and service specifications.

This contract has the potential not only to safeguard shipbuilding jobs but bring prosperity to several UK regions, through both earned income and additional revenue derived through the local supply chain. The extensive equipment procurement activity for the design and build contract will be predominantly locally sourced from UK based suppliers, with emphasis on drawing income to an extensive network of local small/ medium enterprises. Analysis by Team 31 has shown the export market for General Purpose Frigates is growing. Countries are already seeking to enhance their respective ‘utility frigate’ capability as they seek to address multi-various threats within their maritime domains. The Arrowhead 140 design is inherently flexible and adaptable to meet a diverse range of international requirements and customisations.

Each customer has different needs driven by budget, capability and adaptability requirements, and Team 31 had the design and build flexibility and capacity to offer a wide range of design variants to the export market in terms of the platform, combat system and internal specifications. Through the proposed flexible and modular design, each customer will be able to select the features that best meet their requirement and budget.

Arrowhead 120 Arrowhead 140
Length, Overall 120 m [300 feet]138.7m [450 feet]
Beam, Maximum 19 m19.8m
Design Draft4.8m
Displacement~4000 tonnes 5,700te
32.8 MW
Speed 24+ knots28+ Knots
Range (15 knots) 6000 nm
  • Design provision for MCG up to 5” (127mm) with associated infrastructure
  • Design provision made for SCGs up to 30mm with associated Electrical-Optic (EO) sensors and magazine arrangements.
  • Weapons can be fitted at a number of upperdeck positions
  • Design provision for MCG up to 5” (127mm) with associated infrastructure.
  • Design provision made for Force Protection weapons and SCGs up to 40mm with associated EO sensors and magazine arrangements.
  • Weapons can be fitted at a number of upper deck positions.
  • Missile Options
  • Deck space for up to 8 SSGWs (Surface to Surface Guided Weapons).
  • VLS (Vertical Launch Silos) – up to 16 cells.
  • Deck space for up to 8 SSGWs.
  • Flexible space for VLS– up to 32 variable length cells.
  • Aviation
  • Flight Deck sized for AW-101Merlin/MH-60 Seahawk.
  • Hangar capable of accommodating a medium organic naval helicopter (e.g. Seahawk or NH90). or a lighter helicopter plus an unmanned rotary (e.g. AW-159 Wildcat & MQ-8C Firescout).
  • Design can accommodate all envisaged customer naval aircraft
  • Flight Deck sized for AW-101 Merlin/ MH-60 Seahawk.
  • Hangar capable of accommodating an organic naval helicopter including a AW-101 Merlin, or a lighter helicopter such as the AW-159 Wildcat plus unmanned air vehicles.
  • Design can accommodate a wide range of future customer naval air systems
  • Boat Bays Provision for a stern ramp for boat and UXV deployment up to 11m 4 large dedicated Boat Bays with flexible launch & recovery arrangement to cater for varying operational roles, incl. deployment of RHIBs, USVs & UUVs.
    Mission Space
  • Space for numerous containerised units within the optimally located mission bays.
  • Facilities for launch/recovery of UXVs.
  • Flexible, reconfigurable infrastructure
  • Significant operational flexibility allows for numerous TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) containers, extended stores, or personnel accommodation space.

    Arrowhead - Babcock + Thales - Type 31e

    Arrowhead - Babcock + Thales - Type 31e Arrowhead - Babcock + Thales - Type 31e Arrowhead - Babcock + Thales - Type 31e Arrowhead - Babcock + Thales - Type 31e Arrowhead - Babcock + Thales - Type 31e

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    Page last modified: 03-08-2018 15:02:38 ZULU