Britain’s BAE Systems and commercial shipbuilder Cammell Laird have signed a teaming agreement as part of a bid to make the U.K.’s Type 31e frigate, BAE said Wednesday.
The companies will partner with Cammell Laird acting as prime contractor to build the frigates while BAE provides warship design, engineering capability, and combat systems expertise. This is in response to a U.K. Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Request for Information (RFI) and its evolving requirements under the U.K. National Shipbuilding Strategy.
BAE said this arrangement allows it to support the shipbuilding strategy while ensuring it can still deliver five Offshore Patrol Vessels and the first three City-class Type 26 frigates it is currently on contract for on time and on budget.
The strategy was unveiled in September and seeks to grow the fleet by the 2030s, buy eight Type 26 Global Combat Ships, launch a competition to design and build the Type 31e frigates, invest in in Fleet Solid Support vessels, enable U.K. domestic industry to build a modern shipbuilding sector able to meet the country’s defense needs.
The strategy is designing ships with exports in mind from the beginning, with exportability a key requirement in competitions. It also encourages competitors for new ships to work with international partners for the best possible solutions.
Cammell Laird said this agreement will now be part of its competitive tender process in their bid for the frigate.
“Cammell Laird has very much welcomed the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the Type 31e competition. We will offer a U.K. warship design, a UK combat system, a U.K. build and a supply chain with high U.K. content,” John Syvret, CEO of Cammell Laird, said in a statement.
The companies are offering a design called Leander, based on BAE 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,” he added.
“Our expertise in warship design and engineering, combat management systems and export campaigns means we are in a great position to contribute to the success of this programme. 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 programmes,” Iain Stevenson, managing director of naval ships at BAE, said in a statement.
The Cammel Laird consortium for this project will include the A&P Group of shipyards as well as others in a U.K. supply chain. Syvret noted the company has already successfully used this approach while building the new arctic survey vessel, the RSS Sir David Attenborough.
The Type 31e is set to be an adaptable general purpose frigate with a price cap of $330 million each for the first five vessels. The first ships are planned to enter services by 2023. It is meant to replace the U.K. fleet of General Purpose Type 23 frigates.
The shipbuilding strategy said the government is committed to a surface fleet of at least 19 frigates and destroyers.