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Delivery of Royal Navy’s new Type 31 Frigate Achieves Key Milestones

Thales is proud to be part of Type 31 project for the Royal Navy, for which the first frigates are currently being built in Rosyth by Babcock. Within this collaboration, Thales is responsible for the delivery of the Mission System (MS) for the Inspiration Class Type 31 frigates.

This responsibility includes the combat management system TACTICOS, as well as communications, bridge and navigation systems and the integration of this equipment into the Babcock built platforms. The Mission System provides the platform warfighting capability and is critical to achieving the operational capability of these new ships.

Successfully completing the three main system level Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) was a key target for the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 frigate during 2023. This included the following events:

  • The FAT for the Integrated Communication System (ICS) was conducted in September. The ICS provides the platform with both internal and external communication capability and is being delivered by Thales SIX in Crawley.
  • During November, the Combat System (CS) FAT passed. Built around the TACTICOS Combat Management System (CMS) it includes the main radar, electro-optical sensors and integration with the ships missile and gun systems. The CS is produced by Thales in the Netherlands.
  • Finally, later in November, the Integrated Bridge and Navigation Systems (IBNS) FAT was successfully completed. The IBNS provides the navigation functions together with the outfit of the ship’s bridge equipment. This is provided by Anschuetz UK, Portsmouth who are supply partners selected by Thales to provide this critical system.

The successful completion of these milestones bring us to the next stage in the project, and closer to the delivery of the ships.  Construction of the first ship, HMS Venturer, is underway at the Babcock shipyard at Rosyth, Scotland.

Thales now looks forward to the installation, integration and testing activities, which will enable completion of the vessel and handover to the Royal Navy.

Nigel MacVean, Thales Managing Director Above Water Systems UK said, “Working closely with our Royal Navy and Babcock colleagues we are delighted to have successful completed this critical stage in the development of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 frigates.”

Dirk Jan de Bruijn, Thales Vice President Above Water Systems said:

The completion of these factory acceptance tests is a major milestone for the project. We are proud to have been able to share these successes with our partner Babcock and of course the UK Ministry of Defence.

Derek Jones, Type 31 Managing Director at Babcock said: ‘“Type 31 is an incredibly important programme for Babcock, our Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence customer and for the wider UK Shipbuilding industry. The success of this programme is founded on the strong relationships with Thales and we are united by the mission we jointly share -  to strive for excellence each and every day.”

Royal Navy’s Rear Admiral Ivan Finn said: It was a pleasure to visit Thales’ Hengelo facility. I welcomed the opportunity to witness the T31 Combat System setup in-situ; this technology will be installed on the first of class, HMS Venturer, being built in Rosyth.”

Adrian Rondel, UK Media Relations
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