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Key milestones achieved in Type 31 program: Babcock installs main engine on HMS Active.

According to information published by Babcock on May 10, 2024, the British company recently achieved significant milestones in constructing HMS Active, the second frigate in the Type 31 program.
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Main engine of the Type 31 frigate HMS Active. (Picture source: Babcock)

Notably, the team successfully completed hot work on the decks of the ship's engine rooms and completed a four-week painting cycle before installing the primary engine. The keel of HMS Active had been laid a few months prior as part of a ceremonial tradition.

The Type 31 frigate, also known as the Inspiration class, is a class of five frigates under construction for the Royal Navy, with variants also planned for the Indonesian and Polish navies. Designed by Babcock International, the Type 31 (or Arrowhead 140) is based on the Danish Iver Huitfeldt-class hull. It aims to replace the general-purpose Type 23 frigates and complement the anti-submarine Type 26 frigate.

With powerful armament, the ship will be equipped with a 57mm Mark 110 gun, two 40mm Bofors, and a 32-cell Mk 41 vertical launch system. It will support various missiles and heavy machine guns, offering a broad spectrum of air defense, anti-ship, and land attack capabilities. The CODAD propulsion system, comprising four diesel engines, ensures the ship can exceed 28 knots.

A standard complement of 80-100 personnel is supported by accommodation for over 180, which allows for mission-specific specialists or additional aircraft crew. The modular design accommodates specialized mission configurations like anti-air or anti-submarine warfare roles. A stern boat ramp and adaptable mission bay enable the deployment of unmanned vehicles and containerized systems.

Sophisticated sensor and combat management systems from Thales ensure comprehensive surveillance and situational awareness. The ship will support one AW159 Wildcat or one AW101 Merlin helicopter, and its flight deck can accommodate a Chinook.

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