Type 31 Frigate

the assumption that no-one was compliant on the initial submissions is incorrect
Indeed. One suspects however that only one submission was fully compliant, which (for the CDP round) would have meant a waste of money and a collapsed competition, too early in the process.

Hard to run a competition where all the credible UK build facilities are divvied up between two teams from the off, leaving the third team scrabbling for a yard (and a remotely conceivable build price, given the risk). Even harder when one of the two big teams has perhaps been steered in an inadvisable direction (allegedly) which may just have affected their build strategy and price.
 
We shouldn’t have had a Type 31 in the first place. Full-fat and low-fat Type 26s.
No such thing. That's spotter-talk. As someone else has already pointed out, most of the cost is in engineering the systems which cannot easily be taken out. Removing bits of combat system equipment won't really help - or be particularly feasible technically.
 
I guess the £1.25 billion question is; Is Arrowhead 120 far enough along to be competitive with Leander, given even it's probably not as far along as anyone would like?
 
Indeed. One suspects however that only one submission was fully compliant, which (for the CDP round) would have meant a waste of money and a collapsed competition, too early in the process.

Hard to run a competition where all the credible UK build facilities are divvied up between two teams from the off, leaving the third team scrabbling for a yard (and a remotely conceivable build price, given the risk). Even harder when one of the two big teams has perhaps been steered in an inadvisable direction (allegedly) which may just have affected their build strategy and price.
My money is on BAe/Cammell Laird's Leander.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
I guess the £1.25 billion question is; Is Arrowhead 120 far enough along to be competitive with Leander, given even it's probably not as far along as anyone would like?
Given that Arrowhead is based upon a proven, in-service design, that's been through FOST numerous times and Leander is an evolved design thats not (if I understand it) actually in service, it would seem that Arrowhead is certainly mature enough?

Just from OS reporting (Janes and particularly UKDJ) Arrowhead looks the more flexible, with better options for future adaptations, which must be key given we're only going to buy a basic variant at the outset.

But why limit the discussion to just there two designs, the others are just as interesting.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
My money is on BAe/Cammell Laird's Leander.
From the OS reading I've managed, if the price is contained (and in a cost capped procurement I'm assuming they have) I'd favour Arrowhead, simply because it looks far more versatile and would appear to offer more for the future.

Either way, some good opportunities for the future.
 
From the OS reading I've managed, if the price is contained (and in a cost capped procurement I'm assuming they have) I'd favour Arrowhead, simply because it looks far more versatile and would appear to offer more for the future.

Either way, some good opportunities for the future.
I'm not convinced about the export potential of Arrowhead tbh, and I suspect that that will be a key driver. Also, BAe have played a good game here...
 
I would agree with that; I still maintain that the Arrowhead design is too big.
It's particularly painful if you translate the length of the ship to build facilities in that team. By making it too big to build (in a oner) in Appledore, you're locking in that well-known build facility in Fife. The one with shed bays that are narrow in width, which means that you'll be building an awful lot of it outside. Just adding to the overall inefficiency of the build strategy, given there are limited steel fabrication capabilities up there.

It can be done - CL got most of the steel for SDA pre-cut and formed, but they do have big sheds to assemble it in. Which means you can build bigger blocks with more systems (particularly electrical) outfitted under cover. Rosyth (IMO) will struggle to do that, but that will obviously not hurt their build cost because, errrrr big crane and dock? Nowhere near as useful as people think. Which means cost. Lots of cost. In a programme with a £250M per ship cap. Including NRE. Winner, winner chicken dinner. Or perhaps not.......

Sundodgers and surface ship /shipbuilding policy. Never a good mix.
 

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