Arrowhead 140 is a general-purpose light frigate being developed by Team 31, which is led by Babcock International. Team 31 comprises Thales Group, Harland and Wolff, BMT, OMT, and Ferguson Marine. Babcock’s Team 31 has selected the proven in-service Iver Huitfeldt frigate design as the baseline for their T31e product.The Arrowhead 140 is designed to meet the requirements of the British Royal Navy’s Type 31e general-purpose frigate programme. The general-purpose frigate can be used for maritime surveillance and interdiction, counter-piracy, military presence and deterrence, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, task group support, consort protection, as well as anti-submarine warfare missions. The Arrowhead is expected to sit at 5,700 tonnes and 138.7 metres in length.
The platform will be based on Danish ship design consultancy Odense Maritime Technology’s (OMT’s) Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate, which is in service with the Royal Danish Navy. The optimised design of the frigate will enable operators to reduce maintenance costs, minimise the potential risks when participating in a mission, and operate in harsh environmental conditions. Forming the centrepiece of the Ministry of Defences (MoD’s) National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Type 31e programme envisages the fast-track acquisition of a class of five globally deployable frigates geared towards forward-deployed maritime security, presence, and defence engagement. A firm price of GBP1.25 billion (USD1.75 billion) has been set for the procurement of the five ships, which are intended to enter RN service from 2023 to replace five general purpose-roled Type 23 frigates.
The Arrowhead 140 is expected to sit at 5,700 tonnes and 138.7 metres in length, the ships company is around 100 with space for an embarked military force of 60. Babcock’s Team 31 has selected the proven in-service Iver Huitfeldt frigate design as the baseline for their T31e product. This ship
features 4 large dedicated Boat Bays with flexible launch & recovery arrangement to cater for varying operational roles, including the deployment of RHIBs, USVs & UUVs. The Mission Space which is located under the flight deck, say Babcock, offers significant operational flexibility allows for numerous TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) containers, extended stores, or personnel accommodation space. The large aft flight deck can accommodate an AW-101 Merlin or MH-60 Seahawk helicopter. Equipped with helicopter in-flight refuelling (HIFR) capability and the hangar on-board the frigate will have the capacity to hold naval helicopters, unmanned systems, and light aircraft.
Arrowhead features 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. The ability to fit the existing systems and equipment from the parent design, the Iver Huitfeldt class frigate, is retained to provide flexibility in the capability supplied at build and through the life of the platform. For example, this retained capability means that a 32 cell Mk41 Strike Length silo can be fitted to incorporate a combination of a larger number of anti-air missiles, vertical launch anti-surface missiles, precision land attack missiles or ASW weapons such as ASROC. The large deck area can accommodate eight canister-launched surface-to-surface guided weapons (SSGW).