Babcock Team 31 has successfully completed its Whole Ship Critical Design Review (WSCDR) which is a key indicator of the compliance, maturity and engineering risk in proceeding into production as we mature the 3D CAD model. The WSCDR was held virtually over a period of ten days and comprised of a large number of specific reviews to assess the maturity of the individual systems and equipment for the Type 31 Frigate.
Completing the Whole Ship CDR provides Team 31 with the confidence to fully develop the 3D CAD model and move towards the generation of build drawings in readiness for first steel cut and ship assembly later this year. Production work at Rosyth has been underway since last year on construction of ship cradles, build stools and ground supports. These form part of the essential infrastructure required to enable construction, and are designed to support the vessels upright as they are being built.
Babcock CEO David Lockwood said: “This is a real step change in capacity and capability at Rosyth which provides the UK with a world-class, future-ready, ship build facility. It’s an exciting time for UK industry with future opportunities emerging such as the recently announced Type 32 Frigate programme and international discussions increasing around the export of our proven and adaptable Arrowhead 140 design, with potential customers looking to the UK as the benchmark for their own programmes.”
An independent board of twelve experts reviewed the design, interrogated the engineering team and provided valuable advice to Babcock (the Design Authority), with attendees and contributors from the UK Ministry of Defence. The board were pleased with the rate of progress made since the Preliminary Design Review in June 2020 and the level of technical maturity of the design, especially given the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19.
The WSCDR is a significant milestone in the Type 31 programme and reflects the fantastic progress being made since contract award. The facilities and technology investment in Rosyth has got underway, with manufacturing bay refurbishments, the installation of state of the art advanced manufacturing equipment, and the New Assembly Hall will be completed towards the end of this summer before the start of ship assembly.
Team 31 has placed a large number of Supply Chain contracts to date representing nearly 80% of the value. The remaining supply chain contracts will be placed in line with the procurement plan, with the first major equipment deliveries due later this year. Team 31 is currently operating across the UK in Rosyth, Bristol, Devonport and Crawley, growing and mobilising in readiness for ship assembly starting later this year. At the peak, approximately 1250 people will work on the programme across the UK.