In response to the New Zealand Ministry of Defence’s industry engagement request to replace the current naval fleet, Babcock Australasia held a suppliers’ day for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in New Zealand aspiring to undertake work to support the delivery of company’s Arrowhead solution. Babcock Australasia confirmed that it will formally present its proven Arrowhead platform as the future solution for the Royal New Zealand Navy. Attended by more than 65 suppliers, the event was aimed at increasing awareness of Babcock’s design, build and support offering, and engaging local SMEs so they could better understand how they can play a part in delivering this adaptable solution to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). Babcock has a strong marine defence presence in New Zealand. The company is currently contracted to operate the country’s largest marine engineering and maintenance support facility in Devonport, Auckland. Babcock’s Arrowhead would provide support for a range of RNZN functions including combat, search and rescue, humanitarian and disaster relief capability.
Babcock Australasia, Managing Director Marine, Simon Spratt said: “Our local suppliers are critical to supporting the services we proudly provide the Royal New Zealand Navy, and they will be integral to supporting the country’s future naval fleet. Babcock’s Arrowhead offering is a capable, adaptable and cost-effective modern ship that is operationally proficient in both blue water and littoral areas and would deliver significant multi-mission capability to the Royal New Zealand Navy, meeting its requirements both now and in the future. Now more than ever, what we do matters: creating a safe and secure world, together.”
The Type 31 frigate or Inspiration class is a planned class of five frigate intended to enter service with the Royal Navy in the 2020s alongside the eight submarine-hunting Type 26 frigate. Babcock International have marketed the design under the name Arrowhead 140. The Type 31 is part of the British government’s “National Shipbuilding Strategy”. Designed by Babcock International, it is based on the Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate hull. In 2021, Babcock secured its first export contract for the AH140 through a licence agreement with PT PAL Indonesia, with the first keel, of the the Fregat Merah Putih (“Red-White frigate”) programme for the Indonesian Navy, laid this year. Babcock’s AH140 frigate has also been selected by the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium as the baseline platform design for Poland’s Miecznik frigates with steel cut on the first of three frigates for the Polish Navy in August 2023.
The AH140 design submitted by Babcock, BMT, and Thales is a development of the Iver Huitfeldt class frigate in service with the Royal Danish Navy. From the ‘parent’ class basis the entire Type 31 platform has been extensively redesigned to meet Lloyd’s Register Naval Ship Rules. AH140 also features a wide degree of flexibility in the component systems. It is capable of be fitted with a variety of radar masts, up to 4 boat bays for RHIBs or small USVs and the customer’s choice of medium and small calibre gun options (up-to 127mm in position A and up-to 76mm in position B). Additionally, there are several options for vertical launching systems (VLS) available; from a 24-cell CAMM ‘mushroom farm’ configuration as cost and weight saving option, up to a 32-cell strike length Mark-41 vertical launch system for long range SAM’s or SSM’s that can be positioned amidships The major characteristic of the AH140 is that it has dedicated accommodation for >180 personnel but only requires a crew of less than 100, allowing for both lower sustainment costs but also for a large number of mission specific personnel.