In order to maintain its status as a great power, the United Kingdom insists on building a new generation of Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers. At present, the main surface warships of the British Navy are composed of 2 “Queen Elizabeth” class aircraft carriers, 6 Type 45 destroyers, and 12 Type 23 frigates. It is very old and needs to be replaced urgently. However, due to the huge cost of the two aircraft carriers, there was a headache in the end, and there was no money! The construction of new escort ships was a problem.
Type 31 Frigate
What is a Type 31 Frigate?
At first, the United Kingdom planned to build 13 Type 26 frigates to replace Type 23 in a one-to-one ratio. The development plan of Type 26 is also called “Global Combat Ship”. As the next generation of British frigates, the full-load displacement is as high as 8,000 tons, and it is equipped with the US-made MK41 vertical. The launch system has the ability to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The original Type 26 frigate performed well, but in 2017, the contract value for eight Type 26 frigates reached 9.87 billion pounds, with an average cost of 1.23 billion pounds per ship, which is close to the price of the Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyer built by the United States, although the United Kingdom The military expenditure was very high at the beginning, it was impossible to pay for the shipbuilding. The two Queen-class aircraft carriers were hard “squeezed out” costs. Therefore, due to insufficient funds, the ship construction plan was cut off a lot. The United Kingdom is unable to compensate for a shortage of quantity, The frigate Type 31 was never constructed.
On November 15, 2019, the British Ministry of Defense officially signed a construction contract with Babcock. It plans to build a total of five Type 31 frigates, each of which is about 250 million pounds (about 2.2 billion yuan at the exchange rate on the day of the contract). The cost is only a fraction of that of the Type 26 frigate, which can be said to be very cheap.
Construction and Design
On April 26, 2022, Babcock International (Babcock International) announced that the company’s Rosyth Shipyard in Scotland held a ceremony for the first ship of the British Navy’s Type 31 frigate “HMS Venturer” (HMS Venturer). The keel-laying ceremony was held (Rosyth Shipyard was also the final assembly site of the British Navy’s “Queen Elizabeth” class aircraft carrier), and the first two bottom sections have been placed on the final assembly platform, according to Babcock’s official website news, The ceremony took place in the newly inaugurated construction yard at Roses Shipyard, which is said to be capable of accommodating two frigates under construction at the same time.
The Type 31 frigate is based on the prototype design of the Danish Navy’s active “Ivan Huertfield” class frigate. It adopts standard modules and a unique three-mast (foremast main mast, as well as mid and rear masts) design, which will greatly reduce maintenance and maintenance. combat cost. This type of ship has a length of 138.7 meters, a width of 19.8 meters, a draft of 4.8 meters, a cruising speed of 18 knots, a maximum speed of more than 28 knots, a displacement of 5,700 tons, a crew of 100 people, and a maximum of more than 160 people.
Is Type 31 really a deadly blow?
Many people will think that the Type 31 frigate looks great, but unfortunately, if we talk about the specific situation, we can only say: simple, don’t look at its size reaching the level of nearly 6,000 tons, it is definitely not a small frigate, but in all aspects The equipment is absolutely simple, there is no phased array radar, only a three-coordinate radar, no all-electric propulsion system, just diesel power, in terms of firepower not as good as 056, no firepower, only one Bofors 57mm rapid-fire gun, two 40 The millimeter naval gun, plus a 16-unit vertical launch system, uses sea receptor missiles with a maximum range of only 25 kilometers. It can only be regarded as a point defense missile, and has no regional air defense capability, although an anti-ship missile launch system is reserved. location, but there is no planned installation, it exists only in the imagination, and there is no towed array sonar. Perhaps better than the 056 is that it has a fixed hangar.