UK Frigate Type 31: Leveraging the Danish Frigate


We would like to thank Rear Admiral Nils Wang for bringing the development of the Arrowhead 140 design for the UK Type 31e frigate to our attention.

We have looked at the Danish frigate in the past and have underscored our sense that the Danes had come up with a very effective design and build strategy  for a very effective frigate.

Notably one which can provide for a wide range of missions at a very effective cost and could operate in tough conditions as well.

Apparently Babcock agrees with us and has unveiled their design for the Type 31e frigate which leverages the Danish frigate.

A Babcock-led industry team has officially unveiled the Arrowhead 140 concept as their design for the UK defense ministry’s Type 31e general purpose light frigate program.

Babcock, Thales, OMT, BMT, Harland and Wolff and Ferguson Marine are all part of the team bidding for the UK MoD’s £1.25 billion Type 31e program.

As announced on Thirsday, the Arrowhead 140 will have a hull form based on the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates OMT designed for the Royal Danish Navy.

The decision to base the Arrowhead on the in-service Danish frigates is aimed at lowering program risks, the team said, adding that their Type 31e contender was engineered to minimise through-life costs.

At almost 140m the platform will optimise operational flexibility. This ‘wide beam’ ship is easier to design, easier to build and easier to maintain due to its slightly larger size, Babcock said.

“Arrowhead 140 will provide increased survivability, operability and capability – compared to a standard 120m design. When you consider that this ship can be delivered at no extra cost and that it will support improved radar performance, increase platform stability and facilitate better helicopter operations in bad weather, whilst enhancing crew comfort – we believe it will bring a significant edge to modern naval capability,” Craig Lockhart, Babcock’s managing director, Naval Marine said.

For earlier pieces on the Danish frigate, see the following:

Visiting the HDMS Niels Juel: An Interview with Commander Lars Holbaek

The Danish Frigate and Flexible Operations: Thinking Through an LCS Alternative