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Keel laying event kicks off construction of first Type 31 frigate

Posted on 29 Apr 2022 and read 738 times
Keel laying event kicks off construction of first Type 31 frigatePhoto: Babcock

Babcock has started construction of the first of five Royal Navy Type 31 frigates, HMS Venturer, at its Rosyth facility. After cutting the first steel on the programme in September 2021, the traditional keel laying event held earlier this week, formally recognised the start of the build, including placing a specially commissioned coin under the keel. On completion of the ship, the coin will be presented to the Captain and crew.

The ceremony was held in the new build hall, the Venturer Building, which forms part of a £60 million investment programme, on top of an additional £100 million over the last ten years. The fully covered hall will house two frigates for uninterrupted, parallel assembly and will support increased productivity gains through improved access to the platforms and digital connectivity.

All of this underpins Rosyth’s shipbuilding capabilities and maximises the benefits of ‘state of the art’ engineering infrastructure and digital innovation. The Type 31 programme is an important part of the Its stated vision for ‘a globally successful, innovative and sustainable shipbuilding enterprise’ is being borne out in Rosyth, with the company investing in and accelerating its ship-building prowess and ambitions.

Guests from the Royal Navy, Ministry of Defence and other partners joined Babcock at the event and watched a short film celebrating the role of Rosyth’s workforce.

The event comes just over one month since Babcock secured its second export contract for its Arrowhead 140 frigate (the export variant of the UK Type 31 platform) with the company announced as the platform design provider and technology partner for Poland’s MIECZNIK (Swordfish) new frigate programme.

Babcock had previously secured a design licence agreement with PT PAL Indonesia (Persero) to enable PAL to build two Arrowhead 140 frigates in Indonesia with bespoke design modifications for the Indonesian Navy.

Sean Donaldson, Babcock managing director at Rosyth, said: “The keel laying ceremony for the future HMS Venturer was a great occasion as we joined with our customer and colleagues to mark this milestone. It’s my privilege to work with this talented team each day and to witness their drive, determination and relentless pursuit of quality.”

“A big well done to our competition winner seven-year-old Josh Duffy (pictured), who designed the coin that we had minted for the keel laying ceremony and whose mum works for Babcock at Rosyth and to our apprentices Ian Stevenson and Naimh Charleston for a flawless job laying down the coin.”