UK to Acquire New General Purpose Frigates

The U.K. government has issued a National Shipbuilding Strategy that calls for the procurement of new general purpose frigates.

The first five Type 31e frigates would cost less than $329 million each and are slated to enter service by 2023, the British government said in a press release posted Wednesday.

Type 31e vessels will be built in blocks across different shipyards in the country then assembled at a central facility.

The same block build approach was used for the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and the RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship.

U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said shipyards will design the Type 31e frigates to be export-friendly and “attractive to navies around the world.”

The new National Shipbuilding Strategy adopts recommendations from an independent report made by John Parker, chairman of international mining company Anglo American.

The strategy includes plans to transform U.K.’s naval ship procurement efforts; boost the British maritime industry’s competitiveness; grow the U.K. navy’s fleet in the 2030s; export locally-made ships; and increase jobs across the country.

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