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FLOATING STEEL
Britain plans a new class of Navy frigate
by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Sep 8, 2017


British Ministry of Defense proposes new shipbuilding plan
Washington (UPI) Sep 7, 2017 - British Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon released a new National Shipbuilding Strategy on Wednesday, which includes a plan to overhaul and expand the overall maritime industry in England.

The proposed strategy is based off of an independent report by Anglo-American PLC chairman Sir John Parker with proposals on how to overhaul the U.K.'s maritime industry and shipyards, grow the Royal Navy by the 2030's, and increase ship exports and the shipbuilding job market.

The strategy calls for the procurement of Type 31e General Purpose Frigates at the price of no more than $300 million each for the initial five frigates. The ships would be built in parts in multiple shipyards before final assembly in a central location, with the first to be in service by 2023.

The plan also looks to seeing the ship being competitive in the defense export market.

"This new approach will lead to more cutting-edge ships for the growing Royal Navy that will be designed to maximize exports and be attractive to navies around the world," Fallon said.

The proposed model of production will follow along the lines of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, which was built in blocks in six shipyards for final assembly at a single point. This strategy has been touted as spreading around jobs and manufacturing opportunities.

The proposed Type 31e General Purpose Frigate would be a low-cost light frigate meant as much for export as for bolstering the shrinking Royal Navy. It's potential design is still under consideration with BAE Systems, a major competitor.

Britain's Ministry of Defense and Royal Navy has launched plans to obtain a new frigate to replace Type 23 frigates now in service.

The project was announced Thursday by Minister for Defense Procurement Harriett Baldwin and came on the heels of the ministry's announcement of a new shipbuilding strategy.

"A day after we launched the National Shipbuilding Strategy, we are taking our first major step towards realizing it by launching the Type 31e program," Baldwin said in a press release.

"It will take the very best of British engineering, innovation and drive to achieve it and, as a nation, we have shown time and time again that we have what it takes to deliver. This program will re-energize a world-leading, vibrant and competitive British shipbuilding industry."

Type 31e frigates, which will be built in a modular process, will perform Fleet Ready Escort duties in home waters, perform tasks in the South Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf, and meet Britain's NATO commitments in the Mediterranean.

The ships will feature a hangar and flight deck big enough for a helicopter and unmanned air vehicles and will be built at a cost of about $326.7 million for five ship.

The first five frigates, due to be in service in 2023, will replace five Type 23 frigates. Eight Type 23 ships are being replaced by Type 26 vessels, the first of which entered construction in July.

FLOATING STEEL
Navy to issue order for heavy lift of the USS John S. McCain
Washington (UPI) Sep 6, 2017
The U.S. Navy is planning on issuing an order on an existing contract for the salvage, repair and transport of the USS John S. McCain to Yokosuka, Japan, using a heavy lift. The ship will be transported from Singapore to the U.S. Navy's Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Facility, with a tentative timeframe of late September. Yokosuka is where the USS John S. McCain ... read more

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