On 18 October 2017 Merseyside-based shipyard and engineering services company Cammell Laird announced a new partnership with BAE Systems to position the companies to build five Type 31e Frigates.

The Teaming Agreement has been formed in response to the UK Ministry of Defence Request for Information and will now be part of a competitive tender process.

The agreement will see Cammell Laird act as the Prime Contractor to build the Type 31e Frigates with BAE Systems providing warship design, engineering capability and combat systems expertise.

Cammell Laird CEO John Syvret CBE said the company, which is the UK’s largest and most successful commercial shipbuilder, is proposing an innovative frigate design, known as ‘Leander’, based on existing and proven BAE Systems’ naval ship designs.

“Our commercial approach to design selection on merit ensures that Leander meets the T31e requirements with a high level of adaptability to attract the widest range of international customers,” he said.

Mr Syvret said the Cammell Laird consortium will include the A&P Group of shipyards and members of the broader UK supply chain. He said this approach has proved successful in the construction of the £150million new artic survey vessel the RSS Sir David Attenborough, currently being built at Cammell Laird.

“This approach means Cammell Laird can offer huge agility for both UK and international customers through our consortia fabrication facilities in Birkenhead, Glasgow, Newcastle and Falmouth,” he said.

“Cammell Laird has very much welcomed the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the T31e competition. We will offer a UK warship design, a UK combat system, a UK build and a supply chain with high UK content. We will be working with BAE Systems’ design teams to deliver certainty, speed and agility on this nationally important project. Cammell Laird is proud to be responding as Prime Contractor and we believe we have a T31e offer which will generate further export opportunity.”

John Hudson, Managing Director, BAE Systems Maritime, commented: “We are pleased to be working with Cammell Laird with whom we have a strong and effective relationship, having worked with them on the Carrier and Astute programmes. We believe our expertise in warship design and engineering capability, combat management systems and export campaigns, together with Cammell Laird, means we are in an excellent position to contribute to the success of the Type 31e programme”.

Cammell Laird has built some of the most iconic Royal Navy warships, including the Leander classes of the 1930s (HMS Achilles) and the 1960s (HMS Ajax).

Cammell Laird’s naval construction tradition continues through a close working relationship with BAE Systems and the construction of 1200 tonne flight deck blocks for the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and blocks for the complex nuclear powered Astute Submarines.