Royal Navy: New Type 31 frigates HMS Venturer and HMS Active begin to take shape as construction continues

The Royal Navy’s new fleet of vessels are beginning to take shape.
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Construction work is continuing on the first of the new Type 31 frigates HMS Venturer. It has been 18 months since her keel was laid, and now the vessel is beginning to resemble a warship.

HMS Venturer is being put together at the Babcock shipyard in Rosyth, Scotland, with the first members of its crew already assigned. The bulbous bow has now been pieced together.

L to R: The painted bulbous bow of HMS Venturer, and the lower sections of HMS Active with the more complete HMS Venturer alongside it.L to R: The painted bulbous bow of HMS Venturer, and the lower sections of HMS Active with the more complete HMS Venturer alongside it.
L to R: The painted bulbous bow of HMS Venturer, and the lower sections of HMS Active with the more complete HMS Venturer alongside it.
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It modifies the way water flows around the hull, reducing friction while the frigate sails through the open sea. The bow also reduces fuel consumption and helps extends the warships’ range, while also making it more stable.

Fellow Type 31 warship, HMS Active, is also being pieced together. Several sections of the lower hull of the ship have been built in situ in the assembly hall – which has been fittingly named as the Venturer Building.

HMS Active’s keel is scheduled to be laid next month in a ceremony, blending modern shipbuilding methods with naval history. A specially-minted HMS Active coin, designed by a child of one of the Babcock employees responsible for building the ship, will be placed under the keel.

The symbol is said to bring the new frigate good luck. When HMS Venturer and HMS Active are completed, they will be longer than the existing Type 23 frigates by five metres and heavier by 1,000 tonnes.

An artist's impression of a Type 31 frigate at sea. Picture: Royal Navy.An artist's impression of a Type 31 frigate at sea. Picture: Royal Navy.
An artist's impression of a Type 31 frigate at sea. Picture: Royal Navy.
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Five inspiration class ships are set to be built – HMS Venturer, Active, Formidible, Bulldog and Campbelltown. They will conduct general-purpose duties around the globe when in service later this decade.

Some doubts have been raised about whether the project will be completed on time, and to budget, but the Royal Navy remain confident it will succeed. Among the sections which have been completed on HMS Venturer include her spine/backbone – the lowest parts of the frigate, such as the bow and keel, including Grand Blocks 01 (which includes the rudder and transom) and next to it 02.

As previously reported in The News, Senior Naval Officer Commander Chris Cozens – who will be leading HMS Venturer – said: “It is privilege to be part of the team bringing in the very latest maritime technology to serve Britain’s global ambitions.”

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