Thursday, April 18, 2024

First sailors join Royal Navy’s new Type 31 frigate HMS Venturer

Nine Royal Navy sailors led by Senior Naval Officer Commander Chris Cozens have made history by joining HMS Venturer – the lead vessel of five Type 31 Inspiration-class Royal Navy frigates. They have had a chance to view the under-construction HMS Venturer. These nine sailors are the first of the ship’s company which will grow to more than 100 when the ship joins the Fleet.

It’s the task of the trailblazers to bring the 5,700-tonne warship – whose construction only began in September 2021 – to life, helping to write the ‘operators’ manual’ for Venturer and the four other ships of the class.

The Type 31s are designed for a wide variety of roles around the world, with each ship in the class drawing its name from a historic Royal Navy vessel. Venturer’s name honors a Second World War submarine that famously torpedoed a German U-boat while both vessels were submerged.

HMS Venturer will be a key capability in delivering the Royal Navy’s maritime security tasks. It is armed with Sea Ceptor air defense missiles, 57mm and two 40mm guns, and a 4D radar and will carry either a Wildcat or Merlin helicopter and up to three sea boats.

The Type 31s are one of two classes of frigates under construction by the force. They will conduct duties around the globe, such as curbing drug trafficking in the Caribbean or the Middle East, working with NATO in the Mediterranean, and providing humanitarian relief and assistance to those that need it.

The HMS Venturer will emerge from the Babcock’s Rosyth facility construction hall within a year. The growing ship’s company will work side-by-side with the MOD’s DE&S team and shipbuilders to understand how to operate the ship and deliver it into service.

“The crew is the beating heart of the ship, turning cold steel into a warship,” Commander Cozens said. “HMS Venturer is the epitome of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, procured in a very different way where industry and Defence work side by side seamlessly. It is a privilege to be part of the team bringing in the latest maritime technology to serve Britain’s global ambitions.”

All units of HMS Venturer are now in production in Rosyth, where the ship herself is taking shape in the build hall – named after the first ship in the Type 31 class.

Once accepted from Babcock, all five ships will undergo a period of capability upgrades under the MOD and demonstration trials before entering service with the Royal Navy. The Royal Navy plans to have this brand-new frigate unit ready to operate by the end of this decade.