Written evidence submitted by Babcock
Babcock International Group PLC
33 Wigmore Street Telephone +44 (0)20 7355 5300
London W1U 1QX Facsimile +44 (0)20 7355 5360
Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP
Chairman, House of Commons Defence Committee House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
21st July 2021
Dear Mr Ellwood,
Thank you for your letter dated 6 July, it was a pleasure to give evidence to such an important inquiry and I look forward to reading your report. In response to your point on the Risk Register, unfortunately we are unable to share the actual document due to contractual constraints. However, we have made the MOD aware that we are sharing the main risks arising from the programme, as well as any actions we are taking beyond ordinary practice to mitigate them with the committee and they are set out in the table in an annexe to this letter. Due to its commercial sensitivity, we ask that it is not published.
On our plans for the export of Arrowhead 140 (Type 31 export variant) we are pursuing a number of live opportunities including those I mentioned at the committee, we do have other live opportunities too but I am not able to discuss them at present. Key to all of the current export opportunities however, is the modularity of the build and the size of the vessels, which allows us to incorporate capability modifications and additions beyond the UK’s Type 31 requirement. This is well evidenced by the opportunities in Greece, Indonesia and Poland, all of which require substantially more capability than the UK Type 31 version but which we are able to offer due to the modularity and size of the platform.
Regarding Arrowhead 140’s main selling points, we believe they are fourfold, firstly our price point is extremely competitive. Second, we are offering a proven (i.e. a wet) hull and, in the main, a power and propulsion configuration that has been tested and seen service in the Danish Navy with the associated reduction in risk and price maturity. Third, the design is highly capable and can accommodate a range of mission capabilities and configurations to meet customer requirements. Finally, given the size and space in a 140M vessel we have significant design margins which allow for considerable adaptability including the incorporation of increased capability, systems and equipment as required by customers. This also enables increased stability beyond other frigates for safer, more effective autonomous vehicle operations. In summary, Arrowhead 140 is a price competitive, proven, capable and adaptable platform which offers real political and operational choice from one vessel.
Registered in England and Wales No. 2342138 Registered office as above
I look forward to meeting you in person when we welcome the committee to Rosyth where you will see first-hand the investment we have made in our facility to deliver Type 31. Please do let me know if there is any additional information or insight Babcock can provide.
David Lockwood OBE Group CEO