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Ships to inspire – names of Type 31 frigates revealed

A graphic of three Type 31 frigates at sea
19 May 2021
Five names to rally and inspire sailors and Royal Marines now and for the future have been selected for Britain’s next generation of frigates.

Britain’s senior sailor First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin today announced the names of the Type 31 frigates – which will now be known as the Inspiration class.

Approved by Her Majesty The Queen, HMS Active, Bulldog, Campbeltown, Formidable and Venturer draw their names from warships and submarines whose deeds and missions are intended to reflect and inspire current and future Royal Navy operations.

Each name has been selected to represent key themes and operations which will dominate and shape the global mission of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines: carrier operations (Formidable); operational advantage in the North Atlantic (Bulldog); forward deployment of ships around the globe to protect UK interests (Active); technology and innovation (Venturer); and the Future Commando Force (Campbeltown).

The names of the five future frigates were revealed at the First Sea Lord’s Seapower conference held in Arundel House.

Each of the names has been chosen for evoking those values we strive for: cutting-edge technology, audacity and global operations.

First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin

“I welcome the announcement of the names of the Inspiration-class. Each of the names has been chosen for evoking those values we strive for: cutting-edge technology, audacity and global operations,” Admiral Radakin said.

“They represent the best of Britain’s world-class shipbuilding heritage and will fly the flag for decades to come.”

Admiral Radakin told conference delegates that the new class was at the heart of a new era of maritime renaissance – as heralded by this year’s defence review – which recognised the importance of defence, the Royal Navy and the maritime realm to the prosperity of the nation.

This “maritime resurgence” has brought with it a rebirth of Britain’s shipbuilding industry to provide modernised forces – but the government expects “increased presence” as a result, embodied by the global missions of the Inspiration class. 

The Type 31s replace five general-purpose Type 23 frigates which have served the Royal Navy with distinction since the early 1990s.

All five Inspiration-class vessels will be assembled at the Babcock yard in Rosyth, where a new construction hall is nearing completion.

The first steel is due to be cut on the ships this summer and all five will operate alongside Type 26 or City-class frigates which will be dedicated submarine hunters and will replace the equivalent specialist Type 23s.

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