BABCOCK are plumbing the depths with their plans for the £1.25 billion ships they're building for the Royal Navy.

That's because they're wanting to dredge an area of the Forth and remove thousands of tonnes of material from the river bed over a three year period.

And the work to clear the approaches to the port should make it easier for the 'float-off' - a modern, low-risk process for entering a ship into water - of the five type-31 frigates the dockyard are currently assembling.

Rosyth Royal Dockyard Ltd has applied to the Scottish Government for a marine licence for 'maintenance and capital dredging and sea disposal'.

Dunfermline Press: The Type 31 frigates are being assembled at Rosyth Dockyard.The Type 31 frigates are being assembled at Rosyth Dockyard. (Image: Babcock)

A method statement explained: "As a statutory harbour authority, we have a duty to maintain safe navigation by undertaking dredging operations at the Port Babcock Rosyth tidal waters.

"Maintenance dredging is necessary to ensure that appropriate depths of water are kept, while our capital dredging specifically supports critical business opportunities that are deemed of national strategic importance.

"The particular area targeted for capital dredging has previously been dredged to a depth of 12 metres back in 2015-16, which is the depth we are aiming to achieve in support of the type 31 float-offs."

If approved, UK Dredging will carry out the work and it's planned to include all of the port's eastern tidal approaches and berths.

READ MORE: Babcock claim for Type 31 cash 'rejected in full'

A previous licence expired last September after just over 114,000 tonnes of material were removed.

It continued: "As silt and sand naturally accumulate in the Rosyth approach channel and around our tidal berths, dredging operations are conducted as needed to maintain depths.

"The majority of the material to be removed will be done via TSHD (trailing suction hopper dredgers) but may include plough, grab and backhoe dredging as required.

"Dredgers will employ advanced technology to accurately determine the vessel's position and the level at which dredging is carried out."

The yard started work on the first of the type-31 frigates in September 2021 and the crew of HMS Venturer began to board last July.

All five ships should be delivered by 2028.