The new Fleet Solid Support ships that are needed to service the UK’s £6.3 billion Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers will go out to full international tender on the 30th April 2018.

GMB research shows that up to 6,700 jobs could be created or secured in the UK if the order went to a domestic shipbuilder – including 1,800 much needed shipyard jobs. A further 4,700 jobs could be secured in the wider supply chain – including in the steel industry.

The union estimates that £285 million would also be returned to the taxpayer through income tax, national insurance contributions and lower welfare payments.

Exclusive Survation polling, commissioned by GMB, found that 74 per cent of people want the new Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships built in the UK. GMB maintains that RFA ships are military vessels that are crucial to the UK’s defence capabilities.

The Government’s current policy is to build all Royal Navy warships in the UK but orders for RFA ships are put out to international tender. Shipbuilding companies from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea and Spain attended a recent Ministry of Defence industry day on the Fleet Solid Support order according to documents obtained by GMB under the Freedom of Information Act.

Ross Murdoch, GMB National Officer for Shipbuilding, said:

“The Government looks set to repeat the blue passports fiasco by putting another order of national significance out to tender abroad. Ministers are not bound by normal EU rules on competitive tendering when it comes to military ships. There really can be no excuse for sending our shipbuilding contracts overseas.

We have a highly skilled shipbuilding workforce in the UK that is more than capable of making these ships at a fair market price. We face being sold down the river if the work goes to artificially subsidised international competitor shipyards instead. At a time when global tensions are rising, the Government should use this order to ‘buy for Britain’ and rebuild our defence shipbuilding manufacturing capabilities.

Shipbuilding workers are disillusioned by orders flowing overseas while highly skilled jobs at UK shipyards are being cut. It would be a gross betrayal of the spirit of the ‘red, white and blue Brexit’ that Theresa May promised if this crucial contract is awarded outside of the UK and jobs here are lost as a result.”

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Chris
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Chris

Have any firm designs actually been submitted yet that we can look at or have firms only really registered interest thus far?

Andy G
Guest

This is what I care about. Everything elses in this thread is just annoying.

andyreeves
Guest
andyreeves

shipbuilders demand? tell them if they had the ability to operate in the now, and not just hankering for the past, they might have got the work.to slow, and poorly run,uncompetitive.

Leo Jones
Guest
Leo Jones

If they know it is open internationally, no UK yard will bother, as they can’t compete on price.
But, by making this a military order and building here, the government could help one yard to build its workforce and skills base to the point where it could become internationally competitive again. The French, the Germans, the Italians, the Spanish would all never build these outside their own yards. Why do we?

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Leo to answer your question it is because our Government is stupid and is driven by the lowest price. No other similar nation to the UK takes the same approach despite what others may say on here. We have just built the two largest warships ever outside the USA and have now been laying off shipbuilder’s but according to some we have no capacity.
We are nuts.

Expat
Guest
Expat

Its not just the government the general publis do not support UK industries. The exact same arguement goes for everything we buy, if we all bought UK cars, food etc where we can then tax reciepts would be higher and therefore 2% of the budget on defence would equate to a better paid and equiped military

Expat
Guest
Expat

There are cars built in UK, Nissan, Honda, Jags, Mini etc as per the article this is supporting UK jobs and the tax that UK employees pay and VAT when they spend goes back to the Government. I’m not defending the UK government buying overseas just pointing out we all do it, we look for the best product for the money.

andyreeves
Guest
andyreeves

most contracts are a foregone conclusion, if BAE are in the bidding, they get to build on the scandalous monopoly this country has given them.

Barry White
Guest
Barry White

To be honest i have to agree that they should be constructed here
I think it would be a betrayal of our shipbuilders
I understand why the tankers went overseas as there was a lot going on regarding the carriers
As for the Clyde well thats another matter All i will say is dont be greedy

KeithSware
Guest
KeithSware

We closed down Portsmouth ship yards at the same time as agreeing to build type 26s in Scottish ship yards at the same time as getting RFAs built in Korea?

Where is the love for made-in-Britain and supporting local British engineering, R & D, jobs, local dependant companies and putting money into businesses that pay PAYE back into the local tax coffers?

Capacity is relative to the Portsmouth ship yards that were closed down

T.S
Guest

Uk build. End of. I’m fed up of our useless tosses politicians not supporting our industries and seeing the knock on effect on the supporting communities. What is there game?

Lee1
Guest
Lee1

To build them in the UK would require a UK shipbuilder to submit a tender… Something that did not happen with the last support ships. If no UK yard wants to build them then what is the Government supposed to do?

Expat
Guest
Expat

UK industry cannot have a blank cheque. There would have to be a mechanism to make industry internationally competitive otherwise once the order is fufilled the yard will go under as it cannot win more orders. Whilst the churn Tax money good for the economy winning large foreign orders is even better. I would support a competitive tender process where a UK yard has to be within 20% of the lowest bidder for the entire contract. The last ship built would need to be delivered at or under the cost of the foreign bid otherwise there are penalties. This forces… Read more »

Martin Symes
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Martin Symes

At last common sense the MOD can’t keep giving our defence industry a blank cheque for ships and aircraft. £1bn for a destroyer or frigate and nobody knows how much each Typhoon has cost us. Lets wake up British industry and stop sleeping on a matress of tax payers money.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

In fairness Martin, we are not doing much worse than any other advanced country building these assets.

the £1bn destroyers are almost certainly that price due to government indecision and lets not forget that the carriers are at least £1bn more due to the govt of the times decision to slow work down.

I dont think it is always the companies fault – the MOD and Govt are active and incompetent players in this.

Ron5
Guest
Ron5

Well said Pacman

Expat
Guest
Expat

But is that a reason not to change, just because others do it. I agree the Government and MOD do struggle to write contract that holds companies to account. The press is also a problem, look at the articles around these ships over the last few days, it could essentially tie the Governments hands to build in the UK irrespective of cost and not force the yards to make any improvements. If you want to negotiate a good deal then the whoever is short listed need to know you can and will go elsewhere, that’s the basics of any contract… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

NAO can measure estimate the cost of shipbuilds and in this digital modelling world, it is easier. Sir John wants to invest in yards that wins these contract as a condition too. Yards can model investment and production improvement with this investment. You cannot hide as a shipbuilder, but you should embrace the new tech asit will aid our performance. Just giving to a subsidised foreign yard with no account of tax back in huge forms is short-sighted. The answer is not to buy foreign! It’s not emotion, but fact. This eu empire has caused this. The warship building by… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

Yes started at 2.6 for two, then 3.2. Re-design from big to little then back to big cost 200 million, then a 2 year delay which was almost 2 billion extra. The type 45s were just over 600 million without missles. Is our UK government itself value for the taxpayer? Is 6 billion pounds for patching up the Westminster parliament value for the taxpayer?

Expat
Guest
Expat

Save the Royal Navy had a couple of good articles last year on defence procurement. Highlighted flaws both sides.

http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/defence-procurement-where-it-has-all-gone-wrong/

Ian
Guest
Ian

I started in shipyards in the mid 70s, not meaning to sound cynical:

If Labour gain power under Corbyn, I’ve a feeling Union disputes will rise in certain yards.
The more vessels under Construction, the more influence Unions wield. There are still some remnants of trouble makers, albeit, very small.

Having said that, I would like to see British yards build the RFA vessels, and become as great as they were before 70s militant actions decimated UK industry.

Stephen G.
Guest
Stephen G.

This is a golden opportunity. These should be built in either Rosyth or Cammel Lairds, with the other one getting the type 31s. With the facilities and experience from building these we will be able to start bidding for cruise ships like France, Germany and Italy do.

Expat
Guest
Expat

The current Labour party does not understand the word productivity. The leadership is far too idealistic to shape modern industry. Just look at some of the policies being put forward like a Tax on robots, how is that going to drive the productivity improvements needed to be internationally competive.

fwiw I don’t think the tories have a cooking clue either.

Political rant over 🙂

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

I believe that the NSS will fail if these ships are not built in the UK. We need to ensure the SSS are far more capable than previous designs would indicate and if we came up with an improve KArel Doorman JLSS and committed to 8 this would resolve a number of issues within the RFA/RN as we could potentially create a joint logistics and amphibious ship that I believe many countries would be very interested in. Once we get to 8 units then cost is critical and £300m each is the benchmark. All a bit of a stretch I… Read more »

Rick O'shea
Guest
Rick O'shea

8 Karel Doormans? That would replace most of the RFA fleet!

Sorry not a priority with escort numbers so low.

Stephen G.
Guest
Stephen G.

Definitely. We have to make it a rule that fighting ships AND R.F.A. are built here, then we will be able to support a decent sized shipbuilding industry. This is what other countries do.

RichardG
Guest
RichardG

Adding amphibious capabilities reduces hold space for stores and ammunition. Compact mission bays could be a very good addition particularly with a good flight deck/hangar facilities and a staffed ops room.
I can’t see a fleet SSS being effective if it has a dock. It would end up a jack of all trades like Fort Victoria but worse off.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

The specs of the Karen doorman are very impressive and don’t forget we have the tides as well I think with a little bit of thought we can have something that gives us a truly capable mission platform The other thing that tends to happen in uk is as a result of the messing about with requirements and design we actually end up compromising the ship as we have massive cost over runs before the build even starts. The KD class could be a game changer for the RN as it stands and with a little alteration to our operating… Read more »

Lusty
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Lusty

Sill think converting the Gosport ferry is a far better alternative. 🙂

(Couldn’t resist)

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Nonsense. All it needs is twin CIWS.

Mr Reeves is the design authority with this issue.

Don
Guest
Don

The tender should be written to support the ship building strategy. Preferential clauses for a consortium block build approach across different UK yards.

Stephen G.
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Stephen G.

Building blocks hundreds of miles apart with the associated transport costs will not make British shipbuilding efficient or cost effective. None of the big shipbuilding countries do it this way. We have to make British shipbuilding as competitive as possible. We should make as much as possible at either Rosyth or Cammel Lairds, with only a few blocks built elsewhere. In the long run we should build the frigate factory on the Clyde and build destroyers, frigates, patrol ships, mine countermeasure ships, etc. here. And for the big stuff, aircraft carriers, tankers, solid supply ships, amphibious etc. we should invest… Read more »

Barry White
Guest
Barry White

Question?
Everyone always on about Rosyth but please correct me if im wrong but i dont think they build ships there
I know the carriers where put together there but all the bits for it where built elsewhere and brought to Rosyth on barges for assembly
Like i said please correct me if im wrong

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Barry – Exactly so. And before the carriers Rosyth was a repair yard with no gantry crane at all. Unlike Belfast (just one example) which has built a huge list of large ships and especially carriers. And had two very capable gantry cranes. Rosyth was such a brilliant choice by its then Constituency MP the Prime Minister Gordon Brown that we had to pay some £80 Mn to ‘refurbish’ the dock, then buy a crane from China that is now for sale on eBay and each ship had to have a folding mast costing tens of thousands of… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

And Nimrod. They need to have hangar space for at least 4 nuclear powered Nimrod.

Richard Davies
Guest
Richard Davies

Julian, I will accept 4 Nimrod but there would have to be room for at least 6 Concorde V/STOL and 4x A380s again with V/STOL capability.

Julian
Guest
Julian

That last comment was supposed to be under Lusty’s comment.

Serious comment though. I just want to see the damn design, or at least know if one even exists right now. These are important additions/replacements to the RFA/RN and the specs matter.

Lusty
Guest
Lusty

I was thinking more of a modern Navalised Vulcan bomber. But we can only dream.

But I do agree, seeing a more detailed design spec would be wonderful.

But let us not forget, only a few years ago we had four solid support ships. With one of the more modern ships scrapped, that took us to three – and a commitment to replace these three like-for-like still highlights diminished hull numbers.

Julian
Guest
Julian

It does mean diminished hull numbers but, and without design specs we’re guessing here, at maybe 40,000t each HMG would no doubt claim growth on the basis of tonnage. It’s becoming a well-worn argument.

Do RFA ships, with fewer and less complex systems than high-end RN vessels, have better availability rates? If not then the rule of 3 would, however high the tonnage, give us one SSS for the CBG and not much else.

Lusty
Guest
Lusty

Not 100% sure on availability, but out of the current SSS fleet, only one is on operations, her sister ship is laid up, and Fort Victoria is in refit pending modifications to operate with the carriers. Of the tankers, two are deployed, and one is laid up. Having said that, all three Bays are deployed. And I would assume the CBG would consist of an FFT and SSS, which doesn’t leave much room for deploying an SSS in support of allied operations – as Fort Rosalie currently is. One would assume that a Tide Class vessel would be suitable for… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

Oh, and good call on the Vulcan. The original was such an impressive plane. Those were the days!

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dadsarmy
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dadsarmy

So basically speaking it costs exactly the same to place a £1 billion ship order in the UK, compared to £715 million in the likes of South Korea. Or the other way around, to buy the ships in the UK for £1.4 billion rather than £1 billion abroad. I ignore the totally unneccesary divisive diversion about the Clyde and Sturgeon, the FM of Scotland, as it has absolutely no relevance to the strong case GMB the union are making for the economic multiplier of building UK ships – in the UK. Perhaps some more unity from those seeking to keep… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

The problem with these figures is that there needs to be some way to at least approximately reflect them in defence budgets. Let’s say for instance that in theory the net costs of overseas construction (OS) vs U.K. construction are the same, i.e. to place the order in the U.K. is £1bn contract cost but with £285 back in taxes etc and OS is £715m contract cost with zero back. The fact is that it’s £1bn spent from the defence budget if they build in the U.K. and £715m if they build OS with £285m saved to spend on other… Read more »

Ian
Guest
Ian

Morning dadsarmy, I fear most peoples wishes to build these ships in the UK are doomed!

I had really hoped that Gavin Williamson would have a different approach to the laissez faire politics of the past but alas it seems not.

There is the possibility of truly resurrecting ship building in the UK around RN & RFA long term NSS but this race to the bottom on thin gruel is good for nothing.

As with so much the gov is doing with the RN I remain deeply disappointed. It’s the hope that kills.

Pacman27
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Pacman27

Actually Dads Army it costs a lot less because no one factors in the social costs of people not working. Communities that work tend to be healthier communities and the govt can decide to fund work or social care and costs. Unemployment and other benefits Increased Cost of policing crime in low employment areas Increased cost of health and social care provision. The other thing is that these jobs give people hope instead of having generations seeing their city slowly deteriorate into one large shopping centre. I am a big fan of providing work and giving people respect, rather than… Read more »

Madbaz5
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Madbaz5

Have the Tory ‘s forgot about their national shipbuilding stratergy that they had ,saying about sharing the work amongst all our yards or is it just Tory waffle.Also why should it just go to the Clyde .

Levi Goldsteinberg
Guest
Levi Goldsteinberg

Could this hull design be used to upgrade amphib capability? I mean it’s roughly the same shape as Bulwark and Albion, couldn’t be too much harder to add a well deck and lengthen the flight deck

Lusty
Guest
Lusty

I believe some of the early plans included a full hull length vehicle deck, and a stern ramp (similar to Ocean).

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

If a decision has been taken to retain the LPDs for a significant period then that would enable you to simplify the design of the SSS ships and make them to commercial standards. Without a well deck they more clearly become a ‘commodity’ item which you buy on price. The LPDs get replaced by LHDs at some future point and in the meantime we bumble along with QE as an LPH.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Not often I agree with a Trade Union but on this they are 100% spot on. Again forgive my repeating what I have said before and is ‘the bleeding obvious’ but the Whitehall bean counters need to stop their focus on ‘Price’ and look at the ‘Nett Cost’ to the UK. Exactly as the GMB have now said. Sturgeon needs to STFU as well because the more she chimes in the more those in Westminster will do the opposite and make sure NOTHING is built here. Oh and to those chuntering on about ‘subsidy’ etc to employ your own people… Read more »

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

“Sturgeon needs to STFU as well because the more she chimes in the more those in Westminster will do the opposite and make sure NOTHING is built here.”

A classic example of a divisive comment making it difficult for 47% of the people in Scotland, the minority Government in Scotland, and the 3rd largest political party in Westminster to agree with, the rest of which all the people in Scotland, the Scottish Parliament as a whole, and all the SNP MPs would probably agree with in common cause.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) dadsarmy – So you support a First Minister who peddles blatant lies and misleads her country, followers and anyone daft enough to listen to her? These ships were NEVER promised to anyone and certainly not ‘to the Clyde’. Everyone except the SNP Barmy Army led by Sturgeon KNOWS this. We need these ships built in the UK (or maybe you disagree with this unless they are built on Scotland) and Sturgeons politicking and lying does not help this one jot. Because as I said she is so despised outside Scotland if she demands something then you can bet… Read more »

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Chris H, As a political force, Scottish nationalism is going to be around for a long time; you’re just going to have to get used to it. (As indeed, many of us on these islands are having to adjust to English nationalism, and the controversial outcomes of Brexit). I’m no great fan of the Nippy Sweetie, but she’s doing no more than playing to her natural supporters – just like many other politicians do! And as the First Minister of Scotland, she’s certainly entitled to bid, cajole, and argue for these ships (or more realistically, for part of the work)… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) Alan – I am not sure despising a group of people who seek to do severe damage to the Country I love is acting ‘hysterically’. It is just telling it how it is especially when the Leader of those people peddles profound and basic lies as she did this week As for ‘English Nationalism’ being the cause of Brexit that is profoundly untrue as 1 million Scots voted to Leave the EU, Wales voted by a good majority to leave the EU while NI there was a good number of Leave votes. However the ballot was a ‘one… Read more »

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Chris, As a Scot, the UK is my country too, and on the subject of Scottish nationalism, I do think some of your comments (on this thread & others) are a wee bit over the top. For instance, I disagree with Scot Nats, but I certainly don’t despise them – or indeed anyone else for that matter! Let’s keep it in proportion – we’re a long way from the break-up of the country that we both love. I am surprised that you dispute Brexit was largely a feature of English nationalism. Of the 17 million “Leave” votes, over 15… Read more »

Phillip
Guest
Phillip

After the conflagration that brewed up with the order for new trains for Thameslink (which went to Siemens in Germany), the government instituted a new policy when it comes to large procurement projects that took into account the social aspect of awarding contracts to suppliers outside the UK – at the time, there were worries that the Bombardier facility in Derby, which had also bid for the contract, and was the only domestic rolling stock producer, would go out of business. That being said, how can a contract be awarded to a British company if British companies don’t bid for… Read more »

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

I think the reason the Thameslink trains went to Siemens was that the contract was originally constructed to include purchase and finance. Siemens financing was the cheapest. When the contract was reworked so that finance costs were broken out the actual costs of the goods became identifable. At this point if memory serves Siemens withdrew. Basically the government wanted to borrow money on the cheap and in so doing almost screwed domestic bidders.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You don’t have to open about who is bidding, you just have to ensure the procurement documentation is open to all potential bidders and then all bidders get access to the same information/treatment.

You don’t nessesarly need tell the world who is bidding during the procurement process ( although you do after completion of the process as it will come under FOI.

MarkF
Guest
MarkF

I am sure I watched a programme about the HMRY Britannia or some similar vessel where the yards had about 30 days to reply to a tender from the Govt. Not sure that would happen these days

Julian
Guest
Julian

The odd thing to me about all of this comes from comparing it with the T31 process. For T31 we saw a fair number of design proposals appearing not that long after HMG announced the basic concept and then after the industry day we got the detailed MoD T31e core spec and timelines for the various stages of the design/bid/award process. For MARS SSS? About all we seem to know is that an industry day did happen.

At least this appears to be moving forward now but I am very frustrated about the lack of information.

Simon
Guest
Simon

Think the point is no British shipyard is tendering for these contracts seems to be no interest

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

It’s not just the actual cost of course, it’s the same philosophy as the UK has towards warships. The UK is a maritime nation, and needs to keep the complete shipbuilding capacity intact. Who knows what the political situation might be in 10 years or 20 years regards allies and friends against some form of disintegration and isolation within alliances.

Luke
Guest
Luke

Its all well and good saying they must be built in the Uk but as i understand it no bids are currently in. No UK yard bid for the Tides and theres a good chance no UK yard will bid for these. Its up to Uk yards to compete and come up with a great product at a relatively competative price. I hope they can but i think it wont happen.
Fingers crossed though

Darren
Guest
Darren

The last time this happened with the MARS tankers, didn’t Luff say, I think we got away with it, or words to that effect?

Darren
Guest
Darren

Will for this to be anywhere near value for the UK taxpayer, the price needs to be 300 million to 350 million pounds for the whole job lot? If it is, how does the subsidy get to them without being seen?! UK yards will not bid if their own Government is working against them, so, therefore, us as a nation, which many of these people do! No UK yard bid for the MARS tanker probably because of this reason., They were pushed out and Government felt obliged to bow to EU regs! As a comparison (not in terms of the… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

It’s also been said that we desperately need these ships as the carriers cannot operate without them. So it is also a sovereign needed requirement that we must provide ourselves? Rules and regs from places far away are undermining the UK. That is all there is to it. Roll on BREXIT!

Darren
Guest
Darren

I was going to give links to the all the relevant Civitas articles, briefings and reports like http://www.civitas.org.uk/press/the-catch-22-for-uk-manufacturing/ or: https://www.google.com/search?q=civitas+gong+through+the+motions&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b http://civitas.org.uk/content/files/IdeasForEconomicGrowth5vFULL.pdf and so on, there are so many, and people should read all of them though, along with modern shipbuilding technology if you are into shipbuilding and naval architecture. We would not be getting so many misinformed comments and would see the UK is viable and has a big future in this sector. But most assume, go along with an old dated narrative which incorrect and so damaging as many believe it to be the case. Othe links if allowed… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

I thought it would be waiting for moderation, but at least put some of it in!

Darren
Guest
Darren

Someone has commented here or the previous article about these ships (been many, so they must be important), that some have commented about building similar to the carriers and using Rosyth, but Rosyth might be needed for the carriers etc. Well it depends on that crane and also the build plan and transportation costs, if it requires only a few crane lifts, it may not be wanted (if it’s only short term thinking by Babcock, but the crane is owned by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance) and other dry docks are available at Rosyth, as well as Birkenhead, Inchgreen (ambition for… Read more »

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

I totally missed Inchgreen – 300 metres long dry dock. Peel Ports apparently, with Cammell Laird given the rights to use it. There’s a campaign to save it.

Chris
Guest
Chris

(Chris H) dadsarmy – The vandalising of our industrial capability is not a past thing. This was only last year at Inchgreen

https://youtu.be/GPxZfBBrEhY

Makes the decision by Gordon Brown to build the carriers in his constituency of Rosyth look even more corrupt when you see the size of docks at Inchgreen.

But good as Inchgreen is it is nowhere near the capabilities of the docks at Belfast. And H & W have two gantry cranes capable of lifting between them the largest sections delivered to Rosyth.

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

Chris, yes to the vandalising, and it’s why even long-time Indy supporters like me need to stand up in solidarity with the UK shipyard workers – and particularly the capability of the surrounded by flaming water UK to build flaming ships.

Sorry, I’m in an aggressive mood today 🙂

Darren
Guest
Darren

In all fairness otherwise, more than one third would have been built in France. This is no argument.

Darren
Guest
Darren

They were old luffing cranes that are not suited to modern shipbuilding. Inchgreen is a work in progress.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Join. It’s the new UK digital shipyard.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Yes. It has huge potential and seen as the first purpose-built intelligent digital shipyard for the UK. Britain’s Meyer Werft, but better! Will and desire along with some money will see this happen and succeed.

Darren
Guest
Darren

Britain, the UK is on the cusp of total success in modern shipbuilding. Only this (as past, liblabcon as they are all the same) UK government ministers can reject the UK shipbuilding sector by giving the three solid support ships contract away abroad, so will be destroyed, as the poxy 5 or more type 31es frigates are nothing compared to this. We need a new pro-industrial party otherwise. Guto Bebb. Check him out.

Steve
Guest
Steve

I don’t get why me as a tax payer should subsidies a unprofitable industry. Back in the day when the navy was huge and the ship yards were pumping out ships, they were not competitive enough to get foreign orders because they just sucked up tax payers money and didn’t need to compete, bringing back to 2018 is a handful of aux ships really going to make it suddenly competitive, their days are gone. We are still one of the largest manufacturing countries in the world, and so we can be competitive, where the industry embraces modern approaches to the… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

In a time of war, we call upon our UK industry to support it! The whole point of the Sir John Parker report is that industries that win taxpayer-funded contracts modernise as a condition so they can compete. What you are missing here is that UK warships are not more expensive than other nations and that the past Wave tankers were built at a good competitive price. This is not an ailing industry. Get with the times my friend! To support itself, it needs belief in it’s own government and nation. Do you think the South Koreans and Chinese industries… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

Also. What do you think you are subsidising? How and in what way?

Darren
Guest
Darren

Who is subsidising the foreign firms and who subsidises energy in the UK?

Darren
Guest
Darren

Sorry to go on at you. But, Heavy Industry is being hurt by our own governments lack of interest and Uk governments do not like manufacturing at the moment, that;’s why we need a real party that embraces manufacturing. But go back to heavy hi-tech. We built those two 285 meters, 72,000 long tons (Britain always measures in long tons unless that’s changed, and unless the Carrier has a ridiculously low block coefficient, the long tons displacement looks correct), in the space of 9-10 years, which would have been less and costs lower if not for politicians and officials meddling.… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren
dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

Darren, I love the enthusiasm of your postings, and agree with the in-UK shipbuilding element completely, but the paper at that link …

… umm

Darren
Guest
Darren

Maybe so. But we cannot dispell anything that happens in this Country especially in connection with eu.

J. Tattersall
Guest
J. Tattersall

FACT CHECK – EU law prevents the government from awarding the contract for these RFA ships to a UK yard without also inviting tenders from abroad. This is because they’re not warships (rather they’re auxiliaries) and therefore the EU treaty doesn’t allow use of its Article 346 exemption which allows the government to award warship building to the Clyde. Moreover the government is required by other EU law to set out its bidder selection criteria in advance, and can be challenged in court, including at the ECJ, if it awards the contract based on any other factors. As part of… Read more »

John Clark
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John Clark

I can honestly see valid points for domestic and foreign construction for these ships.

The critical thing is that the Navy receive these ships, on time and in a cost efficient manner.

We do however need an effective ship building strategy, so assuming there is a considerable cost difference, this difference should be paid by the Department of Trade and industry.

Not impact the Defence budget.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

There is an article on Save the Royal Navy about the RFA and its 13 ships (inc Tides), that makes interesting reading. For me it also reinforces the need for a clear strategy that standardises platforms, supports the NSS and releases funding for escorts. We currently have a mix of Tides(4) Wave(2) Fort(3), Bays (3) and Argus(1). Add in Albion, Bulwark, Diligence, Scott, Ocean and the point class (4) and Mearsk Rapier and that should give us our large ship requirement for the NSS (23 ships in total). I would like to see us rationalise this into the following strategic… Read more »

KeithSware
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KeithSware

I agree with some of this, BUT
one ship every 5 years when russia was deploying 2 ships a year

If the UK can afford to build the most expensive weaponless OPVs in the world then it can afford to build a few extra type 26s and type 31s to bring the warship fleet up beyond 35 ships (not counting OPV funnies)