Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has launched a competition to build three new Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships to provide vital support to Royal Navy operations across the world.

The vessels will provide munitions, food, stores and provisions to support the UK Carrier Strike Group at sea.

According to a Ministry of Defence news release:

“Building on the commitment made in the recent Defence Command Paper to create a shipbuilding renaissance, the competition will help revitalise British shipbuilding by requiring a significant proportion of the build and assembly work to be carried out in the UK. With a £24 billion multi-year settlement to modernise our Armed Forces, the competition is an exciting moment for UK industry to design and deliver a world-leading capability, securing highly-skilled jobs and boosting homegrown skills.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“As Shipbuilding Tsar, I am delighted to launch the competition for these crucial Fleet Solid Support ships. These vessels embody our commitment to a truly global presence by supporting the Royal Navy’s operations around the world. The competition reaffirms our dedication to invest in shipbuilding and support jobs across the UK maritime industry.”

The Government say that the successful bidder will work in partnership with international companies but would be required to integrate the ships in a UK shipyard.

“The Government has already pledged to double the investment over the life of this Parliament to more than £1.7 billion a year, providing a pipeline of work to sustain jobs and skills around the UK. This will be further supported by a refresh of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, to be published this summer setting out the Government’s commitment to the UK shipbuilding enterprise and its supply chain.”

DE&S’ Director General Ships, Vice Admiral Chris Gardner, said:

“The launch of the Fleet Solid Support competition presents a really exciting opportunity for the shipbuilding industry to support the design and build of a new class of ship that will primarily resupply our Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

It is also another step in implementing the National Shipbuilding Strategy and increasing our domestic maritime construction capacity and capability alongside the Type 26 and Type 31 programmes already underway.

The FSS ships will join the QEC Task Group, carrying out replenishment at sea to supply stores and ammunition to sustain operations, which is essential to meeting the UK’s defence commitments. To do this the ships will be able to transfer loads of more than two tonnes at a time while at high speed.”

The manufacture contract award is expected to be made within two years, following approvals.

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James H
James H
26 days ago

What does “integrate the ships in a UK shipyard” actually mean? Put together blocks or build them from scratch.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
26 days ago
Reply to  James H

It’s another name for Glue possibly ? 🤔

John Clark
John Clark
26 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Now, now, Captain, you know very well Bae Systems Shipbuilding has moved to Gorilla Glue as it’s primary construction medium.

As a countermeasure, I hear the latest Chinese Anti Shipping missiles have surgical solvent warheads….

Clive
Clive
26 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

As a former Loctite Adhesive employee, I hope not. 😃

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
26 days ago
Reply to  Clive

Build standards; you have to stick with them. Well, in my City & Guilds days, but not now, we’ve learnt.

Jonathan
Jonathan
25 days ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Let’s be fair to BAE, it’s only ever glued ships together when it thought no one was looking.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
26 days ago
Reply to  James H

Indeed…the Tide Class were ‘integrated in the UK’…

There are 2 ways of looking at this:

  • Its a betrayal of UK shipbuilding
  • There are a limited number of UK shipbuilders and this could keep them honest/competitive in the procurement
AndyCee
AndyCee
26 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Out of interest, why would it be a betrayal? No British shipyards bid for the Tides, so there was no other way they would have been built.

ideally, certainly, the ships should be built in a British yard, and in the final analysis they have to consider wider criteria than simply cost. Generating jobs in the U.K. will of course generate tax revenue, so let’s hope a U.K. build happens

James Fennell
James Fennell
26 days ago
Reply to  James H

I think its to allow the Navantia bid to pass muster. They plan to invest in the H&W facility and workforce, but build first hull in Spain and then final two in Belfast (after workforce upskilled). All will be fitted out in Belfast.

James H
James H
26 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I think it sounds very much like it is a done deal, otherwise why mention the international companies.
Bit embarrassing if they build one of the ships in Spain though, after all whats been said.
Couldn’t cammell laird build them?

James Fennell
James Fennell
26 days ago
Reply to  James H

I think the idea is they would upgrade H&W facility but to save time build first hull in Spain while Belfast upgrade is underway. Cammel Laird must be odds on favourites to get the MROS contract after building Boaty, but yes maybe bring them into consortium.

DJE
DJE
22 days ago
Reply to  James H

Cammel Laird has enough ship building contracts for the next 20 years. If Navantia follows through with its promises to invest heavily in H&W and Appledore then that is surely a good thing for the shipbuilding industry as a whole. I’m under the impression that the first hull will be built in Spain but using a great deal of labour from Belfast and Devon who will then take those skills back home for the build of the next two hulls. Of course, with more contracts in the offing for MRSS then that is more potential for those yards.

John Hampson
John Hampson
26 days ago
Reply to  James H

Precisely. Do they think people are stupid?

Springer
Springer
26 days ago

Wonder if this will end up with H+W/Navantia, if so does that mean Navantia build blocks in Spain then barge them back to be integrated at H+W?

Dern
Dern
26 days ago

Can we get a picture with a French replenishiment vessel, you know, just so we can get a sense of scale?

Jack
Jack
26 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Google image search : Jacques Chevallier-class.

Dern
Dern
26 days ago
Reply to  Jack

joke: =====>
your head: 😃

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Funny. I seen that CDG picture wedged between the 2 QE class. Very funny.

Dern
Dern
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Not as funny as the retweets from people who didn’t get it was banter.

Andy P
Andy P
26 days ago

I’m just chuffed its 3 and not the “2 or 3”. Hopefully get them started soon.

John Clark
John Clark
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

With you there Andy, good news indeed mate!

DRS
DRS
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Why not 4? We have 4 tankers why not 4 solid stores?

James Fennell
James Fennell
26 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Need to replenish dry stores less often than refuel and Littoral Strike Groups will have own Multi-Role Logistics Vessels. So one FSS with each CVSG and one in training / refit. For fuel need two fast tankers with CVSG and two more with LSGs, one in refit and one supporting FOST.

Lusty
Lusty
26 days ago
Reply to  DRS

We have 6 tankers.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

No problem with commitments, Andy. The timescales are beyond one Parliament. Still, the only issues that should affect the latest pronouncements, regardless of Party, are a) the world shakes hands; b) we go broke. The first’s a miracle, the second negotiable.

Will
Will
26 days ago

A question for the group.
What if we’re to give these contracts to Commonwealth nations like Australia or Canada (doubt NZ has the capability)?

I know it’s not perfect and we’d be better of building them ourselves, but this would have them built in friendly nations and could speed up their constructions and not constrain UK shipbuilding efforts on T32, etc.

Steve
Steve
26 days ago
Reply to  Will

South Korea is a friendly nation and brought outrage for the betrayal of UK jobs. There is nothing special about the common wealth other than historic ties, we don’t even have trade deals with them. We have way better ties and trade deals with France and Spain than Australia/new Zealand these days Personally I think our armed forces need the kit and who makes it is irrelevant. Just get best value for the tax payer, where ever that comes from and be done with it . However, now that the decision has been made to integrate in the UK, let’s… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Steve
Will
Will
26 days ago
Reply to  Steve

You’re not wrong South Korea built the Tides very quickly and from what I’ve heard they are very good ships.

The reason I chose Commonwealth countries was to appease those who say that we should support UK jobs and not have countries like France or Spain build them. A compromise so to speak.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
26 days ago
Reply to  Will

The Tides had huge issues. HV Cabling was a big problem. For once the MOD contract was watertight and the builder was on the hook for the fixes.
They where late and when they came to the UK they needed a 100% underwater repaint because because the anti foul paint was gone as they had been sat doing nothing in S Korea whilst they sorted out the issues inside

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
26 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Well, if one believes the hype over increasing levels of international belligerence, which has presumably informed the requirement for increased warship capacity and even the UK’s definition of warship, who builds them and where becomes a strategic issue.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

They are being classed as warships therefore can only be built in the uk. Besides. Weve left the EU now so dont have to put the ships out to international tender unless we chose too. As they are warships they will be built in uk. Only issue is who builds them and at what price. I’m hoping H+W.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

No intrinsic issue either with H&W, beyond the not insignificant already voiced one of current financial resilience. Seems inevitable that H&W would come into the mix, should shite hit fan at any time, so not taking account of potential regarding site size/drydocks/craneage, plus a smidgeon of et-al, could be an error. Assessing the BMT/Navantia offer, presumably fairly advanced in concept, even with one of three built in Spain whilst investment and workforce training is addressed, seems efficient with regard to both risk and speed of delivery, whilst still satisfying the strategic transfer of skills requirement. It’s a common enough settlement… Read more »

Mark
Mark
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The UK could have avoided international tenders if they had wanted to even in the EU (as many others do), the UK choose not to however.

Nic
Nic
26 days ago
Reply to  Will

If they build the ships in Belfast, it wouldn’t case any problems with other ship contracts in uk.

Crabfat
Crabfat
26 days ago
Reply to  Will

Have the these FSSSs been designated as warships? If so, then current UK policy is that they should/will be built in UK yards.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Yes Crabfat you are right. Warships IFR ran an article on this. Due to EU beligerence they had to be classed as warships to prevent legal action from EU yards claiming ships had to be built in France or Spain.

Crabfat
Crabfat
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Thanks Mr Bell. But I guess the point is moot now, as we are out of the EU?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Although no fan of the EU, Mr Bell (sorry we have to be so formal), cannot really blame Europe for this one (they have to be right some of the time). It was Westminster that narrowed the definition of warship to combatants, not Brussels. Suspicion, probably justified, was so UK could get out of the implied commitment to build RFAs here. Likely that the conundrums we now face over investment/risk, already discussed, stem directly from this aspect.
Rgds

Bob2
Bob2
25 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

If that’s true, how were the tides allowed to be built in South Korea?

John N
John N
26 days ago
Reply to  Will

I’m sure the Naval shipbuilders here in Australia would love the extra work, but the reality is that it is pretty flat out building up the infrastructure and workforce for all the new ships/submarines planned for the RAN, have a look at the attached PDF: https://www1.defence.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-11/Factsheet_Naval_Shipbuilding.pdf Currently under construction, on order, or planned: 9 x Hunter class FFG 12 x Attack class SSG 12 x Arafura class OPV 8 x Modified Arafura class MCM 21 x Guardian class PB 6 x Cape class PB 2 x Joint Support Ships – hybrid LPD/AOR 1 x Pacific Support ship Numerous other support… Read more »

Roy
Roy
26 days ago
Reply to  Will

As a Canadian who has been involved in this in the past, I can say that Canadian capacity is currently limited. Two Joint Support Ships (Berlin-class variants) are being built at the Seaspan Yard in Vancouver and the Davie Yard in Quebec converted a merchant vessel into an “interim AOR” a few years ago. However, both those yards are either fully engaged (Seaspan) or will be shortly (Davie which is likely to specialize in future icebreakers). Therefore, I am honestly not sure where they would be built now. The Irving Yard in Halifax specializes in warships and therefore excess capacity… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago

Get on with it. Losing George was outrageous instead of the older Forts.

As is the norm the new low, 3, becomes the benchmark, where we once had 4. However, great news.

I’ve no issue really with some oversees work content as long as 3 are built. All UK would be fab but if that won’t happen or no capacity exists so be it.

Steve
Steve
26 days ago

In this case the cut might be justified. The navy is a lot smaller now, and so probably does require less supply ships

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Agree, it’s not one I fret over too much compared to others.

Just pointing out the similarities with all the other ships acquisition plans. 13 frigates is now the aspiration before T32 and even that is down from the 20 it should be.

They are maintaining bare minimum while talking of expansion.

Still, just an observation, not a snipe or moan for the sake of it like some.

CAM
CAM
26 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The navy is a lot smaller but if they aren’t going to build more ships like these then people could argue against the navy getting more hulls because of ‘lack of supply ships’
You are right though, the navy at the moment is a lot smaller so at the moment may not need as many

James Fennell
James Fennell
26 days ago

Even in the 1960s there were only two large solid support RFAs to support the carriers (Resource and Regent), everything else was supported by tankers carrying extra dry stores or by COD. Three smaller FSS were built in the 1970s, but divested to the USN in favour of two more large Forts. The Fort Victorias were interended as multi-purpose ships to carry fuel, stores and provide an ASW helicopter group and air defence for an ASW task group of Type 23s. They were to replace the smaller Rover class tankers and 6 were planned. The Fort Rosalies also had a… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by James Fennell
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

The newer Forts and T22s were my fav ships for a while, with the plan for 6, with VL Sea Wolf and supporting ASW groups in the N Atlantic.

Uplift in Tankers, as long as the Waves are retained, bigger and better vessels, yes.

I still remember the Ol, Leaf, Tide, and Rover Tankers.

I wasn’t aware of the 3 smaller that went to the USN?

Lusty
Lusty
26 days ago

Ness class: Lyness, Stormness, Tarbatness. It’s crucial to remember that the Tides and future Solid Support Ships are being built to specifically support the carriers. Part of the requirement is for simultanious replenishment, with the Tide on the port side, and the SSS on the starboard side (dropping supplies straight into the hangar). That’s why the Tide class have dual rigs on their starboard side. The fall in number is regretable of course (and it can be explained through a number of legitimate reasonings), but we’ll end up with three Solid Support Ships capable of supporting the carrier, rather than… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Lusty
James Fennell
James Fennell
26 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Its what makes us still a blue water navy. Most of our peers do not have this level of capacity for deployed operations.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
26 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

The Tides are on a different level to what they replaced. Let’s hope these are too: they seem to be a lot bigger from the CGI’s that have been put out. I haven’t seen tonnage mentioned anywhere. The really good thing in this announcement is that the number 3 appears to be a commitment and not an aspiration. I am a little worried about giving this to H&W given the lack of honed skills there TBH. I’d be happier, and I know this won’t be popular on here, going the route of the Tides, just to get them built and… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
26 days ago

Navy Lookout mention 40,000 tonnes for these ships. Even if that is only an inital figure guessimate it seem likely these are going to be big and hopefully capable vessels.

Timscale excepted, it all sounds very promising.

Cheers CR

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Great explanation, thank you Lusty, as always.
Ness class…., they must have passed me by don’t recall them at all.
There was some fear the Waves would go so relieved they remain. Brazil I think?

Lusty
Lusty
26 days ago

A lot of hype was drummed up about Brazil. It was claimed they would take Cyde, Waves and T23s. Two of those claims have been proven false, and to be honest, I can’t see them taking a few knackered 23s.

John N
John N
26 days ago

The former RFA Appleleaf ended up here in Oz as HMAS Westralia:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Westralia_(O_195)

Cheers,

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
26 days ago
Reply to  John N

Oh, I thought it’d gone to Westeros. Thanks for the correction!

Warren
Warren
24 days ago
Reply to  John N

Did she retain honours from the Falklands after transferring to oz?

John N
John N
23 days ago
Reply to  Warren

No, I don’t believe so.

When commissioned into the RAN she inherited the battle honours of the first Westralia which operated during WW II.

But she did gain her own battle honours during the 1991 Gulf War.

https://www.navy.gov.au/hmas-westralia-ii

Cheers,

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Good point. If these ships are now classed as warships can we fit them with sea captor, 57mm and 40mm guns (like the type 31s) and a decent hangar space and helicopter flight deck for Merlin and chinooks?
Then they could sail into harm’s way with a little less risk and be used as virtual warships for low risk anti piracy patrols.

Bob2
Bob2
25 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Being classed as warships could have legal/political issues regarding access to foreign ports. As long as the weapons are for self defence only this might be OK. Equipping RFA with offensive weapons would be problematic and would require a much bigger crew and more time in port undergoing servicing.

Rogbob
Rogbob
25 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Interesting post, I’m always trying to track the evolution of the RFA over the years. But a couple of issues, the RN had 2 more stores vessels, Resurgent and Retainer that lasted to 1979/80. So the carrier force did have 4 ships. The 3 Ness class were from the mid 60s, stored 1 for air and 2 more general. In ‘79 conversion of 1 to amphibious LPA was cancelled. Not sure why they went so early, they also had troop accomodation. The Fort Is with their troop capcity seem to be amphibous support roled? Did they work with the Invincibles?… Read more »

Ron
Ron
26 days ago

Hi DM, I can understand your point what you seem to forget is the intention of building possibly 6MRSS. These ships could have RAS points, I think the Elidda type has two RAS postions, Damen with the Enforcer or for that matter the Crossover Logistics/Amphibious can have RAS installed as well. SO you could fing the situation where the three FSS ships are being supplied by 6 MRSS.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

A very good point Ron.

Paul42
Paul42
25 days ago

Agreed. We are currently in a very difficult position with one vessel available to support the carriers. If the fire on board Fort Victoria had been any worse, CSG21 might have gone clean out of the window. If the H&W/Navantia team need to build the first hull in Spain, and the remaining two at H&W (investing heavily in that yard to return it to major ship building capability) so be it, but construction needs to proceed at pace.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
26 days ago

I think (hope) this government has got the message.Boris and Co. are doing things unheard of under David Cameron. Whether parts are made overseas doesn’t worry me in the least as long as the shipbuilding skills remain in the U.K.

James H
James H
26 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Is welding the blocks together really classed as shipbuilding skills?

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
26 days ago
Reply to  James H

Riveting story which ever way you look at it.

Rogbob
Rogbob
25 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

They are certainly talking a different story to Cameron.

But with Boris, best to wait until the thing is actually in the water…

rec
rec
26 days ago

The Navantia bid almost makes most sense, British design with some degree of commonality to the Tides, first build in Spain (acceptable with UK Blocks) with 2nd and 3rd in Belfast (with Spanish blocks as well as other UK ones eg CL). This Frees Cammell Laird for the research ship and hydrographic replacements and ?Royal Yacht and maybe FSS blocks. BAE for T26 then T83 and Babcock T31 then T32.

Andy P
Andy P
26 days ago
Reply to  rec

Have I missed somethIng ??? Royal Yacht ???

Is this a thing or just a wish ?

Nic
Nic
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Some mention was made over the past couple of months about building a new Royal Yacht and naming it after Prince Philip.
It was also said that if one was built it would be bigger than the last one and it would also be used to promote the UK.
No suggestion who would build it or what it would look like.
I think that they should just Charter one of the many luxury yachts that is available on the market if and when needed.

Andy P
Andy P
26 days ago
Reply to  Nic

I’m not convinced that us prols (and certainly not this one) will be jumping for joy at paying for the Royals to be getting a new yacht and then for the RN to crew it.

As for charter…. It lacks the class that they’d be looking for with a royal yacht. Its a thing of the past for this suburbanite.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Would prefer Deoartment of overseas aid budget going to a uk hospital/ disaster relief/ auxiliary helicopter carrier type vessel. A replacement for Argus. Something similar to San Juan class/ Adelaide class.

Andy P
Andy P
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Might be hard to justify after robbing the ‘poor foreigners’ budget to spend on defence already, not that I’m against it personally. Might not fly with the public though.

For the record, I reckon some sort of Argus/Diligence type replacements wouldn’t be amiss and could be great for disaster relief stuff. Maybe the new small landing ships will be able to fulfil the role.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago
Reply to  rec

Appledore needs to be given some work. Eg contribute towards type 31 and 32 builds. Would like the RN to think about an armed patrol boat for close in warfare like the USN cyclone. We could really use 12-15 of these for Gibraltar and English channel patrols.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
26 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Think they’d get the first two Ukraine fpbs

James Fennell
James Fennell
26 days ago
Reply to  rec

There is a national shipbuilding strategy due in a few monnths. H&W own Appledore so one would assume the Navantia bid will give them work too. Its also a British design from BMT, so plenty of UK input and some useful technology and skills transfer from a major yard to get Belfast shipbuilding going again. MRSS will follow, a six ship contract which will need plenty of UK capacity to fulfill. In the meantime there will be sub-contracts for Type 31 and Type 32 and the MROS, as well as upgrade work for Type 45, with Type 83 coming along… Read more »

Rob
Rob
26 days ago

So on top of BAE Glasgow (maxed out with T26) & Rosyth (maxed out with T31 and HMS QE refit upcoming) we are going to build 3 FSSS, up to 6 LSS, a Royal Yacht (?) & a spy ship. Seems we will need both H&W and Cammell Laird. Such a shame we let Appledore go under; that sized yard would really fit in with any Royal Yacht project.

Les
Les
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Appledore hasn’t gone under, it’s now part of Harland & Wolff

Rob
Rob
26 days ago
Reply to  Les

Les, that’s good news. Now let’s get Appledore to build the Royal Yacht. A nice long high quality build, lots of apprenticeships and a beautiful vessel.

Ron
Ron
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Not sure if Appledore would be big enough for a Royal Yacht, what Appledore could get if the Government get around to it is a replacement for the P2000 class.

captain p wash
captain p wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Appledore is the last English Shipyard to actually build a whole Warship though………. She has built many Ships over the years including a few that were too big to fit inside, She also built Sponsons and the Bows for the two Carriers, Devon has many skilled workers and North Devon is such a nice place to relocate to. Appledore has still got a lot to offer despite what some on here will have you believe. 🙂

Last edited 26 days ago by captain p wash
captain p wash
captain p wash
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

As a young Kid, my Grandad visited Appledore when they were building the Golden Hind…. he was invited due to his service in WW2 (HMS Kelly and a few others … not all of them were sunk !!! )….. He managed to “borrow” a lump of wood from an old mate who was working on her and I still have it tucked away, I also have the Ship’s Bell from his old Flower Class Ship Azalea too. ( the story of how he came to find it in his Kit Bag is a bit shrouded in history to be honest… Read more »

Ron
Ron
26 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Have a painting on my wall of HMS Kelly off Namsos Norway 1940, signed by Mountbatten. Good ship and lots of history, the stories your granda could tell you must have kept you entertained for some time. As for a ships bell falling into the kit bag, like it.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
26 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

I read the book HMS Kelly a few times when I was much younger. An amazing story. I would love to see that name back in the fleet.

Cheers CR

TrevorH
TrevorH
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

What would a royal yacht do? Yachts went to places before air travel took off. And as I see it fancy parades stuffed with VIPs won’t be going on for quite a while yet.

Ron
Ron
26 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Rob, when you say 6 LSS I think you mean 6 MRSS. You can add to the list of the T45 replacement the T83, I think the concept phase is to start in about two years time. The upcoming T32s which is meant to be some form of frigate mothership. I think the government want these by the end of the decade. As it has been mentioned that this project will go to Rosyth I would think it would be something like the Absalon. Then you have the Bay possible two Bays being converted to LSS trial ships and the… Read more »

Rob
Rob
26 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Start again. You need to rebuild a fleet every 30 to 40 years. The reason we are so far behind at the moment is we forgot that.

Ron
Ron
26 days ago

God, can we just get on and build them. I would like to see them built in the UK but now I am at the point of build them anywhere and equip them here if need be. Yes Fort Vic is a good platform, but she has lost a lot of capacity when she was rebuilt with a double hull. She is also getting old. We will need the FSS ships by about 2023-24.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
26 days ago

It’s all in the detail. 3 ships rather than the feared for just 2. Good news. Let’s get this done. Harland and Wolff Belfast should get the work with yards around uk contributing potentially.

DP
DP
26 days ago

Has any budget been set for this programme yet, or is it too early to say?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
26 days ago
Reply to  DP

There was definately a budget back in 2019 as you cannot go to tender without a budget. I suspect that the planned budget has now been uplifted given the plan appears to be for 3 ships rather than 2, plus possibly 1. An article Navy Lookout also suggests that these ships will be 40,000 tonnes or there abouts so big capable ships as well. I would hope that the budget has at least been given some serious consideration…

Cheers CR

DP
DP
23 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Thanks CR, just spotted on this YouTube link a reference to £1.6Bn as a possible outline budget. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HO9dslB1tw so roughly £500M each?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
22 days ago
Reply to  DP

Thanks for the link DP, nice video of the RFA at work. Procurement costs normally include an initial support package which might include spares, training and perhaps the first (post trials) refit. So the build cost might be lower say £400m each. The problem is these types of announcement can be a bit loose with the details… Whatever the details happen to be £1.6b for three potentially large and capable support ships doesn’t seem too bad to me, assuming they can keep the damn programme on schedule and to cost. That means the MoD / DES need to get the… Read more »

geoff
geoff
25 days ago

An interesting and well supported topic! I have two things to add. One-the myth that yards in Asia pay their workers ‘a bowl of rice a day’ is just that, a myth bt having said that a broad range of manufactured cars, ships etc. from the East are well built and good value.So the simple question is-can British workers match the quality and productivity? They should be able to-there is nothing inherently different in the Hom0 sapiens from the East compared to those from the West. Second-would be nice to revive some work at Harland and Woolf to spread the… Read more »

Herodotus
Herodotus
25 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Happy birthday geoff 😀

geoff
geoff
24 days ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Aw shucks thanks Herodotus

Nick C
Nick C
25 days ago
Reply to  geoff

The birthday cheque is in the mail. 😯

geoff
geoff
24 days ago
Reply to  Nick C

Can you make it out to to ‘Cash’ please Nick?

Nick C
Nick C
24 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Of course, but the mail in the sticks here is terrible, so don’t hold your breath!

Bob2
Bob2
25 days ago

H&W doesn’t currently build ships. It is primarily used for wind turbine production, so the work force is going to need a lot of new training. I do not have an issue with this, but I am concerned what happens to this workforce after the three ships are built. The Spanish are not going to care about them, so the U.K. gov need to ensure these new skills are not wasted.

Nic
Nic
25 days ago
Reply to  Bob2

Very valid point , it would be a limited contract for the workforce that would be recruited over any above the current one .
We can only hope that through the building of the three ships (if they get the contract) that gain other contracts .

Sonik
Sonik
25 days ago
Reply to  Nic

There is also MRSS in the pipeline after FSS, so potential opportunity there.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
25 days ago
Reply to  Bob2

I suspect one benefit for the govt. is that the company is very heavily focused on using its dockyard assets for civil projects including cruise ship servicing and the offshore industry; the latter including legacy oil and gas and offshore wind. Infrstrata is also pursuing the Islandmagee gas storage and the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit Project, the former being the reason for acquiring H&W in the first place. Infrastrata and H&W still have to execute on a lot of this, but the last thing the govt. and MOD need is another shipyard wholly or largely dedicated to military vessel… Read more »

Expat
Expat
25 days ago

Funny world. With Aircraft we make parts & sections but once the Qatari typhoons are done we won’t build on any scale a complete aircraft for probably 10 years until tempest is in full production and some sections will be built by partner nations. We’ll happily buy US P8s, Wedgetails etc. Do these facts get any political band width, no even on this site its barely mentioned by posters. Yet ship building, you mention being part of an international consortium and its toys out the pram time. Like I say funny world.

Last edited 25 days ago by Expat
David Nicholls
David Nicholls
25 days ago

The need for 3 FSS indicates the intent to have both QE carriers operational at the same time (one FSS for each plus one spare). If there was only going to be 1 QE operational (deployed) at a time there would only be a need for 2 FSS?

Airborne
Airborne
25 days ago

Lets hope it stays at 3!!!

Mark Harland
Mark Harland
25 days ago

These are the usual Bollox from ‘here today gone tomorrow’ politicians. We just need to order all three from either Cammells or H & W and get on with it . We haven’t had a decent maritime-minded PM since James Callaghan.

Darren
Darren
16 days ago

“The Government say that the successful bidder will work in partnership with international companies but would be required to integrate the ships in a UK shipyard”.

Is the successful bidder to be from a UK shipbuilder or BMT type firms? What does integrate the ships at a UK shipyard mean? Something like the Tides at A&P Falmouth? Manufaucture the ships in a state backed firm from Spain or heavily backed yards from the far east which mean vitually no tax back on these contracts, or do what is correct which mean the UK.