Union GMB has called on the government to use Rosyth and other UK shipyards to build three new solid support ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
Gary Cook, GMB Scotland Organiser said:
“The best thing the Tories can do now not only for our Scottish shipbuilders but also shipbuilding as a whole, is to ensure the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel contracts are awarded to our yards under a work-share programme, which would see the likes of Rosyth primed to benefit.”
Four 37,000 tonne Tide class fast fleet tankers are currently being built in South Korea by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary under the first phase of the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) project. The ships will provide fuel, food, fresh water and other supplies to Royal Navy warships, and are projected to enter service at a rate of about one ship every four or five months from September 2016.
The Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 confirmed that three new large MARS Solid Support Ships would be acquired for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, to replace the single-hulled RFA Fort Victoria, which entered service in 1994, and RFA Fort Rosalie and RFA Fort Austin (both dating from the late 1970s).
An MoD spokesperson said:
“There will be an international competition to build the ‘Fleet Solid Support’ supply ships, which UK companies will be able to enter, with a separate UK-only competition for customisation work and trials. This approach ensures the best value for money for taxpayers.”
No UK companies have expressed any interest so far.
GMB is a general trade union in the United Kingdom which has more than 631,000 members. GMB members work in nearly all industrial sectors including shipbuilding, in retail, security, schools, distribution and the utilities, social care, the NHS and ambulance service and local government.