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Fleet Solid Support programme progresses to next phase

1st September 2021 - 13:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The three new Fleet Solid Support ships will replace services currently provided by Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels such as RFA Fort Victoria. (Photo: UK RN)

Four consortia obtain Competitive Procurement Phase design contracts for UK naval support vessels.

Four industry teams with ‘significant UK involvement’ have been awarded contracts to develop their Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship designs, the MoD announced on 1 September.

Three new vessels are required for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary under the FSS programme to support RN Carrier Task Groups.

In the latest development, Competitive Procurement Phase design contracts were issued for Larsen & Toubro (teamed with UK-based Leidos Innovations); a consortium including Serco and Damen; Team Resolute, which includes UK companies Harland & Wolff and BMT; and Team UK, which includes UK companies Babcock and BAE Systems.

Each contract has an initial value of about £5 million ($6.88 million).

The four consortia will develop their design proposals and the next stage will seek details of how they would fulfil the wider delivery needs of the programme.

‘Assessment of these proposals will lead to the selection of a preferred bidder and award of the manufacture contract,’ the MoD noted. ‘The final manufacture contract will be awarded to a UK company acting either solely or as part of a consortium.’

This statement is significant because the FSS competition has come under repeated criticism from some sectors of the UK shipbuilding establishment over the MoD's willingness to let foreign firms work on the project.

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