Fleet Solid Support programme progresses to next phase
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.
More from Naval Warfare
Better late than never: Spanish Navy commissions its first S-80A submarine more than 10 years behind schedule
The S-80A Plus, a new class of ocean-going submarines, will enhance the Spanish Navy’s capabilities despite the challenges and delays experienced during their development and delivery.
CMS 330 is a combat management system developed by Lockheed Martin Canada that serves as the backbone for several Canadian and Chilean ship classes and has been installed on RNZN Anzac-class frigates.
While outfitting activities on the first two Hisar-class OPVs have been advancing at Istanbul Naval Shipyard, discussions for additional platforms continue.
Babcock has won contracts worth more than £120 million to support the development and delivery of the Dreadnought-class submarines for the UK’s Royal Navy.
With funding from the European Defence Fund and partner countries, the European Patrol Corvette programme has an opportunity to become the standard bearer for defence procurement and potentially offer a route forward for naval shipbuilding in Europe.