Military Capabilities

UK calls a halt to fleet support ship competition

07 November 2019

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has abruptly halted the international competition for up to three new Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), citing concerns over value for money and commercial non-compliance.

The 5 November move, which has been welcomed by UK trade unions, industry bodies, and many politicians, came just a day after a report by Sir John Parker - whose recommendations shaped the National Shipbuilding Strategy - criticised the government for its decision to openly compete defence work among non-UK yards.

Valued at about GBP1.5 billion (USD1.9 billion), the FSS programme is intended to deliver new ships from 2026 to replace RFA Fort Austin , RFA Fort Rosalie , and RFA Fort Victoria .

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