Spanish shipbuilder Navantia has reaffirmed its pursuit of the UK's Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship programme despite the Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) recent decision to halt the current competition.
The company told Jane's that it is continuing to refine manufacture and supply aspects of its bid in anticipation of a competition restart, and it remains committed to placing more than GBP400 million (USD517 million) of work with the UK supply chain - a figure representing just over a quarter of the total project budget.
Valued at approximately GBP1.5 billion, the FSS programme is intended to deliver up to three new ships from 2026 to replace RFA Fort Austin, RFA Fort Rosalie, and RFA Fort Victoria. The new solid support capability is primarily required to deliver ammunition and stores at the necessary tempo and volume to support the Royal Navy's future carrier-based Maritime Task Group.
Navantia (teamed with BMT) and Team UK (comprising Babcock, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Cammell Laird) submitted rival FSS technical proposals to the MoD in July 2019, with final commercial proposals submitted in early September. Best and final offers were due to be submitted in February 2020, with a contract award planned to follow before the end of May next year.
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