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DSEI 2023: Team Resolute unveils evolved UK Fleet Solid Support ship design

The FSS on display at DSEI 2023. (Janes/Kate Tringham)

The Spanish/UK industry consortium Team Resolute showcased its evolved design for the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary's (RFA's) Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship at the DSEI 2023 exhibition in London held from 12 to 15 September.

Team Resolute – led by prime contractor Navantia UK, a subsidiary of Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia, and including BMT and Harland & Wolff – was awarded a GBP1.6 billion (USD1.98 billion) contract to deliver the three-ship FSS programme on 18 January 2023 after being selected as the preferred bidder in November 2022. Construction on the new ships is planned to begin in 2025, and all three ships are expected to be operational by 2032.

BMT has responsibility for the 216 m-long FSS ship design, which will share some commonalities with the RFA's Tide-class fleet tankers and also draws on the company's experience across other naval programmes including the UK's Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, Type 31 frigate, and the Norwegian Logistics Support Vessel (LSV).

Briefing media at DSEI, Simon Jones, BMT's chief engineer for FSS, said that since the contract award earlier in 2023 BMT has been actively engaged with the end customer to bring in as much operator experience as possible. “We have been really focussing on operability to make the ship as usable as possible, on the adaptability features, on sustainability, all of these things that are important to the RFA and the Royal Navy,” he said.

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