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Navantia team selected for UK Fleet Solid Support programme

Team Resolute will deliver three new FSS vessels to be operated by the civilian-manned Royal Fleet Auxiliary. (Team Resolute)

A Spanish/UK industry team has been selected to deliver the UK's three-ship Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship programme, with the consortium proposing to assemble the vessels at a recapitalised Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

Team Resolute – comprising BMT, Harland & Wolff, and Navantia UK – was announced as preferred bidder for the GBP1.6 billion (USD1.9 billion) programme by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 16 November. The Team Resolute bid was selected over a rival offer from Team UK (comprising Babcock, BAE Systems, Cammell Laird, and A&P), which had committed to a full onshore build strategy.

The FSS programme is intended to deliver three ships to replace RFA Fort Austin and RFA Fort Rosalie (both now sold to Egypt), and RFA Fort Victoria (due to retire in 2028). Operated by the civilian-manned Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), the new vessels will increase the capability of the UK Carrier Strike Group to operate globally by replenishing its stores and ammunition while at sea.

The selection of Team Resolute as preferred bidder follows a Competitive Procurement Phase (CPP) originally involving four industry teams: Larsen & Toubro (partnered with Leidos Innovations UK); Serco (teamed with Damen); Team Resolute; and Team UK. CPP contracts worth an initial GBP5 million apiece were awarded to the competing consortia in August 2021 to enable them to develop and mature their proposed FSS solutions.

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