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Team Resolute awarded contract for UK Fleet Solid Support ship programme

The Fleet Solid Support ship class will be built to a design provided by BMT, featuring commonality with the UK Royal Navy's Tide-class tankers. (UK MoD Crown Copyright)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a GBP1.6 billion (USD1.97 billion) contract to Navantia UK, leading the Spanish/UK industry consortium Team Resolute, for the manufacturing phase of the UK's new Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships.

Under the award, announced on 18 January, Team Resolute – which also includes UK naval architecture house BMT and Belfast-based shipbuilder Harland & Wolff – will deliver three FSSs for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) to replace RFA FortAustin , RFA Fort Rosalie , and RFA Fort Victoria . Fort Austin and Fort Rosalie were sold to Egypt in 2021, while Fort Victoria is scheduled to retire in 2028.

The announcement follows the selection of Team Resolute as the preferred supplier for the FSS programme in November 2022. The consortium was selected over a rival bid from Team UK, comprising Babcock, BAE Systems, Cammell Laird, and A&P, whose offer supported a full onshore build.

Construction on the new ships is planned to begin in 2025, and all three ships are expected to be operational by 2032.

According to the MoD, while some of the building work will take place at Navantia's shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, the majority of the blocks and modules for the ships will be constructed at Harland & Wolff's facilities in Belfast and Appledore, with components to be manufactured in its other delivery centres in Methil and Arnish. Final assembly of all three vessels will be completed at the Belfast yard .

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