UK awards £1b in fleet auxiliary ship upkeep contracts

Illustration: UK defense ministry photo of RFA Tidespring

The UK defense ministry announced it has awarded over £1 billion worth of contracts for the maintenance of Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and the Royal Navy’s survey and hydrographic fleet over the next ten years.

The deal covers 17 ships and will improve how spares, repairs and maintenance work are carried out.

“This £1bn deal secures work for some of our world-leading shipyards into the next decade, supporting over 700 jobs for workers to ensure our ships remain at sea to defend the nation,” defense minister Stuart Andrew said. “This vital work is not only great news for our Navy, but also underlines the importance of defense to our national skills and prosperity.”

Under the agreements, Cammell Laird in Birkenhead has won £357 million to support the RFA’s Fort and Wave class tankers, and £262 million to support the RFA’s new fleet of four 39,000-tonne Tide class tankers.

A&P in Falmouth has received £239 million to support the RFA’s Bay-class landing ships as well as the casualty ship RFA Argus and Royal Navy ocean survey vessel HMS Scott

UK Docks Ltd on Tyneside will support the survey ships HMS Echo and Enterprise and the ice patrol ship HMS Protector under a £150 million contract.

The defense ministry expects the deal to deliver savings worth over £100 million for defense, with agreements including delivering improved support and greater efficiency in ways such as new support solutions and improved performance targets.

In addition to the four already signed, a further three contracts under the Future In Service Support (FISS) project are expected to be signed within the next year.

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