The United Kingdom ministry of defense has selected a syndicate of British firms, along with four international shipbuilding companies to compete for its Fleet Solid Support Ships contract.
The British consortium is made up of leading manufacturing and engineering companies Babcock, BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and Rolls-Royce.
They join Italian firm Fincantieri, Spanish company Navantia, Japan Marine United Corporation, and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering of South Korea as the five successful firms who have been invited to submit a tender for the competition.
The five companies, which were selected from eight interested firms, will now develop bids before a final decision is made regarding the winning bidder in 2020, the UK’s MoD said in a statement Friday.
“The crucial vessels, which will deliver ammunition, food and supplies to UK forces across the globe, will work alongside the Royal Navy’s fleet of warships and will be part of the UK Maritime Task Group,” UK’s Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said.
These support ships will be vital for supporting Queen Elizabeth Class carriers and will ensure warships can deploy in a range of challenging environments and across huge distances, wherever they are in the world.
The Fleet Solid Support ships, up to three of which will be procured through international competition will be fitted with specialist and classified equipment at a British shipyard before entering service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary from 2026.
Shipyards across the United Kingdom will be able to bid for this work in 2022. As part of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the vessels will be civilian-manned and carry self-defence weapons only.