The exclusive partnership will operate under the name, Team Resolute. Beyond FSS, Team Resolute will spearhead other opportunities within the UK defence sector, including modernizations and retrofits, providing much needed economic growth within the UK shipbuilding and through-life support sectors.
According to a joint press release issued May 26, Team Resolute combines 159 years of shipbuilding experience at one of the UK’s biggest shipyards, including the two largest dry docks in Europe, with unrivalled auxiliary design experience from UK designer BMT and a world-leading auxiliary shipbuilding track record from Navantia.
As set out in the UK National Shipbuilding Strategy, the UK Government is seeking to strengthen the UK’s sovereign shipbuilding capability and prosperity, while driving cost and production efficiencies.Team Resolute offers a low risk and value for money UK solution for FSS based on recent and current experience designing and building comparable ships for other navies.
If successful in the bid, Team Resolute will inject significant investment into local economies across the whole of the UK through ship design and construction.
Team Resolute is ideally positioned to meet the UK Government’s current requirements and deliver additional benefits for the UK in four key ways:
- Prosperity for the UK.It will re-establish a skills base for UK shipbuilding in Northern Ireland, strengthening the UK’s sovereign shipbuilding capability and economic prosperity. Transfer of Navantia’s cutting edge digital shipyard knowledge to Harland & Wolff will support the modernisation and availability of this UK sovereign asset for FSS and beyond.
- UK industrial strength for a UK FSS programme.It will provide the UK Government with the sovereign industrial capability to make FSS a successful UK programme. It will use a world beating British design from BMT, build at Harland & Wolff’s facilities in Northern Ireland, andincorporate wider UK fabrication, materials and equipment.
- A formidable British design pedigree. BMT is the only company to have been involved in the design of QEC and MARS Fleet Tanker Programme. This experience provides the best possible foundation for delivering an FSS design that will comply with the project requirements and provide the capability necessary to complete the Carrier Strike Group.
- The ideal partnership for assured FSS delivery. BMT’s unique design experience will reduce development time. Harland & Wolff’s and Navantia’s joint unparalleled dry dock capacity will minimise the FSS ships entry to service for the Carrier Strike Group. Navantia’s risk management experience with Australian and Spanish Navies will assure delivery to cost, time and quality.
Additionally, Team Resolute has already identified future naval, commercial and offshore renewable contracts.
“Team Resolute will create a more level playing field when competing for upcoming defence contracts. It will also provide Harland & Wolff with a strong proposition to tender for contracts in in the oil & gas, cruise & ferry, commercial and renewable sectors. We have always selected our partners carefully. In Navantia, we see a long term partner not only within the defence sector – we are also in advanced discussions for further teaming agreements in relation to offshore wind farms.”
John Wood, CEO of InfraStrata
“It is clear that under a new management team, Harland & Wolff is a shipyard that is forward-thinking, agile and ready to do business. We are excited about this new collaboration and the opportunities it will bring for both partners.”
Abel Méndez, Director of International Defence & Security, Spokesperson of Navantia
Navantia’s digital shipyard
Commitment by Navantia to provide technology and know-how transfer to Harland & Wolff, including upskilling of the workforce, with Harland & Wolff’s employees receiving training and acquiring new skills in Navantia’s shipyards. Navantia’s experience in developing a digitally enhanced shipyard approach, Shipyard 4.0, will be shared with Harland & Wolff and the downstream UK supply chain, to help improve efficiency by up to 20%. This is an opportunity for Harland & Wolff to develop and exploit the use of digital technology to improve competitiveness, as proposed in the government’s UK National Shipbuilding Strategy. Provision of a reach-back service to draw on Navantia’s decades of experience in design, fabrication, system design and integration, main engines fabrication, weapons manufacture and through-life support.
About Harland & Wolff
Established in 1861, Harland & Wolff is the UK’s largest shipyard with its unique ability, across both the defence and wider maritime sectors, to dock vessels of up to 556 meters in length. Located in Belfast, Harland & Wolff is famous for having built the majority of the ships intended for the White Star Line, including RMS Titanic. Nowadays, the shipyard has been focusing on offshore wind powed. The last military vessel built by Harland & Wolff was RFA Fort Victoria, Fleet replenishment ship for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
About Fleet Solid Support (FSS)
The future two (with an option for a third one) Fleet Solid Support Ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary will replace the ageing RFA Fort Austin and RFA Fort Rosalie. These vessels will supply dry stores such as ammunition, explosives and food to Royal Navy ships at sea.
According to an RFP noticed issued in May 2018, FSS vessels are required to have a total cargo capacity of up to 7,000 m3 (250,000 cu ft), be able to sail at a sustained speed of 18 knots without resupply and must be capable of delivering non-bulk logistic material whilst underway and making 12 knots through the water and transferring single loads of up to 5 tonnes.
On 30 November 2018, the list of bidders for the contract was unveiled and selected. Three teals were set to compete for the contract award:
- Babcock, BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and Rolls-Royce
- Navantia ,
- Japan Marine United Corporation
- Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME)
However in May 2019, Fincantieri and DSME withdrew from the FSS competition. On 5 November 2019, the Daily Telegraph reported that the Defence Secretary will halt the order for the FSS “because bidders were ‘not compliant’ with commercial terms and not delivering on value for money expectations.”