Shipbuilding Update

Ministry of Defence written statement – made on 18 January 2023.

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Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

Today I am providing an update on our plans for the next stage of the Fleet Solid Support ship programme.

I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Defence has placed a contract with a value of around £1.6 billion (linked to CPI) for the manufacture of three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships by Team Resolute. This is an excellent deal for the taxpayer and will strengthen and secure the UK shipbuilding enterprise as set out in the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Team Resolute, comprising Harland & Wolff Belfast, Bath-based BMT and Navantia UK will manufacture these crucial vessels providing munitions, stores and provisions to the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates deployed at sea. The contract will deliver more than 1,000 new UK shipyard jobs, generate hundreds of graduate and apprentice opportunities across the UK and a significant number of further jobs throughout the supply-chain. Team Resolute has pledged to invest £77 million in shipyard infrastructure to modernise the UK shipbuilding sector.

Blocks and modules for the ships will be constructed at Harland & Wolff’s facilities in Belfast and Appledore, and this work will also support the UK-based supply chain. Some build work will also take place at Navantia’s shipyard in Cadiz in Spain, in a collaboration allowing for key skills and technology transfer to the UK from a world-leading shipbuilder.

The entire final assembly will be completed at Harland & Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, to BMT’s British design.

The awarding of this contract will see jobs created and work delivered in Appledore, Devon, Harland and Wolff Belfast and within the supply chain up and down the country. This announcement is good news for the UK shipbuilding industry. It will deliver long-term improvements in UK shipbuilding capacity and capability through investing in shipbuilding infrastructure, productivity, skills, and a more resilient supply chain. Overseas expertise will be used to transfer to the UK high value skills and provide inward investment in technology in the UK whilst meeting the UK’s security requirements.

The contract will also balance shipbuilding across the whole United Kingdom. Alongside the existing Type 26 and Type 31 frigate construction in Scotland, the Government is now committing substantial contracts to yards in England and Northern Ireland.