The UK Ministry of Defence has once again confirmed that the Fleet Solid Support ships will, for the most part, be British built.
Jeremy Quin, Minister for Defence Procurement, said:
“For the purposes of procurement the Fleet Solid Support ships are considered to be warships. This has significance in the procurement route we choose to adopt, and we are not pursuing an international competition. This does not preclude international bidders from participating if they can meet the UK’s national security requirements, for example through a close partnership with UK companies.”
The Ministry of Defence also said previously:
“A competition to build three Fleet Solid Support warships – which will launch in Spring 2021 – will help revitalise British shipbuilding by requiring a significant proportion of the build and assembly work to be carried out in the UK. International companies will be invited to work in collaboration with UK firms to feed in their skills and expertise, but the successful manufacturing team must be led by a British company. This will have a huge impact on the local economies across the UK where shipbuilding is a prominent feature.”
So, what does this mean? Well, it seems foreign companies are expected to be involved in the project, perhaps with some small level of building work done overseas, and their modules will be shipped to the UK to be integrated with the ships.
The Ministry of Defence last year issued a ‘Request for Information’ to industry looking for British shipyards to participate in the Fleet Solid Support Ship programme.