Harland & Wolff announce Belfast's return to shipbuilding

  • British-led Team Resolute comprising BMT, Harland & Wolff and Navantia UK, has been appointed as the preferred bidder to deliver three crucial support ships to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Team Resolute will be awarded a £1.6bn contract to manufacture the vessels providing munitions, stores and provisions to the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates deployed at sea, subject to HM Treasury and Ministerial approval.

    The entire final assembly for all three ships will be completed at Harland & Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, with the three 216m long vessels – each the length of two Premier League football pitches – built to Bath-based BMT’s entirely British design. This follows Harland & Wolff’s recent announcement that it will work with private credit manager Astra Asset Management as an exclusive financing partner to support its strategic growth plans.

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    The majority of the blocks and modules for the ships will be constructed at Harland & Wolff’s facilities in Belfast and Appledore, with components to be manufactured in their other delivery centres in Methil and Arnish. This programme, which will also support a significant British-based supply chain, will be undertaken in collaboration with the internationally renowned shipbuilder, Navantia. Build work will also take place at Navantia’s shipyard in Cadiz in Spain, in a collaboration that allows for key skills and technology transfer from a world-leading auxiliary shipbuilder.

    Group CEO of Harland & Wolff, John Wood, said“Team Resolute is proud to have been selected as the preferred bidder to provide the Royal Fleet Auxiliary with three state-of-the-art, adaptable ships which will fulfil the Royal Navy’s needs while strengthening UK sovereign design and shipbuilding capability, as well as generating around £1.4 billion in national social and economic value.

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    The ships will be the second longest UK military vessels behind the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. They will have commonality with the RFA’s Tide class fleet tankers, also built to a British BMT design.

    Designed to support Net Carbon Zero by the end of their 30-year service lives, the RFA vessels will be equipped with energy-efficient technologies to reduce power demand and will have the capability to reduce their carbon intensity by adopting low-carbon, non-fossil fuels and future energy sources.

    Source: Written from press release

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