in Defence / Events

Team Resolute unveils evolved design for FSS ships

Posted 15 September 2023

Team Resolute, a consortium of Navantia UK, BMT and Harland & Wolff, unveiled its evolved design for the Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) at DSEI 2023.

Image courtesy BMT

The progress towards a mature design is a key part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) £1.6 billion 'Manufacture Contract’ for three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships that will provide the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) with an advanced capability to support global operations for the Royal Navy.  

The cutting-edge design from BMT’s UK based engineers and naval architects represents a significant advancement in naval logistics capability, offering enhanced operational efficiency and support to the Royal Navy. BMT is also using its depth of expertise and experience to provide safety and environmental management, Integrated Logistics Support (ILS), training packages, and support to obtaining the ships’ security accreditation.

The evolution of the ship design at this stage of the FSS programme demonstrates the progress that has been made with the design and reflects the dedication of BMT, its partners in Team Resolute and the strong relationship with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S).

The progressive approach to the design provides a pathway for the introduction of new technologies and the incorporation of energy-saving and emission-reducing technologies and future fuels that will contribute to carbon reduction. This collaborative effort will ensure the FSS ships’ reliability, ease of maintenance, operational readiness, and overall effectiveness.  

The evolved design of the FSS ship draws inspiration from BMT's extensive experience across a spectrum of naval programmes — including the QEC, Tide Class, Norwegian Logistics Support Vessel, and Type 31 Frigate. This evolved design promotes compatibility, interoperability and the highest levels of safety. It meets the demanding sustainability requirements set by the UK MoD and is an example of how British design excellence will enable the UK’s net zero ambitions. 

Chairman of Navantia UK, Vice Admiral (Retd) Sir Alan Massey, KCB, CBE, said: “This is an important milestone for this critical programme for the Royal Navy. It demonstrates how successfully Team Resolute is working together in boosting UK maritime capabilities, providing an evolved cutting-edge design, transferring knowledge and laying the foundation for the modernisation of Harland & Wolff’s shipyards.”

BMT Chief Executive, OBE, Sarah Kenny said: “The MoD’s investment brings significant social and economic value to the UK enabling BMT to create 120 high-skilled jobs at its Bristol, Bath, Weymouth, Fareham, Glasgow, and Southampton sites, meeting the Government’s ‘Refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy’ objectives.

The development of an advanced FSS ship design demonstrates BMT’s commitment to delivering state-of-the-art solutions that meet the evolving needs of modern naval operations for government customers and allied partners, including pathways to achieve carbon neutrality.

Harland & Wolff Group CEO, John Wood said: “Team Resolute progress on FSS is already re-establishing a skills base for UK shipbuilding in Northern Ireland, thus strengthening UK sovereign capability. Transfer of knowledge from Spanish shipbuilder Navantia concerning programme management, procurement and cutting-edge shipyard technologies is well underway.

“With planning permission approved, works are due to start on recapitalisation of Belfast, creating the UK’s most technologically advanced shipyard, meaning FSS is providing a foundation on which to complete for decades to come.

“Having welcomed the second cohort of young apprentices to Belfast and Appledore, we’re not only building the skills base to deliver FSS, but creating a new highly skilled talent pool for the UK.”

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