In January 2023, DE&S awarded a contract worth £1.6 billion to Team Resolute, comprised of Harland & Wolff, BMT and Navantia UK, to deliver three Fleet Solid Support ships to the RFA.
The construction of the ships, being built to BMT’s British design, will take place in both the UK and Spain. Long-term improvement in UK shipbuilding capacity and capability will be supported through the investment of in £77 million in shipbuilding infrastructure at H&W yards.
Blocks and modules will be built in Harland & Wolff’s shipyards in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Appledore in Devon, and at Navantia’s shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, so that skills and technology can be transferred to the UK from a world-leading auxiliary shipbuilder.
The majority of the ship build, along with final outfitting, integration of blocks and modules and sensitive systems, plus all testing and commissioning, will take place at Harland & Wolff, Belfast.
FSS will create around 1,200 shipyard manufacturing jobs at Harland & Wolff, in addition to an estimated further 800 in the UK supply chain. There will be 180 jobs in design, logistics support and programme management at BMT and Navantia UK.
A 200 further education opportunities such as graduate schemes and apprenticeships will be created, and Harland & Wolff’s welding academy is set to produce 300 new UK welders during the contract. Investing in welders and steelworkers will reduce the UK shipbuilding industry’s dependency on overseas labour.