UK Defence Forum

News, History, Discussions and Debates on UK Defence.

Future Solid Support Ship

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
Jake1992
Senior Member
Posts: 1495
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 22:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jake1992 » 07 Nov 2019, 17:57

Tempest414 wrote:For me I think we could get them built in the UK for around 450 million each and I would say the budget should be 1. 35 billion for 3 ships


That is the sort of price I was thinking but the above article stated the contract was for £1.5bn so you’d think 3 at £500m in the UK would be doable but the yards are saying only 2 are for the £1.5bn. To me this sounds very expensive at almost rip off levels.

serge750
Member
Posts: 407
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:34

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby serge750 » 07 Nov 2019, 19:36

It does seem like a awfully lot of money! but I suspose it depends on what the specs are as to cost & is the budget inclusive of others costs, would a maintenance contract be included in the price?

If they can't be built for the price how viable is it for a lower spec version to be built or just one for now then another when funds could be made avaliable ?

Jake1992
Senior Member
Posts: 1495
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 22:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jake1992 » 07 Nov 2019, 20:11

serge750 wrote:It does seem like a awfully lot of money! but I suspose it depends on what the specs are as to cost & is the budget inclusive of others costs, would a maintenance contract be included in the price?

If they can't be built for the price how viable is it for a lower spec version to be built or just one for now then another when funds could be made avaliable ?


What is being asked for in spec above the ability to supply and keep up with a CSG ?
3 merlin hanger ?
Chinook flight deck ?
Small vehicle deck ?
Steal beach ?

Would any of the above add ons really make the price go above £500m per unit ?

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 2004
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 07 Nov 2019, 21:24

donald_of_tokyo wrote:A simple ship, like Lewis and Clark-class of US MSC will be good candidate. No sealift, no big aviation, not high speed. But, very good at ammunition and dry cargo replenishment.


With the exception of speed (which should be similar to the Tide class) I have no problem with this. They should be solely focused on supporting the CVFs, this is a full time role.

Mid term, I would see some mileage in replacing the two Waves with something similar to a BMT ELLIDA design. With a more limited requirement to support Singleton deployments these could be forward based to be part of the LSGs.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 2004
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 07 Nov 2019, 21:26

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Apparently, if ordered from UK shipyards, the FSS will need to reduce the requirement; only 2 hulls, and with smaller/simpler hull design.


2 hulls is ok till the early 2030s assuming RFA Victoria is kept IMO.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

Jake1992
Senior Member
Posts: 1495
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 22:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jake1992 » 07 Nov 2019, 22:31

Repulse wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Apparently, if ordered from UK shipyards, the FSS will need to reduce the requirement; only 2 hulls, and with smaller/simpler hull design.


2 hulls is ok till the early 2030s assuming RFA Victoria is kept IMO.


Would we get a 3rd though down the line to replace Victoria or just left short ?

Besides that are we really saying it’ll cost £750m each to build a simpler version of what we really want because it’s UK built ? That to me seems sky high no matter which way it’s looked at.

Repulse wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:A simple ship, like Lewis and Clark-class of US MSC will be good candidate. No sealift, no big aviation, not high speed. But, very good at ammunition and dry cargo replenishment.


With the exception of speed (which should be similar to the Tide class) I have no problem with this. They should be solely focused on supporting the CVFs, this is a full time role.

Mid term, I would see some mileage in replacing the two Waves with something similar to a BMT ELLIDA design. With a more limited requirement to support Singleton deployments these could be forward based to be part of the LSGs.


Iv been thinking similar in terms of a more multi role vessel replacing the waves down the line and Ellida would do nicely but given the choice I’d sooner go for a modified Karel Doorman.

The KD and and Ellida offer the same role with only 2 difference KD has a steal beach and large aviation where Ellida has a well dock and small aviation. I’d argue that with the Bays and Albion’s we’d have plenty of welldock space but lack in aviation out side of the CVFs, KDs 6 merlin / 2 chinook hanger would be a better fit than a single LCU well dock IMO.

If mods to the KD design is done right we could end up with something close to the 3rd and missing piece to the MARS program, that being the amphibious support ships.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11074
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Nov 2019, 05:34

Jake1992 wrote:missing piece to the MARS program, that being the amphibious support ships
as for that 3rd step in the programme, it is worth noting that if the FLSS turns out to be the Point-based design, the brochure for them states that LIMs will be down by not very much at all compared to the Auxiliary (Logistics) version... to 2400, from 2700
- surely this could only happen if aviation (hangar) facilities are constrained mainly to the main deck level
- perhaps not a good compromise, considering their planned major role?

But that's getting ahead of things. As for the 2nd MARS step
Jake1992 wrote:Would we get a 3rd though down the line to replace Victoria or just left short ?

we have been down to two for a good while as the two older Forts are being rotated, to make them last out to 2024. Now with the recent "hold" decision and with RFA Fort Victoria after her refit able to transfer stores to the carrier (compatibility of the RAS systems at each end) we will still be limited to max. 2-tonne transfers (as Ft. Victoria does not have the internal equipment to handle larger loads).
- how likely is it now that the Fleet Solid Support ships (FSS) fitted with HRAS rigs and mechanised stores handling systems will arrive in the mid-2020s
- the 2+1 plan for them was to stretch out the monies (goes back to the overcommitted 'surface ships slice' of the EP) over a long enough period so that the 3rd one could come out of "new money"
- I am sure the third one will come, eventually, as with two we can't always have two available. The problem, though, is the length of the interim period when we will have just one

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11074
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Nov 2019, 05:57

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Nominated "the ship-building supremo" must carry some meaning.
StRN provides this quote when discussing the SJP review (without explicitly saying whether it is from the report or from Gvmnt comments)
"A governmental ‘Tsar’ is usually understood to mean someone responsible for co-ordinating cross-departmental co-operation to ensure success and apparently there is a great deal of work underway to “review the pace and nature of the forward warship programme”. Few people are willing to predict the outcome of a volatile general election"... so flip the coin
- heads and we will be out of the EU plenty quick and can revisit the definition of warships and be rid of competition rules
- tails and with a Corbyn gvmnt - at least one where Labour is participating - and we will get none at all. So the carriers will always need to deploy together as there is only one supply ship (other than the tankers)

Glacial speed may have cost a lot (while helping to save money).

User avatar
Poiuytrewq
Senior Member
Posts: 1663
Joined: 15 Dec 2017, 10:25
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Poiuytrewq » 08 Nov 2019, 08:33

Common sense prevails....

Here is the quote in full:

‘I’m working with a number of organisations, from Britannia (Maritime) Aid to Cammell Laird and to others in the maritime sector to really look at how we turbo-charge shipbuilding in the UK.

‘When I was secretary of state I changed the policy to ensure that in future we could build a fleet solid support ships in the UK.

‘I want us to develop one government maritime capability so that means logistics ships, hospital ships, we could use them as training platforms.’

She added: ‘This needs to be brought together. I believe passionately in our heritage and our future as a maritime nation and this is one of the things I have been working on for some time and will continue to do so.

‘In which case, if we have long order books, if we give the industry confidence then there’s no reason why the UK can’t have two giant dry docks - one at one end of the country, and one at the other end. I think all options are on the table.’


https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defen ... -1-9132871

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11074
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Nov 2019, 10:10

no reason why the UK can’t have two giant dry docks - one at one end of the country, and one at the other end
seriously? Build new capacity when loading the existing facilities on a sustainable basis is a hot potato. But it is election time...
- in fact, the RN has been ambitious in setting the distance between dry docking facilities for the carriers: "Oman: UK Joint Logistics Support Base: A military logistics centre and training facility under construction in Duqm that will have a dry dock and be able to accommodate submarines and Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers"

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 3685
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Ron5 » 08 Nov 2019, 17:11

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
no reason why the UK can’t have two giant dry docks - one at one end of the country, and one at the other end
seriously? Build new capacity when loading the existing facilities on a sustainable basis is a hot potato. But it is election time...
- in fact, the RN has been ambitious in setting the distance between dry docking facilities for the carriers: "Oman: UK Joint Logistics Support Base: A military logistics centre and training facility under construction in Duqm that will have a dry dock and be able to accommodate submarines and Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers"


She doesn't mean just anywhere at the end of the country. She means Portsmouth. Her constituency.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11074
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Nov 2019, 17:36

Ron5 wrote:She means Portsmouth. Her constituency.


I did notice... from the publication's name. There are two constituencies there, North and South, and there is a competition going on which of the two (incumbents) talk loudest about how much should be invested in Portsmouth
.... election time :)

User avatar
SKB
Senior Member
Posts: 5838
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:35
Location: England

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SKB » 08 Nov 2019, 19:37

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Ron5 wrote:


Penny Mourdant is/was Portsmouth North MP, a constituency mostly of 20th century residential suburbs and which also includes parts of the Hampshire mainland.
The naval base is in the Portsmouth South constituency, which also includes the city centre, the original Old Portsmouth town settlement. And sea.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 3570
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Nov 2019, 02:27

Should we start a "Bring back Penny", campaign, as she did seem to be making some positive moves even before she even got her feet under her desk at the MoD. Her removal was a strange move by Boris in my opinion.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11074
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Nov 2019, 06:05

Lord Jim wrote:Should we start a "Bring back Penny", campaign
Let's first see how this campaign on the go - "Don't drop Penny" - :D goes

serge750
Member
Posts: 407
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:34

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby serge750 » 09 Nov 2019, 18:09

Probably to sensible to be in government....

serge750
Member
Posts: 407
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:34

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby serge750 » 09 Nov 2019, 18:10

Lord Jim wrote:Should we start a "Bring back Penny", campaign, as she did seem to be making some positive moves even before she even got her feet under her desk at the MoD. Her removal was a strange move by Boris in my opinion.


Probably to sensible to be government...

Scimitar54
Member
Posts: 494
Joined: 13 Jul 2015, 05:10
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Scimitar54 » 09 Nov 2019, 21:50

Either unwilling (or a little too slow) to support Boris as Party Leader. Alternatively bad blood between them within the last year or two. She was also awfully quiet about Brexit during her brief tenure as Secretary of State for Defence. Maybe just busy getting to grips with her brief, however? Shame, she did some things right, for example joining the RN as a reservist early in her Parliamentary career.

SD67
Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 23 Jul 2019, 09:49
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SD67 » 10 Nov 2019, 09:45

Personally I’ve never really been impressed by Mordaunt. Seems to spend an inordinate amount of time on self publicity without really mastering the brief.

But back in FSS I don’t really understand the cost issue - if Cammells can deliver a complex 15000 tonne new build for 150 million why cannot 45000t ship be delivered for 450? Something doesn’t smell right, maybe the consortium structure of the UK bid is not the right way to go

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 3685
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Ron5 » 11 Nov 2019, 17:31

From the Daily Telegraph. The headline is a little odd and is contradicted by the contents.

How MoD's latest move has left British shipyards floundering

Alan Tovey, Industry Editor

10 November 2019 • 3:38pm

In the final hours before Parliament dissolved and purdah began, government ministries rushed announcements out the door before they were shut down until after the election.

One such piece of news was the Ministry of Defence’s terse confirmation it was halting bidding on the competition to build new supply ships for the Royal Navy.

“We can confirm the Fleet Solid Support Ship competition has been stopped, as it is clear the current approach will not deliver the requirement,” the MoD said. “We are now considering the most appropriate way forward.”

Operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the Navy’s civilian support arm, FSS ships carry stores such as ammunition and food. They are essential to Britain’s ambition of maintaining its status as a global sea power because of their ability to keep warships at sea for long periods, topping up supplies while under way.

The competition to build the ships had become a political football since getting under way two years ago.

Although operated by the RFA, FSS ships sail with the fleet and to most people would be seen as warships – which must be UK-built. However, the Government has argued that under EU procurement rules FSS vessels did not fall into this category.

This meant the contract to build two, possibly three, 40,000-tonne FSS ships and worth a total of between £1bn and £1.5bn had to be tendered internationally.

Bidders from Japan, Korea, Italy and Spain lined up for the contract against a British consortium dubbed “Team UK” comprising BAE Systems, Babcock, Cammell Laird and Rolls-Royce.

Unions were enraged at the idea of ships serving the Royal Navy being built abroad. Their concerns have proved well-founded: in the spring Babcock’s Appledore yard in Devon has closed down, and since then Harland & Wolff in Northern Ireland has gone bust, while Ferguson has been nationalised by the Scottish government.

Industry insiders say the campaign around the FSS deal contributed to all but Team UK and the Spanish bidder, Navantia, dropping out of competition by the summer. Matters weren’t helped by the Government’s own shipbuilding adviser, Sir John Parker.

Commissioned by ministers to develop a national shipbuilding strategy to protect the industry, his 2017 report recommended building British, spreading work in “blocks” around shipyards for assembly in larger facilities and maintaining a “regular drumbeat” of work.

This, he said, would end the cycle of peaks and troughs of work which led to skills being lost when orders were thin. This resulted in extra expense when work did materialise, as skills had to be relearned, making Britain an unattractive place to build ships.

Sir John’s point was hammered home last week when the Government released his review of how his strategy had been implemented. He called the decision to offer the work abroad as “contrary to policy in most developed economies, where all defence-funded vessels are built in their home yards”.

The naval architect and former boss of Harland & Wolff added: “All ships painted grey – like warships – should be built in the UK. Without a steady supply of work to keep shipyards open they risk failing.”

Although the MoD insists the decision to halt the FSS competition was down to value for money concerns – something which has raised eyebrows considering the budget has yet to be confirmed – others see it differently. One who questions the MoD’s explanation is former head of the Navy, Lord West of Spithead. “I’d be surprised if it was about value for money,” he said.

“With the election politicians are going to be very worried. Imagine them being asked why the UK is going to Spain to build warships – and they are warships. They’ve got ammunition magazines, hardened decks for helicopters, they are not cargo ships.”

One independent defence analyst, Howard Wheeldon, agrees: “The decision has come at the last minute just before an election. It’s totally about politics – imagine being a candidate knocking on doors in Birkenhead where Cammell Laird is?” But before the election was called, there were signs that politicians had read the mood music. During her brief spell as Defence Secretary in the summer, Penny Mordaunt signalled in the press she wanted the FSS contract to go to the UK. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the defence procurement minister until Parliament was dissolved, is understood to have been fighting hard for the same in corridors of Whitehall.

Politics may not have been the only factor in the decision to halt the competition, say defence insiders who believe value for money was a factor.

“The FSS specification is very demanding,” said one industry source. “There’s talk of what they want being reined back to make it cheaper.”

This could have fed into the drive to look abroad in the first place. “The bottom line is the MoD is concerned it’s not going to get any more money,” says Lord West. “If they can get the cheapest possible option then that’s what they’ll do – even if it does mean UK Plc losing out with shipyards closing, the country missing out on the taxes that UK companies and their employees would have paid, and unemployment.”

Unions agree. They argue that while the initial cost of buying domestically might be higher, the trickle down benefits more than compensate. An analysis by GMB suggest that, when the supply chain is factored in, building the FSS ships in the UK could support up to 16,000 jobs in the UK.

It’s not like Britain hasn’t been here before. When work on the Navy’s Astute-class submarines started 20 years ago, the lack of regular orders was felt. With Britain not having built a nuclear submarine for over a decade, the workforce with the necessary specialised skills had drifted off into other industries. The result was delays, problems and cost overruns.

“Astute is an example of why we need to keep work flowing through yards,” says Lord West. “It’s probably the best submarine in the world now but the lack of skills meant it was a complete nightmare at the start. It was expensive to regain those skills.”

With the FSS contract halted, the question is what happens next. Launching an entirely new competition will be expensive for bidders and create delays, but simply going to Team UK without a competition would go against the MoD’s need to get the very best price, even if such a route were faster.

However, the FSS contract could signal Britain’s future global intent.

“We’re moving to an age of a post-Brexit, independent Britain,” says Wheeldon. “Building ships here could show that we’re a sovereign power with the ability to build what we need.”

SW1
Senior Member
Posts: 1051
Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 19:12
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SW1 » 21 Nov 2019, 08:31

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-50500530

The Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast could be in line to do work for Spain's state-owned shipbuilder.
InfraStrata, which is in the process of buying Harland and Wolff, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Navantia.
InfraStrata said the non-binding agreement is the first step towards a formal working relationship.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 11074
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 21 Nov 2019, 08:49

SW1 wrote:InfraStrata, which is in the process of buying Harland and Wolff, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Navantia.

Interesting news. Which one will be moving faster: the restart of FSS bidding or Infrastrata's initial focus on metal fabrication for the Islandmagee [and floating] gas storage project[s]?
- the latter is being held back by environmental objections
- the timing outcome could make all the difference between sharing work (improving resource loading while waiting for the main project to come through) and an outright transfer of ownership

Aethulwulf
Member
Posts: 898
Joined: 23 Jul 2016, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Aethulwulf » 21 Nov 2019, 13:14

Interesting.

It looks like:

A. Everyone is now expecting, when FSS is restarted, there will be a requirement for construction within the UK.
B. Even under such new conditions, Navantia still want to win the work.
C. Of the two bids (Navantia and UK team), the Navantia bid was technically preferred. If not, why stop the programme? Why not just place the contract with UK team?

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 3685
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Ron5 » 21 Nov 2019, 15:22

You have to believe the Spanish bid was lower in price. In the UK price beats technical most times.

SW1
Senior Member
Posts: 1051
Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 19:12
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SW1 » 21 Nov 2019, 16:41

In one sense I can see why the Navantia bid has merit after all isn’t there proposal based on a solid stores variant of the tide class tankers. If the RFA are happy with the tide class and know the design the commonality that basing the stores ship on the same design would surely be of benefit.


Return to “Royal Navy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 16 guests

 

 

cron