UKMOD to order four new RFA tankers

A new gen­er­a­tion of 37,000-tonne tankers is to be ordered for the Roy­al Fleet Aux­il­iary (RFA) to sup­port future Roy­al Navy oper­a­tions around the globe, the MOD has announced today.

 -
A fuel probe comes across the lines from a Roy­al Fleet Aux­il­iary tanker ves­sel dur­ing a replen­ish­ment at sea [Pic­ture: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Sim­mo Simp­son, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The new Mil­i­tary Afloat Reach and Sus­tain­abil­i­ty (MARS) tankers will main­tain the Roy­al Navy’s abil­i­ty to refu­el at sea and will pro­vide fuel to war­ships and task groups.

They will sup­port deployed amphibi­ous, land and air forces close to the shore, will be able to oper­ate heli­copters, and are planned to enter ser­vice from 2016, replac­ing exist­ing Roy­al Fleet Aux­il­iary sin­gle-hulled tankers.

At over 200 metres long, the four tankers will be approx­i­mate­ly the same length as 14 dou­ble-deck­er bus­es and be able to pump enough fuel to fill two olympic-sized swim­ming pools in an hour.

Min­is­ter for Defence Equip­ment, Sup­port and Tech­nol­o­gy, Peter Luff, announced that Dae­woo Ship­build­ing and Marine Engi­neer­ing (DSME) is the Government’s pre­ferred bid­der for the deal. This rep­re­sents the best val­ue for tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey, with £452m to be spent on the four new ves­sels to sup­port the Roy­al Navy on oper­a­tions around the world.

A num­ber of British com­pa­nies took part in the com­pe­ti­tion, but none sub­mit­ted a final bid for the build con­tract. In light of this, the best option for Defence, and val­ue for mon­ey for tax­pay­ers, is for the tankers to be con­struct­ed in South Korea by DSME.

UK com­pa­nies will how­ev­er ben­e­fit from £150m of asso­ci­at­ed con­tracts com­pris­ing:

  • £90m on UK con­tracts for the pro­vi­sion of key equip­ment, sys­tems, design and sup­port ser­vices. The win­ning design is being pro­vid­ed by UK com­pa­ny BMT Defence Ser­vices
  • £60m invest­ment in the UK from cus­tomi­sa­tion, tri­als and spe­cial­ist engi­neer­ing sup­port.

The tankers are part of a mul­ti-bil­lion pound invest­ment pro­gramme for the Roy­al Navy, which includes Type 45 destroy­ers, Queen Eliz­a­beth Class air­craft car­ri­ers and Astute Class attack sub­marines, employ­ing thou­sands of peo­ple in the UK.

Mr Luff said:

“Over the next decade, the Gov­ern­ment will be invest­ing bil­lions of pounds in our mar­itime capa­bil­i­ties to ensure that our Roy­al Navy remains a for­mi­da­ble fight­ing force. This project will inject up to £150m into UK indus­try, and sup­port and main­te­nance will also be car­ried out in the UK. The Gov­ern­ment remains com­mit­ted to build­ing com­plex war­ships in UK ship­yards.”

Com­modore Bill Wal­worth, Head of the RFA, said:

“We are delight­ed the RFA will be able to oper­ate these world class ves­sels. These fleet replen­ish­ment tankers will be flex­i­ble ships, able to oper­ate with the Roy­al Navy and Armed Forces in con­flict, and are designed to allow for upgrades and emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies, mean­ing that they have been designed with the future in mind.”

The Chief of Defence Materiel, Bernard Gray, said:

“The com­pe­ti­tion for the con­tract sought to engage ship­builders from across the globe. I believe the win­ning bidder’s solu­tion will offer the UK the best val­ue for mon­ey.

“The MARS tanker is an excep­tion­al­ly ver­sa­tile plat­form; able to simul­ta­ne­ous­ly refu­el an air­craft car­ri­er and destroy­er whilst under­tak­ing heli­copter resup­ply of oth­er ves­sels. I am look­ing for­ward to the award of the con­tract and the work that will fol­low in the lead up to the deliv­ery of the ships.”

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →