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Royal Navy orders four 37.000 tons tankers to support renewed surface fleet and attack submarines

Wednesday, February 22nd 2012 - 17:21 UTC
Full article 17 comments
The tankers have helicopter capability and should be incorporated by 2016 The tankers have helicopter capability and should be incorporated by 2016

A new generation of 37.000-tons tankers has been ordered for the Royal Navy fleet, the MoD announced Wednesday. 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 (RFA) single hulled tankers.

At over 200 metres long, the four tankers will be approximately the same length as 14 double-deck buses and can 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 £452 million 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.

However 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 program 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.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said that “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 £150 million 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”.

Commenting on the project 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”.

Chief of Defence Materiel, Bernard Gray pointed out that “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 re-supply 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 ship”


Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Philippe

    Hurrah for the Royal Navy!


    Feb 22nd, 2012 - 07:32 pm 0
  • tommycool

    3 million unemployed, no jobs or work to be had and still our government cannot place orders with British companies to give British people jobs. What an example this government is setting. We must be the laughing stock of the world! The lunatics are running the asylum.

    Feb 22nd, 2012 - 08:18 pm 0
  • GreekYoghurt

    @2 Getting a British company to build what we need might just not be an option. There is a huge issue with availability of things called engineers in the UK, because everyone is told by their parents to be a pop star or a footballer.

    That's nothing to do with leadership, that's a societal issue.

    Feb 22nd, 2012 - 08:25 pm 0
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