Team Resolute wins naval shipbuilding contact31 January 2023

Team Resolute Royal Navy vessels Team Resolute will deliver three Fleet Solid Support ships for the RFA (Image credit: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2023. Team Resolute®)

Team Resolute has won a £1.6 billion contract to manufacture the vessels providing munitions, stores and provisions to the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates.

Creating 1,200 UK shipyard jobs, hundreds of graduate and apprentice opportunities, and an expected 800 further jobs across the UK supply chain, Team Resolute, comprising BMT, Harland & Wolff and Navantia UK, will deliver three Fleet Solid Support ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).

Set to invest around £100 million into UK shipyards, including £77 million of infrastructure at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast and Appledore shipyards, and a further £21 million in skills and technology transfer from Navantia UK, Harland & Wolff will create a shipyard.

The contract will create around 900 jobs at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast site.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “This contract is a significant boost to the UK’s historic shipbuilding industry, balancing shipbuilding across the Union. Creating jobs and prosperity, Team Resolute is bringing shipbuilding back to Belfast, developing a modern, resilient and thriving shipbuilding industry that will support naval and commercial shipbuilding into the future.”

Expanding and enhancing Harland & Wolff’s shipbuilding facilities, the fleet are said to be the first ships built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast since MV Anvil Point was launched in 2002.

Most of the blocks and modules for the ships will be constructed at Harland & Wolff’s facilities in Belfast and Appledore, following the design by the Bath-based company BMT. Build work will also take place at Navantia’s shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, with the final assembly for all three 216-metre-long vessels to be completed at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast yard.

Team Resolute group CEO of Harland & Wolff, John Wood said: “This programme will bring £77 million of investment into the Harland & Wolff shipyards and create around 1,200 Harland & Wolff shipyard jobs, spring boarding Harland & Wolff back into the naval shipbuilding sphere and significantly enhancing our export opportunities for the future. This is the last chance to capture the excellent shipbuilding skills that remain in Belfast and Appledore before they are lost and pass them on to the next generation of UK shipbuilders. UK Government has seized this opportunity and in doing so ensured the long-term survival of our shipyards and significantly bolstered sovereign shipbuilding capability.”

The contact is expected to deliver 200 further education opportunities on graduate placements and apprentice programmes. Harland & Wolff’s welding academy is set to train 300 new UK welders during the contract, with 120 highly-skilled jobs supported at BMT.

Unite Union Representative Joe Passmore, said: “This is an historic moment for shipbuilding in Belfast. We campaigned for Harland & Wolff with a view to bringing new infrastructure and knowledge into our shipyards, and FSS will create jobs, skills and opportunities for young people in Northern Ireland. We continue to wrestle with a capacity shortage in shipyards and we believe that by unlocking the full potential in Belfast, we can help to secure a bright future for shipbuilding in the UK.”

Production is due to start in 2025, with recapitalisation and yard improvements starting immediately. All three support ships are expected to be operational by 2032.

Operations Engineer

Related Companies
BMT Defence Services Ltd
Harland & Wolff Heavy Industry Ltd

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