Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Shipbuilders sought to replace aging trio of RFA support ships

RFA Fort Victoria transfers supplies to HMS Queen Elizabeth during Exercise Strike Warrior
21 May 2021
The challenge has been laid down to UK industry to build three support ships to accompany the Royal Navy on its global operations.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has launched a competition to design three vessels capable of harnessing next-generation shipbuilding design and technology to deliver spare parts, food, ammunition and supplies to warships and task groups on active duty.

The trio of Fleet Solid Support ships are intended to replace three Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels: the aged Fort Rosalie and Fort Austin from the mid-1970s and the newer, larger, more capable RFA Fort Victoria.

The latter – now over 30 years old – is accompanying HMS Queen Elizabeth’s carrier group when it sails from home waters for the Indo-Pacific region this weekend.

When built, these modern cutting-edge RFA ships will continue to provide the necessary munitions, food, stores and provisions to support Carrier Strike Task Groups and the Royal Navy supporting Global Britain well into the future.

Commodore David Eagles, Commodore RFA

Their successors are similarly intended to be an integral part of any carrier strike/amphibious task group, as well as work with the rest of the Fleet, wherever they are needed.

“The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service is very much looking forward to the competition process commencing that will deliver three new Fleet Solid Support ships,” said Commodore David Eagles, Commodore RFA. 

“When built, these modern cutting-edge RFA ships will continue to provide the necessary munitions, food, stores and provisions to support Carrier Strike Task Groups and the Royal Navy supporting Global Britain well into the future.”

The MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation is now inviting companies to throw their hat in the ring to tender for the design and build of the support ships.

Although the successful bidder can work in partnership with international companies, the ships themselves must be assembled in a British shipyard.

Whitehall expects to place the order with the successful bidder within two years.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.