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£200M British Contracts Boost Royal Navy Support

Ministry Of Defence (UK)

£200 million British contracts to boost Royal Navy support

Two British companies were today named as preferred bidders for over £200m of contracts to provide essential maintenance for the Navy's support ships, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders of Birkenhead, and the A&P Group were named as the final two contenders.

RFA Cardigan Bay
RFA Cardigan Bay

The RFA flotilla, the Naval workhorse of the armed forces, consists of seventeen ships and totals 397,093 tonnes of shipping to keep the Royal Navy supplied with fuel, food, and ammunition at sea on world-wide operations.

RFA Wave Knight
RFA Wave Knight

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Baroness Taylor said:

"The new support programme will increase the availability and effectiveness of these crucially important ships. It will also generate significant savings through closer collaboration with industry, and sustaining industrial expertise.

I am delighted that, subject to successful negotiations, two British companies will provide this crucial support to the Royal Navy. This is in line with our aims under the Maritime Industrial Strategy."

RFA Wave Ruler feeding HMS
Iron Duke
RFA Wave Ruler feeding HMS Iron Duke

Testing improved ways of supporting these vessels has already saved about £10 million. The MoD expects to be in a position to place a contract next year, subject to successful negotiations.

The fleet consists of:

* 6 Fleet and Support Tankers,
* 4 Dry Cargo Fleet Replenishment Ships,
* 4 Landing Ships Dock,
* 1 Landing Ship (Logistic),
* 1 Aviation Training Ship,
* 1 Forward Repair Ship.


1. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) has seventeen vessels ranging from tankers, fuel and stores replenishment ships through to unique platforms providing such as Aircraft Training and Primary Casualty Reception (ARGUS), Forward Repair Station (DILIGENCE) and the recently launched Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) Bay Class (Ships LARGS BAY, LYME BAY, MOUNTS BAY and CARDIGAN BAY).

2. Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders, of Birkenhead, Merseyside, currently employs over 210 staff and is currently involved in maintenance work on RFA WAVE RULER. Over the past year, the company has successfully delivered similar work packages for RFA DILIGENCE, RFA ORANGELEAF, and RFA WAVE KNIGHT.

3. The A&P Group, based at Falmouth in Cornwall and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, employs over 1000 staff across the UK and is under contract for the through life support of RFA ARGUS. Over the past year, A&P has completed major work packages for RFA BLACK ROVER and RFA FORT AUSTIN.

4. The RFA employs over 2000 personnel, and is one of the biggest employers in British Shipping.

5. The RFA has supported the Royal Navy and the Army in Korea, Suez, Cyprus, Beira, Kuwait, Borneo, Belize and Aden. During the Falklands Conflict in 1982, the RFA spearheaded logistic support for the Task Force.

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