Anger at defence chiefs set to downgrade £1billion order for new Royal Navy support ships

May 16, 2018
0 1

Union chiefs hit out at a feared downgrade of an order for new Navy support ships today.

The Ministry of Defence had been due to commission three Royal Fleet Auxiliary cargo vessels to link up with Britain’s new £6.2billion aircraft carriers.

The Mirror has already told how Tory minsters are poised to betray British workers by handing the £1billion contract to a foreign firm.

Now it has emerged only two of the ships are guaranteed to be built, with a third optional.

The Queen Elizabeth will be resupplied by the new support vessels
(Image: BRITISH MINISTRY OF DEFENCE)

The official tender for the project, published today, says: “The Commercially Supported Shipping Team is seeking to procure up to 3 in number Fleet Solid Support Ships for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), with a firm requirement for 2 ships and an Option for a further 1 ship.”

READ ALSO:   Alexander McQueen's legacy as new documentary is released about the fashion designer's incredible life and career

GMB national officer Ross Murdoch said: “This is a hugely disappointing decision by the Government who have once again let down the UK’s shipbuilding communities.

“Not content with insisting these Royal Navy support ships are built overseas, now the pressure is on to build them in the UK, they want to only build two.

“What has this Government got against the UK shipbuilding industry?

“GMB demands the Government commit to three ships – and make sure they are built in UK yards.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to become operational in 2020
(Image: PA)
F-35 Lightning II jets will fly from the Navy’s new aircraft carriers
(Image: PA)

Ministers have so far resisted growing demands for the order to be given to a British firm.

READ ALSO:   Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City 'monitor Sporting Lisbon sensation Gelson Martins' - Saturday's gossip

They insist hey have to offer the deal to international companies because the vessels are not officially classed as warships.

However, the ships will be armed guns and, in the tender document, the “main activity” of the ships is listed as “defence”.

The document says: “Its cargo is the life blood for the warships but, as a platform, it is also essential that it does not detract from the operational aims of the group.

“The primary role is to support war-fighting operations.”

The last RFA ships, including the Tidespring refuelling tanker, were built in South Korea
(Image: REUTERS)

Further boosting the claim they could be seen as warships, it goes on: “The FSS ships will need to support all tasks for the future Royal Navy, from full Carrier strike war-fighting through to Peacetime operations.”

READ ALSO:   Rare letter by Albert Einstein attacking Germans over rise of the Nazis expected to fetch £6,000 at auction

Finally, it adds: “The Solid Support ship has to operate and survive against a capable and hostile enemy threat and continue to deliver its prime logistic service to ensure overall mission success.”

The tender document reveals the 20mph ships will take seven years to deliver.

Unions say the order could secure up to 6,700 shipyard and supply chain jobs if it was won by a British shipyard.

You may be interested

Comm Bank delayed informing overcharged customers to avoid negative PR
Australia
0 shares1 views

Comm Bank delayed informing overcharged customers to avoid negative PR

Webby - May 24, 2018

Posted May 24, 2018 18:29:32 A Commonwealth Bank executive has admitted the bank put off writing to overcharged small business customers so that…

College refers sexual hazing allegation to police, bans 'ponding' of students
Australia
0 shares1 views

College refers sexual hazing allegation to police, bans 'ponding' of students

Webby - May 24, 2018

By Eugene Boisvert Posted May 24, 2018 18:25:24 An Adelaide university boarding college has referred an alleged sexual hazing incident to police and…

Qantas gets more time to respond to Chinese regulator's demands
Australia
0 shares1 views

Qantas gets more time to respond to Chinese regulator's demands

Webby - May 24, 2018

Updated May 24, 2018 18:29:32 International airlines that refer to Taiwan as a separate country have just one more day to change their…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Most from this category