Harland & Wolff land big contract

Harland & Wolff land big contract

THE MINISTRY of Defence has selected a preferred bidder to build support ships for the Royal Navy, with a contract that will create 1,200 UK shipyard jobs, hundreds of graduate and apprentice opportunities, and an expected 800 further jobs across the supply chain.

This follows Harland & Wolff’s recent announcement that it will work with private credit manager Astra Asset Management as exclusive financing partner to support its strategic growth plans.

British-led Team Resolute, comprising Harland & Wolff, BMT and Navantia, has been appointed as the prefered bidder to deliver three crucial support ships to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).

Team Resolute will be awarded a £1.6 billion contract (before inflation) to manufacture the vessels providing munitions, stores and provisions to the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates deployed at sea, subject to HM Treasury and Ministerial approval.

Pledging to invest £77 million in shipyard infrastructure to support the shipbuilding sector, the investment will create one of the most advanced yards in Europe, significant for future export and domestic shipbuilding and offshore opportunities.

The entire final assembly for all three ships will be completed at Harland & Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, with the three 216m long vessels – each the length of two Premier League football pitches – built to Bath-based BMT’s design.

The majority of the blocks and modules for the ships will be constructed at Harland & Wolff’s facilities in Belfast and Appledore, with components to be manufactured in their other delivery centres in Methil and Arnish.

On behalf of Team Resolute, Group CEO of Harland & Wolff, John Wood, said:

“Team Resolute is proud to have been selected as preferred bidder to provide the Royal Fleet Auxiliary with three state-of-the-art, adaptable ships which will fulfil the Royal Navy’s needs while strengthening UK sovereign design and shipbuilding capability, as well as generating around £1.4 billion in national social and economic value.

Background: The Industrial Revolution passed most of Ireland by, but turned Belfast into a mighty manufacturing base - shirts, cigarettes, rope, linen goods – and of course ocean liners. The idea for building the Titanic first arose in 1907, when the White Star Line’s Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie of Harland and Wolff agreed on the idea of building three new ships: the Titanic, and its sister ships the Olympic and the Gigantic (later renamed the Britannic).

On May 31, 1911, the world’s largest passenger liner edged down the slipway of the Harland and Wolff Shipyards and into the dark waters of Belfast Lough. There she was fitted out before slipping anchor and heading out into the Irish Sea never to return to Belfast.  One hundred and one years ago in 1912 she began her fateful journey across the Atlantic from Cobh in Co. Cork.