Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Belfast Shipbuilding to Return As Harland & Wolff Selected As Part of Team Bidder in UK Defence Contract

16th November 2022
Shipbuilding Back to Belfast: The Harland & Wolff Group is set to help build three crucial support ships with the final assembly to take place at its main Belfast shipyard. The £1.6 billion contract from the UK's Ministry of Defence will see the newbuilds enter the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) to service the requirements of the Royal Navy.
Shipbuilding Back to Belfast: The Harland & Wolff Group is set to help build three crucial support ships with the final assembly to take place at its main Belfast shipyard. The £1.6 billion contract from the UK's Ministry of Defence will see the newbuilds enter the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) to service the requirements of the Royal Navy. Credit: HarlandWolffplc-twitter

Shipbuilder the Harland & Wolff Group is set to help construct three crucial support ships in a £1.6 billion contract from the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) with the vessels to serve the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the MoD has selected a preferred bidder with the Belfast firm that are part of Team Resolute, which includes BMT and Navantia UK.

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

It is expected that the MoD contract is to create 1,200 jobs across the Group's shipyards of Belfast and Appledore (England) which will build the majority of blocks and modules while Arnish and Methil (Scotland) manufacture components. In addition 800 jobs will be generated across the UK supply chain.

A further 300 jobs in the UK will be trained at Harland & Wolff’s welding academy during the contract period which will also involve Navantia’s shipyard in Cadiz, Spain.

The newbuild trio will provide munitions, stores and provisions to the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates deployed at sea, subject to HM Treasury and Ministerial approval.

All three newbuilds will be finally assembled in the Group's Belfast shipyard with the 216 metre vessels, each the length of two Premier League football pitches. They will built to the Bath-based BMT and to an entirely British design.

The ships will be the second longest UK military vessels after the 284 metre Queen Elizabeth (QE) class aircraft-carriers which involved modular parts completed at Appledore, the north Devon shipyard which was then under different ownership until the Group's acquisition in 2020.

The last vessel built by the shipyard in Queens Island, east Belfast was the ro-ro freighter Anvil Point which was launched in 2003. A fleetmate of the 'Point' class series, Afloat reported made a call to Dublin Port almost a decade ago. 

To read more on this significant shipbuilding contract as part of the UK's National Shipping Strategy, click here. 

Published in Shipyards
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

Email The Author

Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Shipyards

Afloat will be focusing on news and developments of shipyards with newbuilds taking shape on either slipways and building halls.

The common practice of shipbuilding using modular construction, requires several yards make specific block sections that are towed to a single designated yard and joined together to complete the ship before been launched or floated out.

In addition, outfitting quays is where internal work on electrical and passenger facilities is installed (or upgraded if the ship is already in service). This work may involve newbuilds towed to another specialist yard, before the newbuild is completed as a new ship or of the same class, designed from the shipyard 'in-house' or from a naval architect consultancy. Shipyards also carry out repair and maintenance, overhaul, refit, survey, and conversion, for example, the addition or removal of cabins within a superstructure. All this requires ships to enter graving /dry-docks or floating drydocks, to enable access to the entire vessel out of the water.

Asides from shipbuilding, marine engineering projects such as offshore installations take place and others have diversified in the construction of offshore renewable projects, from wind-turbines and related tower structures. When ships are decommissioned and need to be disposed of, some yards have recycling facilities to segregate materials, though other vessels are run ashore, i.e. 'beached' and broken up there on site. The scrapped metal can be sold and made into other items.

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2022?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating