Wednesday 29 May, 2024
HomeNaval & MaritimeSea PlatformsRoyal Navy to acquire up to six new amphibious ships

Royal Navy to acquire up to six new amphibious ships

The UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps will announce today that up to six new state-of-the-art warships will be built in the UK to strengthen Royal Marines operations, as part of what is described as the new Golden Age of UK shipbuilding.

Known as Multi-Role Support Ships (MRSS), the new vessels will replace HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, the Royal Navy’s current amphibious flagships which will remain in service until 2033/2034. The MRSS will also replace the three Bay-class amphibious support vessels, RFAs Lyme Bay, Mounts Bay and Cardigan Bay and the support ship RFA Argus.

The MRSS is designed to be an extremely versatile platform able to deploy on a wide variety of operations and is equipped to carry vehicles, aircraft, insertion craft, and a broad range of unmanned systems for complex missions. Additionally, it will act as a primary casualty receiving ship, providing urgent medical care to British forces wherever they are deployed.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has entered the concept phase of the MRSS Programme and will work with industry as part of early market engagement ahead of developing the vessel design.

MRSS Programme Director, Commander Alex Allen said: “As the son of a Royal Marine who fought in the Falklands War, I recognise the importance of this capability to a global navy.”

“But these ships must be ready to meet a future threat where they will be required to exploit new technology and change roles quickly.”

“Adaptability and flexibility will be central to the Multi Role Support Ship design, as will interoperability with our NATO allies.”

“This announcement is a significant step in the programme bringing these ships into service and modernising the Royal Navy’s littoral strike capability.”

Defence Equipment & Support CEO, Andy Start said: “With the MOD’s new Integrated Procurement Model in place and DE&S undergoing its biggest transformation in a decade we are aiming to be faster, more efficient, more innovative, more integrated and more productive when delivering new equipment such as the Multi-Role Support Ships for the Royal Marines.”

“Our MRSS team has already begun engaging with the potential shipbuilding market to lay the groundwork for this versatile and essential future capability.”

Backed by defence spending rising to 2.5% of GDP, today’s announcement means that up to 28 warships and submarines are planned or currently being build for the Royal Navy.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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