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Presumably the tank conversion can be quickly reversed in time of war?
Article in the telegraph suggests that the silly idea of picking an arbitrary price of £250 million and then trying to build a ship for that much money has been abandoned.Its mostly behind a paywall, anyone read the whole thing?


There is a limited piece in the Financial Times. See the below link:

From the FTs view the program is not being scrapped, but the £250m price point is. It seems industry is finding it impossible to meet the criteria and still produce a ship that can fight and more importantly sustain damage.

Does this mean that if the price is increased the five ships will be dropped to four?

El Sid

Funny that in the first week of a SoS who has actually been to sea, the MoD are suddenly more interested in T31e survivability…

All those bigging up Williamson should remember how invested he became in T31e, regardless of what was actually achievable.

John Baxter

Have the Phalanx and 30mm been fitted and will they carry a helicopter as routine… ?

Cam Hunter

Probably not…..


A great sight to behold.

One thing noticed… The photo above the caption “The baby of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – RFA Tideforce prepares to conduct her first RAS. (Photo: Susan Cloggie-Holden)” is actually showing RFA Tidesurge


The world’s most expensive oil tankers.

Cam Hunter

Where do u get that? U do realise the tides were a bargain don’t you? Also They are fitted with far more millitray grade gear than an oil tanker…..


In what way wre they a bargin at 550 million quid just for the shipbuild bit then 160 million gross for the protected UK bit? Military grade but not military ships such as the German French Dutch or Italian ships!

Cam Hunter

Do u know how much RFA ships cost these days? And One 8,000 ton destroyer cost 1 billion, 4 tide tankers for 5/600 million is a bargain. They have all the gear for many different tasks and are 38,000 ton each. We will be building 2 new solid suport ships soon for 1 billion.


Yes, we will be building within the UK three Solid Support Ships for 1 billion pounds. Taken a modest 30% tax back, the 4 Tides cost back in 2012-15 around 950 million pounds gross. So you are saying the Tides are comaprable to warships. What is all this gear? Don’t confuse tonnage to price and cost. The 38,000 tons is full load too. They were no bargin. looking at it from every angle, it was quite the opposite.

Cam Hunter

I loved fort George, shame it was scrapped! They are great ships and would have been far better if the government would stop the “ built for but not installed” with our limited destroyers and frigates (governments choice) we should arm some RFA ships with anti air missile like the fort were meant to have. Then we could protect our carrier battle group even better. One drone swarm atack and our destroyers would be out of missiles… another dam joke…. they are fitted for mk41 silos but didn’t get them…..

Aaron The Humanist

Could anyone explain the freshwater tanks bit? Do ships not all have desalination plants on board? Is that not a standard fit these days?

Cape Clear

I was wondering the very same thing


Demand for FW will always outstrip the ability to make FW, Washing machines, showers and toilets run 24 hrs a day…and thats just with the basic RFA/RN crew. Add in extra crew for embarked flight and watch the usage skyrocket.

Also, Ships are not allowed to make FW within so many miles of land (Think it’s 6 mile limit) so not always an option.


Fresh water was a big problem in 82, due to some of the STUFT (e.g. Cargo ships and Ferries) not having any desalination plant as they normally rely on shore supply & tanks. This arrangement is sufficient for their normal trade but not for extended time at sea.

Many RN & RFAs built since then have oversized desalination plants to allow RAS to and from other vessels. It’s also very useful for HADR ops to provide fresh water to shore when local supplies have failed.