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Possibly a stupid question but why is it not possible to construct the second hull external, why must it be done internally?

David shambles

Cos , it would mean doing the whole hull rather than just the tanks ( hydrodynamic reasons and cost prohibit this )

Plus it’s only fir 8years so make do for now


Just for jokes…

But it’s a pity we don’t stick VLS Seawolf on her now….We’ve got the spare VLS, radars etc from the T23’s that have been upgraded with Sea Ceptor…

Are there any Exocet still knocking about in stores as well…we could chuck them on and call her a Frigate…


Too big to be a frigate… will have to be a cruiser.


No sod it, she’s big enough to be a battle cruiser…


Rude boy, not a joke at all! When first conceived, the Forts had double-headed VL Seawolf, type 2031 towed array sonar and two ASW Sea King helicopters! Basically, a very large T23 minus the gun and Harpoons. In the early days of 2031 sonar, Russian subs were quite noisy so the towing ship didn’t necessarily have to be extra quiet.


I know, we must have a shedload of VLS Sea Wolf kit knocking around now, even if it’s just for 8 (more like 10-12) years of service it would make sense to chuck it on board finally.

Joe B

I’m almost certain that military vessels have a waiver with respect to the MAROPOL regulations. It is simply the choice of the government whether to obey them


Seems like the best part of this story is Cammell Laird may have contracts for years to come. Great news for the skilled labor force that works there.


The governments insistence on putting the FSS contract out to international tender is ridiculous on so many levels. How can privately owned and operated British shipyards possibly compete against their European and Asian state subsidized rivals!

All they care about is getting a cheap price at the outset, but the loss to homegrown industry and local investment makes it a false economy. The fact that the MARS tankers were fitted with the wrong electric cabling which then had to be changed at significant time and cost should serve as another warning.

The idea that for instance River Class patrol ships can be classed as ‘complex warships’ whilst things like FSS aren’t is another farce! RFA’s are more complex than your average container ship or ferry, are often expected to put themselves in harms way and (incidentally) are typically fitted with 2x Phalanx CIWS and 2x 30mm guns vs the single guns the mine-hunters, patrol and survey vessels the RN operates.

Given it’s facilities and recent history i’d look to give Cammell Laird the FSS contract and as long as the final design looks decent (which I think it will compared to the stretched corvette BAE proposes) give the T31 contract to the Babcock/BMT group.

Would be nice if they use the early designs which showed a rear vehicle ramp and flight-deck/hangar for 3 helicopters as well….but i won’t hold my breath.


Totally agree. The government can classify these ships however they want (as many of our European friends do) and designate them as warships. It’s just a choice.
I see a large part of military procurement as an opportunity to support local communities and build modern industrial and manufacturing bases in the homeland. We should only be buying products built in other countries when the product is above our capabilities but essential.
My concern is there still doesn’t seem to be a long term industrial strategy in place. We have many ships that will require replacement in the coming years, and the mars sss should be just the start. Until we do, we have no hope of modernising and competing with other nations to win contracts.
It all seems so simple, yet made painful by a totally short sighted and inept Tory government.


Totally agree guys. We should definitely build these ships in Britain (like other European countries do in their countries) and use our own ships to keep our own industries going, keep the money in our country and keep our own people in well paid jobs.

It is time to end this deliberate war against Britain’s heavy industry, and start investing in it and supporting it.

I would personally say build the type 31s in Cammel Laird and use the gantry crane to build the solid support ships in Rosyth with blocks built around the country. With the experience and facilities gained from building these solid support ships we could start bidding for cruise ships like other European countries do.

In the long term build the frigate factory at Scotstoun on the Clyde (for destroyers, frigates, o.p.v.s etc.) and build a large enclosed dockhall on the Tyne or Mersey (for solid support ships, R.F.A. tankers, carriers, amphibious ships, etc.) We could also use this facility to build cruise ships like other European countries do.

In the long term we have to do everything we can to make British shipbuilding as efficient, cost effective and competitive as humanly possible and having 2 shipyards where ships can be built on 1 site like I describe is the only way to do this. It is not cost effective, efficient or competitive to build blocks hundreds of miles apart with the associated transport costs, no successful shipbuilding country does it that way for that very reason. Whilst we may have to do that in the short term that cannot be our long term plan.

Also we need to make it a rule that all Navy AND all R.F.A. are built in Britain (this is what other European countries do in their countries) and in this way we can have a decent sized, sustainable shipbuilding industry in Britain. This is what us British people want.

David Stephen

We can’t risk building a frigate factory at Scotstoun whilst that poison dwarf Sturgeon and her crowd of racist communists are still in play. I am all for having another shipyard that can deliver large RN & RFA hulls and can see plenty of work to keep such a yard busy I don’t think it could be done in the timeframe required, at least not for FSS. The FSS ships are required to ensure the RN can function properly not to create work at UK yards. Can a UK yard deliver 2-3 40,000 tonne vessels by the mid 2020s? I doubt it with all the work currently planned. Also lets be real regarding costs. If we had spent the Tide class budget here instead of SK we would not have 4 hulls in service by years end but more likely 2 with maybe a 3rd in another few years. Everyone keeps talking about money returned to the economy if they are built here but why would the RN care about that. The money would not go their budget just back in to the general pot and wasted on something else like diversity training for pansexual teaching assistants. If the ships are built cheaper and faster abroad then so be it. Better to order FSS from abroad and have it delivered quickly and then set up a yard in the north east to replace the LPDs and LSDs from 2020s onwards. If we can find any money before that then give the yard a contract to replace Ocean first. That would leave us with destroyers and frigates being built on the Clyde, RFAs and amphibs in the north east and repair/refits at Camel Laird.