UK MOD engages potential Fleet Solid Support ship suppliers

The UK Ministry of Defence has invited potential suppliers of the Military Afloat Reach & Sustainability (MARS) Fleet Solid Support (FSS) capability to attend the FSS industry day later this month.

The 2015 UK Strategic Defence & Security Review (SDSR) confirmed the need for MARS Fleet Solid Support capability to provide the solid sustainment (food, stores and ammunition) required for maritime task groups and joint forces.

The FSS currently consists of three types of vessels, MARS tankers, Fleet Solid Support ships and Amphibious Combat Support ships.

The ministry has initiated an assessment phase to acquire three MARS FSS and under current plans has targeted main contract award by Mar 2020, following MARS FSS Main Gate (MG) approval in Dec 2019.

The new solid support ships will eventually replace ageing Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships.

Once the Royal Navy receives the new ships it will be able to achieve full use of the new Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers, defined as Carrier Enabled Power Projection (CEPP) full operating capability and provision of littoral manoeuvre (LitM) capability in support of amphibious forces.

The project will be managed by the Commercially Supported Shipping (CSS) team, part of the Ships Operating Centre within Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S).

The ministry said the industry day would take place on 28.7.2016 in Bristol and has invited all potential suppliers with an interest to contribute to the program to attend and receive an early insight into the FSS project.