Six new amphibious warships to be built for Royal Marines operations

Six new amphibious warships to be built for Royal Marines operations

The Royal Navy has up to six new, state-of-the-art amphibious ships capable of landing Royal Marines Special Forces forces wherever needed around the world.

The new Multi-Role Support Ship (MRSS) will replace the Royal Navy’s current amphibious flagships, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, which will be in service from 2033 to 2034.

The MRSS will also replace three Bay-class amphibious support ships, RFA Lyme Bay, Mounts Bay and Cardigan Bay, and support ship RFA Argus.

The MRSS is a highly versatile warship designed to be deployed in a broader range of operations and capable of carrying vehicles, aircraft, launch craft, and a wide range of unmanned systems for complex missions. It can also act as a primary casualty reception vessel, providing emergency medical care to British forces wherever it is deployed.

MOD is in the first, or conceptual, phase of the MRSS program and will work with industry as part of early market engagement prior to developing the vessel design.

Commander Alex Allen, MRSS Program Director, said: “As the son of a Royal Marine who fought in the Falklands War, I recognize the importance of this capability to navies around the world.

“However, these ships must be ready to address future threats that require them to take advantage of new technologies and change roles quickly.

“Adaptability and flexibility are at the heart of the multi-role support ship design, as is interoperability with NATO allies.

“This announcement is an important step in our program to bring these ships into service and modernize the Royal Navy’s coastal attack capabilities.”

First Sea King Admiral Ben Kee said: “I am delighted that the Secretary of State has cemented the future of the Royal Marines by committing to this new class of up to six amphibious ships.

“These will be the most capable amphibious warships this country has ever owned and are designed to be fully compatible with our closest allies in Europe and NATO.”

Among a number of announcements made by Defense Secretary Grant Shapps at the First Sealord Sea Power Conference in London in 2024, it was also announced that two of the mighty Type 23 frigates would be retired.

HMS Argyle has been sold to BAE Systems and will be used within the UK shipbuilding sector to support apprenticeship training in line with the Government’s plans for skills and shipbuilding capabilities.

HMS Westminster will be retired, but both ships will depart as construction of the next generation of frigates (Type 26 and Type 31) continues.

The First Sea Lord said: “I pay tribute to the outstanding service of the two Type 23 frigates whose retirement was announced today. Together, they have been deployed around the world, have conducted dozens of operational missions, and have far outlived their expected service life. exceeds.

“While it is always sad to pay off such a fine warship, its retirement marks the next stage of reinvestment in new, more modern frigates.”

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