The UK MOD has announced decision on preferred bidders for its landing ship and strategic sealift requirements. The MOD identified that it needed an integral capability to transport heavy equipment and troops to trouble spots around the world and decided to commission four Alternative Landing Ships Logistic (ALSLs). Together with the new Landing Platform Docks, they will deliver the modernisation of the UK's amphibious shipping called for in the Strategic Defence Review.
Swan Hunter (Tyneside) has been selected as preferred bidder to design and build two ALSLs. In order to ensure the new fleet's introduction as soon as possible, BAE SYSTEMS Marine will, subject to detailed negotiations with the MOD and Swan Hunter, separately build 2 ALSL at their Govan shipyard (to Swan's design). Steelwork in both yards could begin around the middle of next year.
For the strategic sealift the MOD has decided on a 25-year Private Finance Initiative contract for which A.W.S.R. Shipping Ltd has been selected as the preferred bidder.
Six Roll-on/Roll-off ships will be procured, two from the Harland and Wolf shipyard in Northern Ireland and four at the Flensburger yard in Germany. When not required by the MOD they will be available for commercial use. While the ships are in MOD use, they will be crewed by British merchant seamen. AWSR Shipping Ltd will be responsible for the provision of the crews, operation and maintenance of the ships throughout the life of the contract.