The (UK) Royal Navy is being invited to consider a proposal for “two new littoral strike ships which were announced by the UK defense secretary earlier this month,” according to a report in Naval Today. This proposal, the first the RN has received, I think, is from Prevail Partners, a British risk advisory company that proposes “turnkey solution for “300 operational days a year” on a wet-lease charter. As explained in the proposal, the vessel would be owned and operated by Prevail and partners. The Royal Navy would just need to embark its forces and equipment for operations …[and] … “Prevail’s team will build, crew, manage, and sustain the MRV for over 300 operational days every year. Prevail will also integrate specialist capabilities such as USVs or UAVs into the ship,” the company said in its proposal … [additionally, Prevail says that] … The vessel would have a flight deck capable of supporting CH47s, Super Pumas and other military helicopters. It would also enable amphibious operations with the capability to offload heavy vehicles via mexeflote … [and, further] … As advertised, the MRV would measure 209 meters in length, have a range of over 10,000 nautical miles, and provide space for an embarked force of 400 … [and] … Prevail says the first ship could be ready for operations in 2020.“
The Prevail prosed ship (called a multi-role vessel) is about 20 metres longer but has less deadweight cargo capacity than Canada’s MV Asterix, but it is intended for a different purpose: Asterix is, primarily a tanker and stores delivery ship, optimized for refuelling and resupplying other warships at sea; the Prevail multi-role vessel is intended to carry up to 400 troops and equipment and put them ashore. It, the Prevail ship, would be supported by a tanker, like Asterix, and would be escorted by warships to provide protection. But the Prevail multi-role vessel is what many Canadian commentators thing Canada ought to have.
The British proposal is very much like the arrangement that Canada has with Davie’s Federal Fleet Services for the Asterix. I expect that Davie, and, likely, Irving, too will make proposals to Canada for similar multi-role ships. The Royal Canadian Navy’s problem is that it cannot crew the (too small) fleet it has now and the Trudeau regime is unlikely to want to increase the size of the armed forces.