The Government has confirmed that four companies have been invited to build a demonstrator ship to test the concept of trimaran hulls for the Royal Navy.
The four invited to bid for the £10m-20m ship are naval design houses BAeSema and BMT Marine Procurement and shipyards Yarrow Shipbuilders and Vosper Thornycroft.
BAeSema and BMT are expected to link with a shipbuilder to construct the 1,000 tonne vessel to their design. BAeSema teamed with A&P Appledore to build the survey ship HMS Scott for the navy, so such a link could be on the cards.
The Defence Evaluation and Research Agency revealed its intention to invite bids for the trimaran in July, when it said the navy would use the demonstrator to test the trimaran’s seakeeping properties to see if it could satisfy the `Future Escort’ requirement for a replacement for the navy’s Type 22 frigates after 2010.
The bids are due back next month and the trimaran contract will be let next year. The ship must be completed by 2000.