Strategic RORO Ships Usage Data

Out of the many FOI requests that are published there are sometimes ones that are very interesting. This one provides the number of times the ‘Point Class’ Strategic RORO ships are used on operations.

At £30m operating costs per year, for all of them, the usage data is detailed in this table.

point RORO usage

Although it might not look like a lot, the service provides assured access to shipping at a relatively low cost.

As one of our very knowledgeable commenters points out, these figures would seem to exclude ‘non-operational’ tasks.

Obviously they are not the same type of ship with completely different roles, the Bay class LPD(R) cost about £10m each per year, by way of comparison,

Regardless, still a lot of capacity for a moderate cost.

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16 Responses

  1. Glad you recognise I ask “interesting” FOIAs. There are some more interesting ones I have privately they don’t publish.

  2. I am sure it’s unintentionally unclear rather than wilfully misleading but the number of deployments is much less useful than the total days at sea, and the volume of cargo carried (and whether any of it commercial)

    Comparing with a Bay Class LSD (A) is a bit cheeky as they are apples and pears, not just 1150 v 2650 LIMs (wikiP) . the value calculation would be a comparison with how much non-Point class RoRo charter went on and the cost of that

  3. All nice but that would require another FOI. Try it. They do answer almost everything except about the RAF regiment.

  4. apples & pears, indeed. If I am not totally mistaken, one category has a contract for priority access/ tasking, and the other’s cost is operating as defined for any RN/ Auxiliary vessel (=100% of the the time)?

    The Bay lim x 3 (=3450m) is only a third of delivering the 3 CDO kit and supplies to somewhere (supplies as per x days of initial ops). With the Albions (both?) – and an extra Coy squatting on a carrier – being more focussed on delivering boots than kit, it would seem a false assumption that the Points are mainly there to deliver a follow-on army bde?

  5. Speaking as a retired MSC sealifter, we usually report tonnage lifted since that is what counts. Days at sea can be highly variable and not so good a metric.

    I would agree that Bay LSD(A) is quite different from a MARS Ro/Ro both in terms of missions required and crewing (a large cost factor).

    I will send TD a link to MSC ship usage data

  6. TD,

    I’m not sure that the FOI response is the answer to the question you think it is. I believe they have very specifically answered precisely the question asked. Key phrase “utilised for British military operations”. Key word “operations”. I think this answer may well exclude support to exercises and anything else that isn’t “operations” in the sense of a named op.

    AIUI the current contract is for four ships effectively on time charter to MOD. They don’t do commercial work in between, they are permanently available for MOD tasks, and much more heavily utilised than this FOI answer would indicate.

  7. Oh, the release of the two vessels from the previous contract construct made the remaining four full time? I didn’t know about the change from the availability and priority contract.

    I guess in extremis the other two can become STUFT’ed, so nothing lost really – if they are still under the British flag, that is.

  8. “…They do answer almost everything except about the RAF regiment…”

    THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE. Mr Speaker, may I remind the House that it is MOD policy not to comment on any matters relating to the RAF Regiment because we find them embarrassing and we’re hoping that people forget they exist.

  9. Hey it’s true trying asking FOIAs about the RAF regiment–they say it’s considered SF so they wont reveal info.

  10. @Anixtu

    I wrote the FOIA. My question was “How many times across FY 2010-2014 were the four Point Class Roll-on Roll-off ships (MV Hurst Point, MV Hartland Point, MV Eddystone, MV Anvil Point) utilised for British military operations?”

    If you like,, you can send a FOIA for your questions.

  11. Makes you wonder if every RAF Regt troop is exactly what it appears to be? You could badge a SF troop as RAF and book them into a 5* hotel without anyone raising an eyebrow. A bit like 14Int Company before everyone realised what it was…

  12. @Peter

    I ask about strengths and whether they suffered any cuts–they say it is against national security interests to talk about it.

  13. it appears the new online info on MSC website, does gives day operational, but I still think that is a missing leading metric

  14. Perhaps similar to USN MSC bareboat charters of tankers and some other sealift ships? Always under charter and not to interfere with US shipping companies.

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