The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Fort Rosalie has been sold to Egypt along with sister ship RFA Fort Austin (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

Done deal: First Royal Navy ships sold to Egypt in 30 years

Royal Navy ships RFA Fort Austin and Fort Rosalie were released from service earlier this year.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Fort Rosalie has been sold to Egypt along with sister ship RFA Fort Austin (Picture: Royal Navy).

The Royal Navy for the first in more than 30 years has sold military vessels to Egypt.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships, Fort Austin and Fort Rosalie, which were released from service earlier this year, were sold by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA).

UK jobs could yet be garnered with negotiations under way for refurbishment work on the vessels before they are exported.

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The fleet replenishment ships RFA Fort Austin and her sister ship RFA Fort Rosalie ceased operational service on 31 March and were put up for sale in May.

Both of the ships have been responsible for replenishing Royal Navy and ally warships with food, stores and ammunition.

Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin has spoken about the "important role" both of the RFA ships played in sustaining the naval fleet for decades and he thanked "all involved in their essential work".

He added: "Both the UK and Egyptian navies continue to strengthen relations to maintain peace and security in the region.

"As we nod to the past service of these ships, we can also look forward to the exciting future of welcoming our new Fleet Solid Support Ships."

Fort Austin at sea, RFA ships Fort Austin and Fort Rosalie sold to Egypt first in plus 30 years 29102021 Credit Crown Copyright.jpg
RFA Fort Austin has been sold to Egypt along with sister ship RFA Fort Rosalie (Picture: Crown Copyright).

The sister ships have two flight decks, which means as well as traditional replenishment at sea they are also able to use helicopters to offload supplies.

Fort Austin and Fort Rosalie will be replaced by the Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships, which will form part of the UK's Carrier Strike Group.

Head of DESA Clive Walker said: "DESA is exceptionally happy to be working with the Egyptian Navy on the regeneration of two former Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships. 

"This represents a tangible demonstration of the strengthening relationship between the two navies and the importance of the strategic relationship between the UK and Egypt."

Watch: What does the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) do? 

Backed by the £24bn investment announced last year, developing defence exports and investments are seen by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as a key element to advancing Global Britain and asserting UK defence in the face of evolving threats.

The recent Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper aid the MOD's ambitions by providing a strategic backbone for such commercial activity.