In the near future, the Royal Marines Commandos and the United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) will be getting a new amphibious platform from which to operate, significantly increasing their reach and operational capabilities.

The Future Littoral Strike Ship (FLSS), which is being designed specifically for the new Littoral Strike Groups, will be the main workhorse of the concept. As the connotation Strike Group suggests, there will be additional vessels in supporting roles. These would most probably be a replenishment ship, a Type 45 destroyer or Type 23 frigate, and perhaps an attack submarine. The addition of a submarine in the Strike Group will determine the importance that British policymakers will give to the concept, given the fact the Royal Navy has ten submarines. Four are Vanguard class, which serve as a strategic nuclear deterrence, with three each from the Astute and Trafalgar classes, which are nuclear-powered attack subs.

During a presentation of the new concept at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “They would support our Future Commando Force, our world-renowned Royal Marines. They’ll be forward deployed, at exceptionally high readiness, and able to respond at a moment’s notice, bringing the fight from sea to land.”

Williamson, however, didn’t give much detail about the capabilities, costs, or time frame for the FLSS. The Ministry of Defense (MoD) did release some pictures of the vessel in the early stages of conceptualization. They indicate the FLSS will have the capability to launch Royal Marines Commando or UKSF units both by air and water. Most probably, these strike groups will be forward deployed to promptly address emergencies around the world.