Harland & Wolff maintains a strong reputation in the UK for its two strategic defence assets. In Belfast, we are one of the only three UK naval shipbuilders suitable for major MOD contract work. Meanwhile our Appledore shipyard has a strong portfolio of vessels built within its facilities, from military craft to bulk carriers.

Our senior team has extensive experience across several high-profile global defence programmes, including; the Canberra Class Amphibious Assault Ship, Anti-Ship Missile Defence for the Royal Australian Navy ANZAC Class Frigates, the Canadian patrol programme and UK complex warship programmes.

With the capacity to facilitate emergent maintenance and repairs for the UK Sovereign Flagship, Harland & Wolff (Belfast) enables sustained Continuous Carrier Capability. Supported by 30,000m² of undercover fabrication facilities in Belfast and 119m of covered drydock in Appledore, the two shipyards work symbiotically to deliver results.

Located at the Port of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Harland & Wolff (Belfast) is six miles away from the end of the Victoria Channel and sixteen miles clear of Belfast Lough. With two international airports on our doorstep our Belfast site boasts accessibility.

Success Stories


Harland & Wolff joined forces with Spanish shipyard and trusted NATO partner Navantia, to form Team Resolute, a UK shipbuilding collaboration which will bid for a range of contracts, including the UK Ministry of Defence Fleet Solid Support Programme (‘FSS’).

We pride ourselves on professional engagement, forming long-lasting relationships and delivering on defence customers’ objectives, however unique they may be.

Find out more

Mark Lawther

Director of Defence & Government Vessels

Mark leads on our Defence programmes, with a driven purpose to build a new defence portfolio and to grow a long-term defence business for Harland and Wolff. Mark’s key objectives are to collaborate with the MOD and the Defence Enterprise to form and sustain strong trusted relationships and to provide certainty of delivery for all of our defence programmes.

Mark is a driven and passionate defence and maritime business professional. Inspired by a generation of Scottish shipbuilding family ancestry since a young age, Mark holds significant UK and International ship repair, ship build and ship support experience of high-profile programmes and complex platforms now for over three decades.

A proud Electrical and Electronic Engineering Apprentice, with a very colourful and rich career within FTSE100 and FTSE250 defence primes. Mark also holds privileged access to and consultation experience within Navy Command HQ and DE&S operating centres. Along with reputable strengths in export defence and maritime experiences with Brazil, Australia, Romania, France and Canada.

Mark’s claim to fame is as a World Ranking Muay-Thai Kickboxing Champion, achieved when he was 20 years old but these days he enjoys more solemn social golf on his beloved Jack Nicklaus golf resort based in Cornwall.

To find out more about our service offering for defence

Get in touch with our Director of Business Development, Defence, Mark Lawther.