Thales awarded milestone Royal Navy services contract
Thales UK has today signed a 10-year contract with the Ministry of Defence
(MOD), worth up to £600M, for the in-service support of the Royal
Navy’s major sensor systems. The new Sensors Support Optimisation
Project (SSOP) builds on the proven success of Thales’s Contractor
Logistics Support contract, originally signed in 2003, which has provided
support to the Royal Navy’s sonar and electronic warfare systems
for the past 10 years.
Towed Aray Sonar being serviced
terms of SSOP, the in-service support contract has now been extended
to include all of the Royal Navy’s submarine visual systems, including
periscopes for the Vanguard and Trafalgar Class submarines and the non-hull-penetrating
optronic masts for the Astute Class submarines, previously supported
under separate contract arrangements with Thales UK’s optronics
business in Glasgow.
This means Thales is now providing significant in-service support to
the ‘eyes and ears’ of the submarine fleet, as well as across
the major surface sonar and electronic warfare systems.
The contract will be run through the Equipment Support Delivery Team,
which is a joint MOD/Thales UK team based in Abbey Wood, Bristol. This
team is augmented by several Thales and J+S Ltd waterfront engineers
in the Royal Navy’s three naval bases (Portsmouth, Plymouth and
Faslane), who together ensure that specialist technical advice and support
is delivered whenever it is needed to ensure the continued availability
of the sensor systems, both at home and overseas.
Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology,
signed the contract during a visit to Thales’s facility in Crawley
today. He said: “This contract is good news for the Ministry of
Defence and UK industry. Not only will it secure a number of jobs across
the UK whilst delivering savings but will also provide essential support
for the combat equipment that helps give the Royal Navy’s fleet
of ships and submarines a vital technological edge wherever they are
based in the world.”
Victor Chavez, CEO of Thales UK, said: “This contract recognises
the value that can be achieved and the savings that can be delivered
through a long-term services agreement. It also reflects the successful
way in which Thales UK has delivered the required outputs over the past
ten years. This project refines that approach to optimise performance
over the next ten years, and reinforces our positive well-established
relationship with the Royal Navy.”
During the previous support contract, the levels of equipment availability
have improved significantly and substantial overall savings in the cost
of support have been achieved. The new SSOP contract builds on this
experience and success, from the outset delivering further savings to
the MOD whilst continuing to deliver high levels of available and serviceable
The new contract secures employment for 230 Thales employees and a further
300 people within the extended supply chain across the UK.
Major suppliers to Thales include J+S Ltd (Barnstaple, Devon), MacTaggart
Scott (Loanhead, Scotland), Atlas Elektronik UK (Newport, South Wales
and Winfrith, Dorset), Parkburn Ltd (Telford, Shropshire), AB Precision
(Poole) Ltd (Dorset), and Defence Support Group (Sealand, Flintshire).
Thales UK will support the project from its sites in Templecombe, Cheadle
Heath, Glasgow and Crawley, where ongoing development of these important
systems will enable yet further improvements to be made in the levels
of capability and availability.