Friday, July 4, 2008

New maintenance contracts for Navy supply ships

New maintenance contracts for Navy supply ships

An Equipment and Logistics news article
30 Jun 08
Contracts valued at around £250 million have been placed by the Ministry of Defence with companies owning shipyards in the North West, North East and South West of England for the long-term maintenance of its fleet of Navy support ships it was announced today, Monday 30 June 2008.

Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders (NSL) of Birkenhead and the A&P Group in Falmouth and Newcastle on Tyne have been named as the contractors to maintain the flotilla of 16 Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) tankers, stores ships and landing ships that supply the Royal Navy at sea.

The contractors will maintain 'clusters' of ships, providing the necessary refuelling and refit work for the RFA vessels throughout their service lives. Ships are grouped in clusters according to their duties and capabilities.

NSL is contracted for the maintenance of four clusters of ships (11 ships in total), with contracts totalling over £180 million, while A&P Group are charged with two clusters (five ships) in a contract worth around £53 million with the work to be shared between its bases in Falmouth and on the Tyne.

Baroness Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, said:

"The RFA is crucial to the work of the Royal Navy – without them it simply could not operate. This is a significant change to the way in which the RFA ships are supported which will not only generate substantial savings for the public purse but will increase the ships' availability and effectiveness to the fleet they serve."

As well as improving fleet support, in the longer term the new programme is expected to save over £330 million on the previous arrangements which saw individual contracts competed as and when they were required.

Commodore David Preston, MOD Defence Equipment and Support Director of Afloat Support, added:

"This new strategy will also see the MOD working more closely with the chosen contractors over the longer term, granting them a greater understanding of our requirements and improving the support RFA ships receive. This should also afford them the ability to forecast their workload further into the future, which is valuable added security for industry and demonstrates how we work with industry to support the Armed Forces."

RFA Gold Rover will be the first to undergo works under the new programme, which will be carried out by NSL.

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