Electronics Production | September 18, 2008
Thales awarded second phase of sonar support contract
Thales UK's naval business has agreed terms, worth £134 million, for the second phase of its 10-year contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the in-service support of all Royal Navy (RN) major sonar systems.
The contract, awarded to Thales UK's underwater systems business in 2003, is aimed at delivering equipment availability for several of the major sonar systems in service with the Royal Navy. These now include sonar 2054 fitted to the Vanguard-class submarines, sonar 2076 / 2074 fitted to the nuclear-powered attack (SSN) fleet submarines, 2093 / 2193 mine hunting sonar and the new sonar 2087 low-frequency active sonar (LFAS) fitted to the Type 23 frigates. Initially the contract was priced for a five-year period. During this time, the levels of equipment availability have improved and overall savings in the cost of support have been achieved. In refining the contract for the five years remaining of its current term the MoD has broadened the scope of the contract to extend its benefits to other related equipment. The total value of the 10-year contract is now over £230 million. The contract is run through the ‘Integrated Support Team - Sonar', which is a joint Thales UK / MoD team based in Abbey Wood, Bristol. This team is augmented by several Thales and J+S Ltd waterfront engineers in the RN's three naval bases (Portsmouth, Plymouth and Faslane) and together they ensure that specialist technical advice and support is delivered whenever it is needed to ensure the continued availability of the sonar systems.