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19 Mar 14. Babcock secures locks and keys for armed forces. Babcock has been awarded a four year contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to supply locks, keys and hinges to the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force, providing guaranteed supply within defined timescales. Under the £8m framework agreement contract awarded by the MOD’s Medical and General Supplies Team, Babcock now supplies a range of over 360 different lock, key or hinge items to various store locations in the UK, and in some instances direct to UK military bases, for use on land, sea and air assets. The items are delivered to strict quality standards and performance criteria, including guaranteed delivery within specified lead times.


13 Mar 14. Astute Class Attack Submarines: Support Contract. The Defence Secretary, accompanied by his Australian counterpart, visited BAE Systems’ boat yard at Barrow-in-Furness. Among other matters (Item 4), the Defence Secretary announced a £23m contract with BAE Systems to provide in-service support, maintenance and technical assistance to the Astute Class SSN boats for the next five years.
Comment: The first two boats in Class, ASTUTE and AMBUSH are already in service. Boat 3 (ARTFUL) should leave Barrow in Spring 2014 before being handed over in 2015. Boat 4 (AUDACIOUS), Boat 5 (ANSON) and Boat 6 (AGAMEMNON) are in various stages of construction. Steel was recently cut for the seventh and last of Class (as yet unnamed but expected to be AJAX). Boat 7 is due to enter service in March 2024. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/12, 17 Mar 14)

12 Mar 14. The UK MoD has signed a £20m contract to buy parts for the Royal Navy’s three new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). It was announced in November last year that the MoD would purchase the ships which will be built, subject to approval, by BAE Systems. During a visit to the company’s shipyards on the Clyde in Scotland, Defence Minister Philip Dunne MP announced that the MoD has committed £20m to the programme. The contract will enable BAE Systems to begin work on parts such as the engines and gearboxes, which require a longer time to make and therefore have to be ordered in advance of the main shipbuilding programme. The Royal Navy’s OPVs are set to be built later this year by BAE Systems at their Clyde shipyards, which currently employs approximately 3,000 people.
DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS Comment: Some controversy surrounds the £348m order for three OPV which, apparently, have only been contracted in order “to manage the workload gap and maintain key shipbuilding skills between the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier and Type 26 Global Combat Ship build programmes” (to quote the Minister on 19 Nov 13). The fate of the Batch 1 River Class OPV (HMS TYNE, SEVERN & MERSEY) remains uncertain.

18 Mar 14. Thales to provide mission suite for Polish Navy’s ORP SLAZAK patrol vessel. Electronic systems company Thales will provide an integrated combat system to the Polish Ministry of National Defence for the ORP SLAZAK patrol vessel. Thales will supply combat system components including the Tacticos combat management system, SMART-S Mk2 surveillance radar, STING-EO Mk2 (currently named the STIR 1.2 EO Mk2) fire control radar, Mirador electro-optical observation and fire control system and LINK 11/16 tactical data link system. The system is scheduled to be fully operational in 2016 for the vessel, which is the successor of the Gawron multipurpose corvette programme. Additionally, the company will install combat system integration related to other systems on-board the vessel,

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