24 Sep 09. A Centre of Excellence for Pump Assembly and Test was officially opened at Babcock’s premises at Whetstone, Leicestershire last week (Thursday 17 September) by Neal Lawson head of DE&S Fleet Wide Equipment (FWE) at an event that was attended by stakeholders from across the submarine enterprise. Babcock, in conjunction with the FWE Maritime Equipment Transformation (MET) team, has made a significant investment of £750k in this new facility, which provides a specialist repair and test capability for high integrity seawater pumps. These mission-critical systems are deployed in all operational classes of Royal Naval submarines. The new Centre of Excellence brings together previously disparate repair and testing facilities from around the country into a single centralised facility, providing vital support services for Main Circulating Water Pumps (MCWPs) for all operational classes of submarine.
30 Sep 09. The opening of the Typhoon Support Centre and the Typhoon Maintenance Facility at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on 30th September 2009, marks the official start of the Typhoon Availability Service (TAS) for which BAE Systems will take a major role in ensuring the availability of the Typhoon fleet to meet its standing and operational commitments. BAE Systems Military Air Solutions was awarded the five year circa 450 million contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (UK MOD) in March this year for initial delivery and further development of the Typhoon Availability Service. The TAS solution will make Typhoon more affordable by reducing the future predicted support costs. Over the last six months, members of the BAE Systems team, along with their MOD DE&S and RAF counterparts, have put in place all the necessary elements of the TAS implementation to stand up the service. The TAS contract draws on best practice and lessons learnt on previous UK MOD and BAE Systems support arrangement contracts. It underpins the Company’s work to deliver service excellence to the armed forces by providing the best services, equipment and support solutions to meet ongoing operational requirements. It is also further evidence of the progress BAE Systems is making to establish a successful through-life business. Currently over 270 BAE Systems’ employees work on the TAS contract across RAF Coningsby and the BAE Systems’ sites at Samlesbury and Warton in Lancashire. This will grow to 500 over the course of the five year contract.
25 Sep 09. ‘Nationally important’ Defence Technical College given green light for development by Vale of Glamorgan Council. The Vale of Glamorgan Council has resolved to approve the planning application for the Defence Technical College (DTC) at MOD St. Athan and over the coming weeks both the Welsh Assembly Government and Ministry of Defence will complete the statutory processes required to formalise this consent. The DTC is a nationally important project involving the redevelopment of a large part of the 1000 acre MOD St Athan site, which is home to the RAF 4 School of Technical Training. The DTC will bring together in one location the technical training for all three Services creating the largest vocational training operation in the country. With up to 3000 students present at any one time, the DTC will create a development similar in size to a small town. As a result, it will have all the facilities that would be expected of a small town, including excellent recreational and sporting amenities which will be a particular feature of the development. Metrix, the consortium that is behind the DTC is led by technology services company QinetiQ and facilities management specialists Sodexo.
24 Sep 09. HMS ARK ROYAL: Rejoining the Fleet. The MoD announced (24 Sep 09) that HMS ARK ROYAL was putting to sea again on 25 Sep 09, following a £12m upgrade by BVT Surface Fleet. Application of ‘intersleek’ paint to the ship’s hull has increased her theoretical top speed by two knots to 30 knots.