Royal Navy systems contract will secure jobs

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A £600m contract to maintain the “eyes and ears” of the Royal Navy’s fleet is expected to secure more than 500 UK jobs, with some in Scotland, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said yesterday.

The ten-year contract with manufacturer Thales will provide maintenance and repair for 17 different systems across the fleet, including Astute, Trafalgar and Vanguard submarines as well as Type 45 warships, Type 23 frigates and Hunt and Sandown class minehunting ships.

The multi-million pound Sensor Support Optimisation Project is expected to sustain some 530 jobs – 230 Thales jobs at sites in Glasgow, Manchester, Somerset and Crawley in West Sussex, and a further 300 jobs through the UK supply chain.

The MoD said the new contract will bring estimated savings of around £140 million over ten years. Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology said: “This contract is good news for the Ministry of Defence and UK industry.

“Not only will it secure over 500 jobs across the UK, whilst delivering savings of £140 million to the taxpayer, it will also provide essential support for the combat equipment that helps give the Royal Navy’s fleet a vital technological edge wherever they are based in the world.”