DE&S has secured a new £18 million contract to support the Royal Navy’s air defence fleet and sustain Chelmsford jobs.
Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin announced the contract, placed by the Maritime and Air Weapon Systems (MAWS) Project Team within DE&S Weapons, when she visited BAE Systems’ Great Baddow site in Chelmsford.
The contract will ensure the continued availability of the battle-winning Long Range Radar (LRR) equipment on the UK’s six Type 45 Destroyers, including maintenance and repairs.
The work will sustain 11 highly-skilled jobs with BAE Systems in Chelmsford, as well as four in Portsmouth.
Richard Smart, Director Weapons at DE&S, said:
“The UK’s Type 45 Destroyers are part of the backbone of the Royal Navy and this contract supports their primary air defence role, offering the best protection available to the ships and crew.
“This support agreement is the product of the strong skills base we have in UK Defence. This will keep Royal Navy personnel safe at sea as they defend our interests all over the world.”
The Long Range Radar provides the Royal Navy with a detailed air surveillance picture of the battlespace, capable of automatically detecting and tracking hundreds of separate targets simultaneously at ranges of greater than 200 miles. It is a key element of the Type 45 air defence capability and is also employed on the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft carriers.
The new contract, which will run for the next five years, will cover support for the entire Type 45 fleet, as well as one shore-based facility in Portsmouth.
Simon Rowe, project lead in the MAWS team, said:
“Placing the contract was the culmination of months of hard work across the MOD and industry teams. Not only have we transitioned to a Single-Source Procurement Regulation (SSPR) compliant Qualifying Defence Contract (QDC), the team has also been able to build in greater flexibility and efficiency in comparison to the previous contract.
“Throughout the negotiations, it was pleasing to see the ongoing support to the Royal Navy user remained at the top of everyone’s priorities.”
Whilst at the site in Great Baddow, which homes BAE Systems’ research and technology hub AI Labs, the Defence Minister met scientists and engineers and discussed space opportunities as well as Long Range Radar technology.
Mrs Baldwin said:
“It’s been great seeing the cutting-edge innovation of British industry today, especially as my first experience of British business was so close to this site. This multi million pound contract will boost the future of both this high-tech hub and our Navy’s battle-winning radars.”
Les Gregory, Product and Training Services Director for BAE Systems, added:
“We are delighted to have been awarded this follow-on contract to support the Long Range Radars across the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer fleet, which will also enable us to explore further growth opportunities.”