PORTSMOUTH, England, June 30 (UPI) -- BAE Systems UK has been awarded a six-year, $73.6 million contract to support the Sampson multi-function radars on board six Royal Navy Type 45 destroyers.
The six-year support contract, awarded by MBDA, is designed as a forerunner to a full "contract for availability" arrangement and will generate data on the radar's performance, which will enable a long-term support solution to be delivered to the Royal Navy, the company said.
The radars act as the ships' eyes in the sky, enabling them to detect and view objects on land, sea and in the air, as well as combining the roles of surveillance, dedicated tracking and weapon communication functions.
The new contract covers all of the Sampson radars, both in-service and on Type 45s that are yet to enter service. The contract provides technical support, a spares and repairs service as well as maintenance through the joint MBDA/BAE Systems waterfront team at the Type 45's home port of Portsmouth Naval Base.
BAE said this will ensure that the BAE Systems' team continues to work with MBDA and the Royal Navy as the design authority and technical helpdesk support for Sampson. The team will also provide ongoing support at the Maritime Integration and Support Centre in Portsmouth and an MFR test facility at BAE Systems' site on the Isle of Wight during the service life of each radar.
Sampson works as part of the Sea Viper air defense system, the Type 45's principal anti-missile system, and can deal simultaneously with multiple targets including stealthy and sea-skimming objects.
Sampson's effectiveness has already proved successful during the recent Sea Viper firing trials from onboard HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless, the first Type 45 Destroyers to enter service with the Royal Navy.
The contract follows a $28.8 million, 18-month contract awarded to BAE Systems in September to support the Long Range Radar on the same ships. The scope of this contract includes technical helpdesk support, corrective and preventative maintenance, repairs, design authority support and waterfront engineering capability in HM Portsmouth Naval Base, Portsmouth.
"The radars on the Type 45 are fundamental to the ships' ability to deliver the defense from airborne threats that our naval forces require," said Richard Murray, team leader for the Ministry of Defense's Medium Range Air Defense Project Team. "Both Sampson and the LRR have proved themselves more than capable of meeting the demands made of them and this support regime will maintain that capability as the class comes into service."
In addition to the radar support contracts BAE Systems was awarded the Joint Support Solution contract to provide a common support framework for the Combat Management System on the Type 45 destroyers, Type 23 frigates and RFA Argus, all of which are supplied by BAE Systems.
The JSS extends efficiencies to new CMS deployments on future naval ships, including the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.