Thales UK to service British navy sensors

May 29, 2013 at 4:34 PM
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ADDLESTONE, England, May 29 (UPI) -- Thales UK has won a multimillion-dollar contract to maintain and repair advanced sensor systems on British navy submarines and mine-hunting vessels.

Thales UK, a subsidiary of the French conglomerate which has headquarters in Paris, said 17 different sensor systems would be covered under the contract, which is worth $905.1 million over a 10-year period of performance.

Britain's Ministry of Defense said the deal wouldn't only secure 230 Thales jobs in England and Scotland but also secure another 300 British supply chain jobs will be secured through the U.K. supply chain.

Under the new contractual arrangement, which extends and expands previous sensor maintenance provided by Thales UK to the British navy, an estimated will save an estimated $211.2 million over the contract period.

Philip Dunne, minister for Defense Equipment, Support and Technology, signed the contract Tuesday during a visit to Thales headquarters in Crawley.

"This contract is good news for the Ministry of Defense and U.K. industry," said Dunne. "Not only will it secure over 500 jobs across the U.K., whilst delivering savings of 140 million ($211.2 million) to the taxpayer but it will also provide essential support for the combat equipment that helps give the Royal Navy's fleet of ships and submarines a vital technological edge wherever they are based in the world."

The 17 types if sensor systems are deployed on Astute, Trafalgar and Vanguard Classes of submarines. They are also deployed on Type 45 destroyers, Type 23 frigates and the Hunt and Sandown classes of mine-hunting vessels.

The expansion of the scope of an earlier 10-year contract means the new award will also cover submarine visual systems, including periscopes for the Vanguard and Trafalgar Class submarines, and the non-hull-penetrating optronic masts for the Astute class submarines which were previously supported under separate contract arrangements.

"Securing support for this combat equipment, the electronic eyes and ears of our fleet of submarines and surface warships, is key to ensuring that the Royal Navy will continue to be able to protect the U.K.'s interests wherever they may be," said Vice Adm. Andrew Mathews, chief of Materiel Fleet for the Ministry of Defense's Defense Equipment and Support organization.

Thales UK said the contract will be run through a joint Defense Ministry/Thales UK team.

"This contract recognizes the value that can be achieved and the savings that can be delivered through a long-term services agreement," said Victor Chavez, chief executive officer of Thales UK. "It also reflects the successful way in which Thales UK has delivered the required outputs over the past 10 years.

"This project refines that approach to optimize performance over the next 10 years, and reinforces our positive well-established relationship with the Royal Navy."

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