UK reorganizes Royal Navy support model

UK defense secretary Michael Fallon on Tuesday unveiled a new Royal Navy fleet support model bringing a spate of existing contracts under new, overarching arrangements.

Called Common Support Model (CSM), the arrangement will provide a framework for comprehensive support across the Royal Navy’s fleet of warships.

The new arrangement will bring together separate support agreements for individual ship types under a single, more efficient and more manageable model. Worth around £1 billion, it is set to improve the performance of service providers by having them adopt a common approach across all classes of complex warships.

The move aims to boost the performance and speed of all support, no matter what the ship, as well as making savings in equipment costs with the model providing a one-stop-shop for services required.

The model will establish a support system across the surface fleet, from the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy, the nation’s new aircraft carriers, to the new Type 26 frigates being built on the Clyde and through to the likes of minehunters and Royal Marine amphibious ships. It covers everything from combat management systems, fleet-wide communications and aircraft landing aids, through to spares, repairs and maintenance.

The suite of contracts will support over a thousand jobs in the UK, including at BAE Systems and Babcock in Portsmouth, Bristol, Devonport and on the Clyde, as well as Thales in Crawley and AGI Ltd in Poole.

10 of the 16 agreements, worth £794 million, included in the model have already been signed, with the others set to follow in the coming months.

The first ten contracts to be signed under the Common Support Model include four contracts worth £320 million for Marine Systems Support Partner (MSSP) with Babcock, which will pay for spares, repairs and technical services for the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyers and the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.

Another £200 million contract for the Joint Support Solution 2 with BAE Systems will support combat management systems, tactical networks and shared infrastructures aboard 38 Royal Navy platforms including Type 23 frigates, Type 45 destroyers, QEC carriers, landing platform/dock (LPD) and landing platform helicopter (LPH) ships and mine counter measure vessels, among others.

Two contracts worth £150 million provide amendments to the Maritime Support Delivery Framework (MSDF) with BAE Systems and Babcock to ensure the continuing support of the Royal Navy’s entire surface fleet, including the two new QEC carriers.

Thales will be responsible for fleet-wide communications support under a £100 million contract for internal and external communications systems support. A £12 million contract with AGI Ltd to support visual landing aids for aircraft on board ships including the QEC xarriers, Type 45 destroyers, and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s Tide-class tankers.

A £12 million contract for ships’ protective systems with Babcock for the current Royal Navy surface Fleet including QEC carriers, and submarines.

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