June 2, 2016 - Two of the biggest names in UK naval gun support and design have come together to ensure the ongoing availability and sustainability of the Royal Navy’s Medium Caliber Guns (MCGs).
Babcock International Group and BAE Systems have jointly won a five-year contract worth £41 million — with the potential to extend another five years — to deliver a greatly enhanced “total gun support” service package to the Royal Navy’s MCG weapon system.
Babcock, the UK’s market-leading engineering support services company and the current in-service support provider for the Navy’s MCGs, has teamed up with the gun’s designer, BAE Systems, to provide an enhanced complex equipment support service that will increase reliability and functionality, and reduce obsolescence risk.
The collaboration brings together complementary and long-standing expertise. Supporting the guns from specialized facilities, the Babcock and BAE Systems approach offers the capacity, proven capabilities, and infrastructure to safely and effectively run in-service support.
By playing to the strengths of Babcock and BAE Systems to overhaul, design upgrades and manage obsolescence and in-service support, the collaborative approach will look beyond the duration of the support contract and aims to sustain up to all of the 20 in-service 4.5-inch Mark8 guns until 2039.
Babcock complements the design expertise that BAE Systems brings to the collaboration with its capability of providing more than a decade of performance data, gathered during the current in-service support contract and the experience of upgrading 13, 4.5-inch guns at bespoke facilities at Devonport.
The five-year support contract will sustain around 40 jobs in Barrow-in-Furness and Devonport.
Minister for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said: “This agreement safeguards a key weapons system for the Royal Navy, which continues to protect the UK’s global interests.
“This £41 million contract is supported by our £178 billion commitment to the best possible equipment for our Armed Forces, and by our growing Defence budget, which rose for the first time in six years in April. Sustaining 40 skilled jobs in Devon and Cumbria, the contract also demonstrates Defense’s contribution to the wider UK economy.”
Jeff Lewis, managing director of Babcock’s Defence Systems Technology business, said: “Leading on the delivery of such a significant and innovative service package underpins our commitment to provide first-class support to the Royal Navy now and into the future. Our collaboration with BAE Systems provides us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talents of our engineers and support providers as we team up to keep the Royal Navy ready for action with an available and reliable weapon system in the Mark8 gun.”
Duncan Stevenson, managing director at BAE Systems Weapon Systems, said: “We are extremely proud of our heritage in the design, manufacture, and support of artillery systems and particularly our pedigree with regards to the 4.5-inch Mark8 Mod 1 Naval Gun. We are fully committed to supporting the UK Royal Navy, and our collaboration with Babcock is testament to this. Through this collaboration we will deliver world-class support working together to meet the needs of the Royal Navy.”