A multi-million pound deal between the Ministry of Defence and UK research establishment QinetiQ has secured the support and expertise needed to ensure the continued operation of the current submarine fleet and the development of technology for future generations it was confirmed today, Wednesday 3 September 2008.
In the 15-year contract, worth £200million, the Maritime Strategic Capabilities Agreement (MSCA) will secure the MOD's access to maritime research facilities, including the Ocean Basin at Haslar, a Ship Towing Tank and Shock Laboratory Machines, and to a range of experts in submarine hydrodynamics, structure and survivability, and maritime life support.
Making the announcement at QinetiQ's Haslar site in Portsmouth, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Baroness Taylor said:
"As part of the Defence Industrial Strategy, the MOD is committed to investing in high level technical expertise in the UK to sustain a dynamic engineering industry. Hydromechanics, Submarine Structures and Life Support are three key areas for such investment."
MSCA through QinetiQ will provide access to advanced modelling of submarine hull forms for the MOD's future submarine programme, sophisticated chemical analysis for atmosphere control in in-service submarines and hydrodynamic facilities for the detailed testing of the innovative hull to be used by the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers.
"It will also ensure emergency advice is immediately available when required to keep our fleets operating safely today."
Admiral Ian Tibbitt, Director General Safety and Engineering at MOD Defence Equipment and Support, added:
"The MSC Agreement secures the long term availability of cutting edge submarine and marine science expertise necessary both to support the continued safe running of today's flotilla, which is a duty of care that we must exercise when operating in our demanding environment, and to enable the design of future submarines and vessels, such as the Vanguard Class successor."
Under the contract, which secures a number of highly skilled jobs at Gosport and Rosyth, any surface ship work within the MOD programme will also be undertaken maximising the use of the facilities.