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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

£111 million of work buoys UK's boat support industry

11 June 2014

The Ministry of Defence has awarded millions of pounds worth of new contracts to maintain its fleet of small boats.

Six UK companies will benefit from a 5-year contract that will involve support for 1,450 boats used by the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army, and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Police. They are:

- Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd, based in Bristol and Devonport
- UK Docks Tyne Slipway and Engineering Company, based in Tyne and Wear
- Berthon Boat Company, based in Lymington
- MPI Services (UK) Ltd, based in Portland
- Marine Specialised Technology, based in Liverpool
- BAE Systems Surface Ships, based in Portsmouth

The Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne, said:

The award of these contracts by the MOD provides the UK's marine support industry with a steady volume of work, helping to maintain technical and engineering skills in this sector.'

The competition attracted interest from across the marine industry, and is another example of the MOD's commitment to seek best value for money from the commercial market.'

The fleet of boats includes offshore raiding craft, pontoons up to 50 metres in length, police launchers, and Pacific 24 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), and inflatables.'

The contracts will provide maintenance, upkeep, repair, chartering, defect rectification, technical support, provision of spares and replacements.

Alistair Hughes, from the MOD's Defence Equipment & Support organisation, is the team leader for commercially supported shipping. He said about the new contracts:

Small boats make up a critical component of the UK's military effect, operating in the UK and globally. They can be seen in all areas of maritime from policing the UK's naval bases to counter-piracy operations off Africa to training new recruits into the Royal Navy.'

The award of the contracts follows 18 months of intensive activity between the team and industry to ensure the continued support of the numerous craft that make up the small boat fleet and find the best deal for the armed forces.'

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