Liferaft Systems Australia (LSA) has secured a contract worth approximately $4.8m to supply Marine Evacuation Systems to the UK Ministry of Defense for use on two new British aircraft carriers.
LSA European Manager Mr. Peter Rea said it was the biggest single contract since the company was founded over 16 years ago. “LSA has been working on finalizing this contract for about 18 months after we were initially approached by Aircraft Carrier Alliance who had noticed the design and quality of our product” he said.
Under the contract, LSA will be providing 12 x 20 metre long inflatable evacuation slides (deployed from approximately 12 metres above sea level) and 60 x 100 person inflatable liferafts. The life saving equipment, designed and manufactured in Hobart, Australia will be provided to Aircraft Carrier Alliance prior to the vessels being launched.
Mr. Rea said while LSA had previously provided Marine Evacuation Systems to the French, Dutch, UK and USA navies, this was the first contract the company had received to supply their systems for installation on aircraft carriers.
The two new aircraft carriers, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are similar in size and weight to the recently retired passenger liner QE2, with each having a flight deck area of nearly 13,000 square metres and hangar space of 29,000 square metres. The aircraft carriers will be 280 metres long and 70 metres wide with capacity to carry 40 aircraft and nearly 1500 crew.
Managing Director of Liferaft Systems Australia Mr. Mike Grainger said LSA had a “...very full order book...” for the next two years. “Given our existing work load, our lead times for delivery from our production facility in Tasmania is approximately 12 months” he said. Peter Rea added “this is obviously a good position to be in, given the current economic problems being experienced around the world”
LSA, which exports 95% of its systems to customers around the world, has offices in UK and North America and provides service facilities in 22 countries. In addition to Marine Evacuation Systems, LSA has also developed other inflatable safety products for aviation and military use.