The UK Government's Ministry of Defence (MOD) informs it has awarded millions of pounds worth of new contracts to maintain its 1,450 strong fleet of small boats.
The fleet of boats includes offshore raiding craft, pontoons up to 50 metres in length, police launches, and Pacific 24 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), and inflatables.
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.
The contracts will provide maintenance, upkeep, repair, chartering, defect rectification, technical support, provision of spares and replacements.
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."
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."