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Thales secures Daring-class support contract

18th March 2010 - 16:08 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Thales UK has secured a six-ship, seven-year support contract for the Royal Navy's Daring-class destroyers' fully integrated communications system (FICS). The multi-million pounds contract requires Thales to guarantee the availability of the com­munications systems fitted to these new ships. The contract, awarded to Thales by BAE Systems Surface Ships, covers all internal and external communications systems and will run until 2016. In addition to providing support to the vessels themselves, Thales will also provide support for a single shore-based reference system.

To be undertaken from Thales UK's Crawley site, the contract will be delivered in two stages: mobilisation; and in-service support. Both of these elements have already begun, in support of first-of-class ship HMS Daring.

This contract represents a move away from traditional ‘spares and repairs' oriented support contracts, to a service-based model, where Thales will be responsible for system availability. It therefore represents a new and innovative, cost-effective approach to providing support to the RN. It builds on Thales's recognised status as one of the leading partners to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) on a number of key support programmes.

Thales already has a number of support contracts in operation for theatre-deployed capabilities including, support for the Battle Group Thermal Imaging units fitted to Warrior and Scimitar platforms, and availability-based contracts for hand-held range­finding and thermal imaging units, all of which have exceeded the requirements set out in the initial contract. Thales has also provided the ‘ISAF FOC+' communication and information system used by NATO forces in Afghanistan, which provides a complete, theatre-based, managed service support package for the network.

Victor Chavez, Deputy Chief Executive of Thales UK, says: "Guaranteeing platform availability is critical in today's operational and financial environment and the award of this contract highlights our ability to meet the evolving support demands placed on suppliers by the UK MoD. Securing this contract clearly demonstrates our ability to work with our customers in an innovative manner to deliver excellent value for money. I'm sure that our strong track record of delivery on other key support programmes helped give the necessary confidence in our offer."

The Thales Group is currently proposing similar service-based pan-fleet FICS system support schemes to navies of other countries, including France and Italy.

Source: Thales


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