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Kelvin Hughes awarded RFA tanker contract

13th September 2012 - 16:41 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Kelvin Hughes Surveillance has announced that it will supply integrated bridge systems (IBS) and helicopter control radars for four fleet tankers being built for the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) under an agreement announced on 13 September.

The ships are the first phase of the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) programme, commissioned to maintain the Royal Navy’s ability to refuel at sea and provide fuel to warships and task groups. The MoD awarded a contract worth £452m for the four new RFA tankers, which are being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea.

The Kelvin Hughes IBS is based on its state of the art solid state SharpEye radar sensor and Naval MantaDigital (NMD) display. It is designed to bring significant operational benefits such as a low integration risk, enhanced operational capability and reduced whole-life cost.

Kelvin Hughes’ scope of supply for the four RFA tankers will provide three distinct sub systems integrated within an IBS architecture, namely the navigation system, the command and control system and the helicopter control radar system. Each shipset will consist of three SharpEye radars, accessed and controlled via multiple console mounted NMD tactical displays. The system will also include a suite of navigation sensors and other third party equipment.

The four tankers will support deployed amphibious, land and air forces close to the shore, will be able to operate helicopters and are planned to enter service from 2016, replacing existing RFA single hulled tankers. The ships will carry fuel, stores and provide logistic support for maritime and expeditionary forces including Carrier Strike. The versatility of the tanker platform means that simultaneously it can refuel an aircraft carrier and destroyer whilst undertaking helicopter resupply of other vessels.

Kelvin Hughes is contracted to supply the sub systems and supporting services at key milestones, with detailed engineering commencing immediately and equipment deliveries starting in 2014.

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