Engineers from the Solent region are now responsible for supporting the Royal Navy’s two huge new aircraft carriers as well as the rest of the Portsmouth-based fleet.
The Ministry of Defence has amended its Maritime Support Delivery Framework contract with BAE Systems to include the Queen Elizabeth Class, extending the arrangement to cover all classes of ships home-ported at Portsmouth Naval Base.
The amendment is worth £69m and runs until March 2019, with an option to extend it to March 2020 at an additional value of £68.5m.
The agreement forms part of the new £1billion Common Support Model (CSM), which was announced by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon on Tuesday (3 October 2017). The CSM will provide a framework for comprehensive support across the entire Royal Navy fleet of warships for decades to come in one new overarching arrangement.
David Mitchard, Managing Director, Maritime Services, BAE Systems, said: “We are the leader in complex warship support, and to be awarded a contract to support the QE Class aircraft carriers safeguards these skills in Portsmouth and the region for years to come.
“The Common Support Model represents a collaborative way of working, placing industry shoulder to shoulder with the Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence, and we are looking forward to implementing it across all classes of ships we support at Portsmouth.”
Sir Simon Bollom, Chief of Materiel (Ships) for Defence Equipment and Support, the MOD’s procurement organisation, said: “Our surface fleet is made up of some the most advanced and capable fighting ships in the world. HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s newest and most advanced Aircraft Carrier, will join the fleet soon and the Common Support Model will provide a framework that will deliver effective support to the Royal Navy’s warship fleet at home and around the globe.”
“The innovative, ambitious and far-reaching Common Support Model, which will drive efficiencies and greater availability, has been made possible by the enduring and strong relationships which exist between the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Navy, and our industry partners.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in her home port of Portsmouth in August this year, and is due to continue her sea trials ahead of her commissioning later this year.
HMS Prince of Wales is due to arrive in Portsmouth in 2019 before she is commissioned in 2020. Both will be based in Portsmouth when they are not on operations around the globe.