Thales UK has agreed upon a £134m deal with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the service support of all Royal Navy major sonar systems.

The new agreement is an extension of the initial contract awarded to Thales UK’s underwater systems business in 2003, which was aimed at delivering equipment availability for several of the major sonar systems in service with the Royal Navy.

These now include sonar 2054 fitted to the Vanguard Class submarines, sonar 2076 / 2074 fitted to the nuclear-powered attack (SSN) fleet submarines, 2093 / 2193 mine-hunting sonar and the new sonar 2087 low-frequency active sonar (LFAS) fitted to the Type 23 frigates.

In refining the contract for the five years remaining of its current term the MoD has broadened the scope of the contract to extend its benefits to other related equipment.

The total value of the ten-year contract is now over £230m.

Vice President of Thales UK’s naval business, Ed Lowe said that “agreeing terms for a second phase of the sonar availability contract recognises both the value of this type of arrangement in driving down costs and Thales successful contribution over the past five years.

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“Refining this contract to optimise its performance over the balance of its remaining term reinforces our positive long-term relationship with the Royal Navy,” Lowe said.

The contract is run through the ‘Integrated Support Team – Sonar’, which is a joint Thales UK and MoD team.

This team is augmented by several Thales and J+S Ltd waterfront engineers in the RN’s three naval bases of Portsmouth, Plymouth and Faslane and together they ensure that specialist technical advice and support is delivered whenever it is needed to ensure the continued availability of the sonar systems.

By Daniel Garrun.