Thursday, 8 October 2015

PACIFIC 2015

Babcock Steers Steady, With an Eye to the Future

Australia has become a large market for Babcock International Group.
(Photo: Mitchell Sutton)
Britain-based engineering support and naval contractor Babcock International Group has given a status update at the PACIFIC 2015 Expo on a number of surface and submarine contracts, which it is currently engaged in across Britain’s traditional defence export markets.
Despite recent international expansions, the majority of the company’s larger naval projects are focussed on Britain. Current major projects undertaken in the UK include: Babcock’s assembling of the Royal Navy’s "Queen Elizabeth" class aircraft carriers at its Rosyth yard; the provision of weapons handling and launch systems, actuators, and positioning sensing arrays for the "Astute" class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs); life extension work for the Type 23 ("Duke" class) frigates; and, the Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) - LOP(R) - maintenance of the "Vanguard" class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). According to Babcock, work on the second "Queen Elizabeth" class carrier, the HMS "Prince of Wales" (R 09), is four months ahead of schedules, whilst the first-of-class, HMS "Queen Elizabeth" (R 08), is undergoing final integration and fitting. Strong interest has also been shown by the company in a number of future Royal Navy projects, including the "Successor" class SSBN (for which Babcock is currently producing designs), and Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS). According to the company, work is also progressing on its contracts elsewhere in the world.
Australia has become a large market for Babcock, with the company currently in negotiations with the Commonwealth government, Saab, and BAE Systems to produce a closer alliance for maintenance of the Royal Australian Navy’s eight ANZAC frigates. There is also strong interest in contracts potentially emerging from the SEA5000 (Future Frigate) and SEA1180 (Future Modular Offshore Combatant Vessel). 
Babcock has also been active in other regions of Oceania. In May 2015, it renewed a $NZ300M contract to maintain the entire Royal New Zealand Navy for the next seven years, transitioning to a new programme management arrangement. This fleet currently comprises of two ANZAC frigates, two support vessels, two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), four patrol vessels, and a diving support vessel.
By Mitchell Sutton

Work has also continued in Canada, where Babcock is in the process of providing support and maintenance for the Royal Canadian Navy’s malfunction-prone "Victoria" class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) as part of a five year contract which it won in 2013. This proceeded to the point where the Royal Canadian Navy was recently able to send three of the four vessels to sea at the same time.
(Photo: Royal Canadian Navy)


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