Babcock Steers Steady, With an Eye to the Future
|Australia has become a large market for Babcock International Group.|
(Photo: Mitchell Sutton)
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