UK: Babcock to Equip Type 23 Frigates with CESM
- Industry news
Under a contract assigned by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Babcock will deliver an off-the-shelf communications electronic support measures (CESM) system providing an enhanced electronic surveillance capability for the Royal Navy’s (RN) Type 23 frigates. The seven year contract to deliver the Type 23 CESM system is effective from November.
Babcock, teamed with principal subcontractor Argon ST, will deliver a system at the required high Technology Readiness Level (TRL), requiring no development work, to enable rapid replacement of the existing obsolete system on the Type 23s with very low risk delivery, meeting the MoD’s capability requirement at optimum value for money.
Babcock’s Type 23 CESM system, Hammerhead, offers a low risk, mature solution tailored to Type 23 requirements and provides surveillance capability, supporting both tactical indicators and warnings and other tasked requirements, using technology proven on naval platforms. It offers exceptional installed performance, while the commonality with other Lighthouse CESM systems currently in use provides the opportunity for common spares, training, and operator flexibility.
These features combined with a modular design block approach enable Babcock to provide flexibility in system configuration, enabling the MoD to meet current requirements within budget and to future-proof the capability with the potential for enhancement or life extension using future funding if available to meet changes in operational requirements. Further, Babcock’s unparalleled knowledge of the platform and leadership role within the Type 23 Class Output Management team ensures low risk platform integration delivered by a known and experienced team, and assured installed performance.
Babcock Integrated System and Support Group Director Charles John said: “We will be providing the MoD with a high technology readiness, low-risk solution, offering maximum value for money. Moreover, drawing on our experience on Eddystone we are able to give the MoD confidence that the system will be delivered when required to meet their programme. We will also be delivering through-life supportability and upgradeability through the planned project life to 2021, and beyond. This programme will enable the MoD to drive coherency across the capability and derive significant benefit.”
What is more, Babcock has been awarded an 18 month contract extension from 1 November 2013 by the UK MoD to support the 4.5 inch Mk8 Mod1 gun. Babcock delivers in-service support to the gun systems under an on-going long-term Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) contract. This includes a 24 hour technical help desk, maintenance and repairs as required, provision of spares (held at base and onboard) including management of stock levels for maximum cost-efficiency, and sourcing for replacement of obsolete items, all delivered against specified availability targets.
Under the same contract Babcock also successfully upgraded the 4.5 inch Mk8 guns to Mod1 standard, in a long-term programme completed last year, involving major modification and overhaul work to provide improved safety and reliability and a reduced maintenance requirements.
Babcock will be supporting the Mk8 guns in-service to April 2015, following completion of the upgrade programme, having successfully supported the guns over the last eight years (since 2005).
Babcock business development director John Stratton said: “We also hold contracts to provide long-term in-service support for the Phalanx Close-in Weapon System and to upgrade the Phalanx systems to Block 1B. We are one of the only companies to provide the MoD with a total weapons facility (a one stop shop for all CLS contracting activities) and we continue to apply this valuable expertise and capability in our on-going availability and system upgrade contracts.”
Press Release, November 19, 2013; Image: Royal Navy