CONTRACTS handed to a major defence contractor to support and maintain 650 boats will bring jobs to the city.
Four individual contracts valued at up to £112 million have been awarded to BAE Systems under the Boats in Service Support contract, the Ministry of Defence announced.
Over six-and-a-half years, the contracts will help sustain existing skilled jobs as well as create 25 new jobs, including shipwrights and mechanical and electrical fitters, at BAE Systems’ Maritime Services in Portsmouth Naval Base. Its existing team will grow by 50 per cent.
BAE Systems products and training services director, Dr Brooke Hoskins, said the contracts are an important new chapter for the team and for the future development of the UK’s small boats capabilities.
Dr Hoskins said: ‘We have an excellent team and a proud heritage of small boats expertise so securing these important new contracts in a highly competitive environment is fantastic news, particularly for local jobs.
‘Our success in securing these contracts will enable us to continue to invest and to innovate, and to help the UK’s armed forces do the important, challenging and often dangerous jobs we ask them to do on behalf of the UK, now and in the future.’
The contracts awarded to BAE Systems cover the maintenance and support of more than 650 boats ranging in size from five to 18 metres, including those operated from Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, and by the Ministry of Defence Police, Army and Royal Marines, amounting to 27 different classes of boat.
These small boats are operated from a variety of locations around the UK, including Portsmouth, Devonport and Clyde Naval Bases, as well as in other naval environments such as the training school, HMS Raleigh, and at RM Poole.
Other armed forces sites include Longmoor and Chatham.
Defence minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan added: ‘Our armed forces rely on having the finest kit available and this multi-million-pound contract ensures the thousands of vessels used across the entire British military will be maintained and repaired to the exceptionally high levels demanded by our service men and women.’