MP is impressed with submarine contractor’s work

Penny Mordaunt MP visits Atmosphere Control International Ltd in Hilsea, pictured with managing director Steve Cassidy''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132737-1)
Penny Mordaunt MP visits Atmosphere Control International Ltd in Hilsea, pictured with managing director Steve Cassidy''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132737-1)
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A DEFENCE contractor for naval submarines impressed a Portsmouth MP with its equipment and standards of work.

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, visited Atmosphere Control International and was given a tour of its headquarters.

The business, based in Williams Road, in Hilsea, makes air purification equipment for UK nuclear submarines allowing the sailors to breathe for months in their underwater vessel.

Its life support systems allow the submarines to obtain oxygen from the sea but it also makes gas management systems to dispose of unwanted gases such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

In the 1970s, the business was put on the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines programme.

The main challenge to overcome for the programme was how to maintain a breathable atmosphere onboard the submarine over a period of several months without servicing or using a snorkel.

Now, the company is supplying all UK submarines as well as many overseas nuclear and conventional submarines.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘Atmosphere Control International is a really incredible place and a great company.

‘I realised this morning that the last time an MP has been to look around was the 1980s so a lot has changed since then.

‘I was really pleased that I was able to see them because they do some amazing work.

‘They supply some great equipment to our submarines and I found it all so interesting. I was really grateful that the business showed me around.’

Ms Mordaunt found the whole experience helpful as she is working on the Defence Reform Bill.

By seeing behind the scenes, the MP said it gave her a better understanding of what businesses need and the standards of equipment they have.

She added: ‘It was very very helpful and it was great for me to see what happens at a successful supply chain.

‘We often see and hear about BAE Systems but it’s not very often that you get to learn about the smaller ones and see how they are coping and what sort of equipment they have.

‘I was very impressed with the standard of equipment but they need to keep up to date as the submarines change so the reform bill is really important for things like that.

‘The visit helped a lot and I can understand better what is going on behind the scenes.’