New £39m deal to provide key safety boats for the MoD agreed in Portsmouth

DEFENCE officials have rubber-stamped a major £39m deal to provide new safety boats for the Ministry of Defence.

The contract was agreed at Portsmouth Naval Base and will provide safety patrol vessels at military firing ranges with maritime boundaries.

As part of the new deal, the boats will also support tri-service aircrew training across the MoD.

Set to begin in April this year, it will run for five years until March 2023, with an option to extend.

It will provide programmed tasking for helicopter training, sea survival drills, target towing, fast attack craft simulations and range safety.

The deal was agreed between John Hayers, deputy head ships commercial within Defence Equipment & Support and Paul de Jong, managing director Smit International (Scotland) Ltd, which is part of the Boskalis Group.

It replaces an existing agreement with Smit International (Scotland) Ltd that has been in place since 2002.

Mr Hayers said the agreement would deliver ‘significant cost savings’ and improved performance.

Smit International will now operate five medium-sized and nine smaller fast patrol vessels to support the range safety and aircrew training across the country.

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