Babcock is expected to become the Marine Systems Support Partner for the new Queen Elizabeth class carriers and Type 45 Destroyer fleet.

Marine Systems Support Partner, or MSSP, is responsible for all power and propulsion systems including turbines, engines and electronics.

Archie Bethel the Babcock chief executive said :

“Our selection as the MoD and Royal Navy’s partner for MSSP and MEC represents a real vote of confidence in our capabilities and performance as the Royal Navy’s key support partner.

This has been a highly successful year for our EMOC team and we look forward to supporting the iconic Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers as they are delivered into service.”

Babcock is a British multinational specialising in support services managing complex assets and infrastructure in safety and mission-critical environments.

Although the company has civil contracts, its main business is with public bodies, particularly the UK Ministry of Defence and Network Rail.

The company will also supply spares and support to “mitigate risks to maritime equipment availability arising from routine maintenance and unforeseen in-service failures” according to the Plymouth Herald here.


  1. Good news if it goes somewhere other than BAe. I am not a hater of BAe like many here, but the reason monopoly positions are not permitted in consumer goods, also apply with military goods. Companies have a duty to maximise their shareholders investment and if there is no competitions prices go up.

    It also happens when profit is not the driver, just look at the public sector, because there is no competition there is no drive to efficiency and costs go up.

  2. Not sure about your public sector quip there. The NHS is actually the most efficient health service in the world in terms of productivity vs money invested, the education system courtesy of the pupil premium delivers very impressive results considering the UK has one of the lowest expenditures per child in the developed world.
    moving back to defence. Agree Babcock marine is a good choice, keeps BAE away from having a monopoly. I personally would like to see Babcock named as principle constructor for the type 31 programme. Get them built in numbers and on time and on budget, something BAE has failed to do recently (type 45 destroyer and QE class cost overruns) RN needs at least 10 ideally 12-15 of these frigates as long as they can deliver some high end capability.

    • I’m not a supporter of BAE (or 100% critical either) but regarding cost overruns on QE class it would be interesting to know what the cost would have come in at were it not for Gordon Brown’s (I think) government putting it on hold/go-slow for however long it was (a year or two?) which allegedly added over £1bn to the cost plus that flip-flop on whether to go CATOBAR or not presumably adding more delay and cost. I think we could definitely have had another couple of T26s or Astutes were it not for those cost-escalating interventions, if not even a third carrier once reduced build costs arising from scale are factored in. Not that we would have the personnel to crew any of those of course, definitely not a third carrier, but it is always sad to see cases where we could have got so much more equipment for the money expended.

    • Mr Bell
      I totally agree we need more competitive diversity in MoD contracts and if Babcock get this it will be a positive move. But I would pull you up on your comment about the QE cost overruns are down to BAE. I fairness (and I am no shareholder or lover of BAE) the carriers are being built by Aircraft Carrier Alliance a consortium including BAE, Thales, De&s and Babcock (after all Rosyth IS Babcock) and many other companies built many large modules. We shouldn’t blame one partner for the performance of the whole and I would certainly point the finger ta Gordon Brown who, having decided they would be assembled in his Constituency at greater cost than necessary he then delayed it for 2 years adding a £ Billion. Having said that I think once the builders had the clarity of funding and the go ahead they have done a brilliant job that appears to be on time and to budgets


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