Harland & Wolff Appledore will return a former Royal Navy minehunter to operational service for the Lithuanian Navy.
Back in 2020, Appledore Shipyard in south-west England which built its last ship for the Irish Naval Service reopened after the previous owners went out of business. The historic shipyard as previously reported, had been acquired by Infrastrata, the owners of Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff. The shipyard was renamed H&W Appledore.
The description of the contract award states:
“Repair and maintenance services of security and defence materials. The Lithuanian Navy is looking to expand its fleet of Hunt Class Mine Counter Measures Vessel (MCMV) via procurement of a legacy hull from the Royal Navy and regeneration of said hull to an agreed operational state, closely aligned to the Lithuanian Skalvis Class vessels currently in service with the LTU Navy.
The scope of this project is for a single entity to deliver the regenerated vessel, with stated mission and sonar systems to an agreed operational condition. Prior to award of the contract, ownership of the vessel will pass to LTU.
DESA is the contracting authority that will procure and enter into the contract. Immediately upon signature, the contract shall be novated to the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence (LTU Defence Materiel Agency). From this point, LTU MND will become the contracting authority.”
According to a Ministry of Defence press release.
“On behalf of the Lithuanian Government, the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) awarded the contract that will see HMS QUORN renovated and restored, bolstering NATO maritime capability in Europe. Supporting ambitions to bolster British shipbuilding, laid out in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh, the regeneration will support 100 jobs at the south-west shipyard. The work will see an influx of contractors for the project across the local and national supply chain, with 14 major subcontract packages in engineering, equipment and integration, along with other refurbishment services.”
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said:
“I’m pleased that this multi-million pound contract will see a former Royal Navy mine-hunting vessel restored and regenerated in a British shipyard, supporting UK jobs and strengthening shipbuilding in the south-west.Lithuania is a key NATO ally and Joint Expeditionary Force partner, and this mine-hunting vessel will bolster NATO maritime capability across Europe, ensuring the Alliance remains ready to respond to evolving global threats.”
According to the contract notice, the contract is worth £110m in total, which is twice the headline figure provided by the Ministry of Defence. I can only assume this is the total potential value of the contract and £55m is the initial spend.