The contract will provide post-design services for armoured platforms including Bulldog, Warrior, Challenger 2, Challenger 3 when in service and other vehicles.
According to a contract award notice, the Defence Equipment & Support Land Equipment Vehicle Support Team, part of the Ministry of Defence, intends to award a single-source contract for up to 5 years plus two option single years (total maximum contract duration including options is 7 years) to Rheinmetall BAE Systems (RBSL) for provision of Post Design Services (PDS) activity for current in-service armoured platforms.
“This contract will provide PDS for armoured platforms including CVR(T), Bulldog, Warrior, Challenger 2, Challenger 3 (when in service), Challenger Driver Training Tank, Titan, Trojan, Terrier, AS90, CRARRV and Panther along with safety/In-Service management support for the above plus future developments of the above platforms.
It is considered that the award of the contract is excluded from the application of the UK Public Procurement Regulations pursuant to Regulation 7(1)(a) and 6(3A)(a) of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 in order to protect UK essential security interests. Further, that this direct award can be made for Technical Reasons.”
Explaining why there was no competition, they add:
“RBSL are the Design Authority (DA) for these platforms and therefore have the essential technical data across all platforms, skills, experience and historical technical knowledge to deliver this requirement which they have built up over the 20+ years they have been supporting these MoD platforms.
As the DA, RBSL has a detailed understanding of the inherent design of each vehicle, understand the implications on the safe operability of the vehicles from any proposed design changes and can design modifications to each vehicle accordingly.
This knowledge and supporting data is critical to ensure the platforms remain safe by design and risk is ALARP. Without this data and technical know-how any modifications developed for these platforms by a third party would require considerable further work and an additional interface to build up the necessary background knowledge of each complete platform to ensure no unintended effects of each modification on other systems, from both an operational and safety perspective.
Any new Design Authority would need to reverse engineer each platform to ascertain the necessary background knowledge in order to endorse each vehicles Safety Case. This would come at considerable time and expense to provide the necessary confidence that the integrity of these platforms has not been compromised. This additional obligation would result in disproportionate technical and safety difficulties which would have an impact on the effectiveness of operations together with a disproportionate impact to MoD on time and cost.”