The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract worth £12,578,000 for the design, build, and support of Intercept and Escort Craft.

The contract was awarded to Zodiac Milpro, located on Bis Rue de Lyon in France.

UPDATE/CORRECTION – This article has been corrected and amended, the original contract notice published by the Ministry of Defence assigned a value of £906m to the contract, the correct value is actually £12,578,000.

This project, overseen by the MoD Boats Team, aims to deliver new Intercept and Escort Craft to various users on behalf of Navy Command Headquarters (NCHQ).

“The Ministry of Defence (MoD) Boats Team are to deliver Intercept & Escort Craft to a number of users on behalf of Navy Command Headquarters (NCHQ). The aim of this project is to replace extant craft variants.This project will align to the Boats strategy of reducing the number of variants currently being operated whilst at the same time upgrading the user’s current capability.”

The initiative seeks to replace existing craft variants, aligning with the strategy to reduce the number of variants in operation while simultaneously upgrading the current capabilities.

More on this when I have it.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Ken
Ken (@guest_819298)
16 days ago

906 million seems a heck of a lot 3 type 31s worth. How many boats are we talking about here? Or are we just squandering money again rather than buying off the shelf?

AndyCee
AndyCee (@guest_819305)
16 days ago
Reply to  Ken

Have to hope this covers the replacement of the P2000s, a bunch of commando boats, maybe some MoD Police and RM patrol boats as well?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_819372)
16 days ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Yep. I’m very interested in the details of this, as “intercept and escort craft” is a lot more than replacing RIBs.
I thought our RIBs were built by Halmatic?

AndyCee
AndyCee (@guest_819380)
16 days ago

They are, and the MOD Police and Gibraltar Fast Patrol boats by a company on Merseyside, I think.
The only vessels I can think of that this covers are the old P2000s and RM Assault Craft, maybe?

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_819448)
16 days ago
Reply to  Ken

That’s crazy money. How big are these things? I wish at times I was an MP and I could hold this sort of madness to account.
I reckon if they cost 100,000 each which is plenty. That gives us 9000 units. If moored bow to stern they would form 3 bridges from Dover to Calais ……. Put another way they could easily have evacuated the whole British Army from Dunkirk in three lifts. In other words the Miracle of Dunkirk could have been accomplished in a couple of days at most.

James Fennell
James Fennell (@guest_820278)
12 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Its 13 million, they are large RIBs for MOD Police (and probably RM at Clyde). They escort ships in and out of port and intercept any pissed yachties or bad actors before they get too near..

Last edited 12 days ago by James Fennell
ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_819478)
16 days ago
Reply to  Ken

Hi Ken,

Could it be a typo, I wonder?

So perhaps £90.6million?

906million if true is needs a serious investigation / explanation.

Cheers CR

A&Daccountant
A&Daccountant (@guest_819304)
16 days ago

Wow, insane value. This is a company that basically builds medium and large RIBs. For that price I would expect several hundred boats and I don’t see what use NCHQ could have for so many. The Zodiac directors will be popping corks for days.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_819307)
16 days ago

We must be about to get thousands of RIBS. Only possible explanation as to how we could possibly spend £906 million on such craft.

Mike
Mike (@guest_819326)
16 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Subcontracted to Fergusons? So building in the cost overrun payment?

Jonny
Jonny (@guest_819310)
16 days ago

At that price point they’d better have mk41 vls and a state of the art radar

grumpy old steve
grumpy old steve (@guest_819312)
16 days ago

I think that’s more than we’re spending on Challenger 3? 

A&Daccountant
A&Daccountant (@guest_819315)
16 days ago

Think you’re right. Challenger 3 is around the £800m mark, sickening when you compare it to that.

Geoffi
Geoffi (@guest_819484)
16 days ago
Reply to  A&Daccountant

Jesus.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_819327)
16 days ago

This government like those for the last 30 years doesn’t do defence, while the figures will shock I am not surprised. This is decline by design it’s not like we’re going to be fighting any wars…

Temp
Temp (@guest_819317)
16 days ago

Is this a typo? the competition was for 36 vessels and I believe nearer £16m

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_819323)
16 days ago

More money leaving the UK, when will the government invest in its own people?

All naval shipping to be UK built.
All Land vehicles UK built.
All crewed/unmanned aircraft UK built.
All Police, NHS, Fire and all government departments vehicles UK built.
All Supporting contracts for above assets to be UK registered companies.

Jimmy Newport
Jimmy Newport (@guest_819418)
16 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

You are 100% – you would think they learned something from the pandemic short comings? Apologies for jumping in on this, I am based in Ireland and I see our smart arse politicians doing exactly the same – they will support anyone but their own.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_819661)
15 days ago
Reply to  Jimmy Newport

No worries all are welcome, this is exactly where all western governments have lose their way.

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_819421)
16 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

That’s what’s supposed to happen
The NSS isn’t worth the paper it’s written on

Scottish Ferries from Turkey & now this

This order would probably have kept Babcock (south west) busy for a few years

Edd
Edd (@guest_819432)
16 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Because building ferries in Scotland has proved so economical

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_819648)
15 days ago
Reply to  Edd

Agreed, but it’s a NSS, these things can be sorted. Part of the issue is lack of long term investment allied to legacy working practices, these are being resolved in the other yards.

i am sure appledore could have built them on time and budget. Babcock rosyth could probably build ferries alongside T31, good to keep the tempo up as well as skills.

the ferries thing is everything bad about British industry, the yard really doesn’t deserve to survive given the performance.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_819658)
15 days ago
Reply to  Edd

Skills need to be built up over several years due to succession of government cuts, I’m not defending Ferguson but they are saying they’ve rectified the issues and has turned a corner so hopefully can pick up more work. This is directly where the government has been failing, where it’s been obsessed with making cuts for decades is what about the social impact of these decisions especially in defence. When it’s become too easy to buy American etc. You lose that connection, if you build up industry and highlight it’s benefits to the local economy you then make it harder… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_819449)
16 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Quite its obscene.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_819325)
16 days ago

Devil in the detail, but seems, as usual, an awful lot.

Markam
Markam (@guest_819329)
16 days ago

Design and build? “Project”?
Does this company not have these boats literally on shelves, ready designed and for sale?

Idk how this can be just for military use, is the MoD buying them for the police, sea & rescue, border force, firefighters, river cleaning, sightseeing and VIP transport or some crazy amount of use cases.

Let us say they cost 500k a boat, even if we think of support costs that is well over 1,000 boats.

Chris
Chris (@guest_819360)
16 days ago
Reply to  Markam

The USN and USMC don’t even own 1,000 Rigid inflatable boats. This has to be something else, or a typo.

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_819664)
15 days ago
Reply to  Markam

With that amount they could’ve announced a doubling of river class OPVs!!! Or a couple more frigates.

gh
gh (@guest_819330)
16 days ago

1) How on earth is this £906m?? contract to MST for 18 15m police boats was £36m
2) Abroad??? for a contract this big?? For a relatively simple craft??? When their is plenty of companies in the UK that could do it?? After great times with MST and BMT???

Must be a typo

Oliver G
Oliver G (@guest_819344)
16 days ago

Even if you were buying a 100 New boats, that is still 9.06 Million per boat. And these are RHIB’s/Little escort ships. WTF. That’s 900 million is like 2 T31 with full MK41 VLS and upgrades. Or 1.5 MRSS. Or 2 FSS. Gotta be a typo. There is no way. And to a Friggin French company aswell. Decimal Error???

Please let this be some kind of written mistake

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_819347)
16 days ago

Check out the web site. With Zodiac- Milpro you are not just getting a boat, you are getting a partner dedicated to your mission’s success!

Jon
Jon (@guest_819440)
16 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Thank you for raising a chuckle amongst the apparent insanity.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_819455)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jon

You are welcome. It does seem expensive for what looks like just a rhib standardisation project. Maybe there’s more to it.

Chris
Chris (@guest_819355)
16 days ago

What an INSANE amount of money. Where is the accountability here?

dwightstrut
dwightstrut (@guest_819357)
16 days ago

For all those of you complaining about this work going abroad: Zodiac owns Avon Inflatables and I expect when more information emerges it will be confirmed that will be where the work is carried out.

Still baffled by the £906m figure, mind. That’s enough RIBs for the biggest BBQ in Texas!

tomuk
tomuk (@guest_819369)
16 days ago
Reply to  dwightstrut

They closed the factory a decade ago, they just have a little unit on Swansea West Business Park.

RB
RB (@guest_819378)
16 days ago
Reply to  dwightstrut

I’m pretty sure an extra zero has been mistakenly added to the contract value by someone.

Nevis
Nevis (@guest_819363)
16 days ago

Rumour has it that they need thousands of boats in a line front to back to keep the illegals out. It’s Rishi’s version of the maginot line!

Jon
Jon (@guest_819444)
16 days ago
Reply to  Nevis

Maybe these are triremes coming with illegal migrants already chained to the oars.

Nevis
Nevis (@guest_819457)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Haha it’s a crazy amount of money for some small boats. That gets you another T26 with all the trimmings. Or 3 T31’s. Seems bonkers to me.

DRS
DRS (@guest_819370)
16 days ago

No UK company can do this? And how many are you getting for 906m?

RB
RB (@guest_819373)
16 days ago

Im confused.  Back in February Zodiac Milpro announced an order from the UK Ministry of Defence for twenty-four Intercept and Escort Craft (IEC) for the UK MoD Police. “The IEC design is based on Zodiac Milpro’s proven SRA range of aluminium Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) designed by Vectis Marine Design, the group’s specialist naval architecture and design consultancy. More than two hundred of the Zodiac Milpro SRA RIBs are in service with professional organisations worldwide. The standard SRA 800 design has been adapted to meet the specific requirements of the MoD Police and will be used for patrol, escort, and… Read more »

AndyCee
AndyCee (@guest_819381)
16 days ago
Reply to  RB

Or a decimal missed and it should be £90.6m?

Alan Davis
Alan Davis (@guest_819377)
16 days ago

I must assume the daft figure of £906m a misprint.

Exroyal.
Exroyal. (@guest_819386)
16 days ago

I think new Hawks are just under 500k. If you are ordering in bulk probably less.

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_819393)
16 days ago

Who knows what this actually covers! Would have thought MoD Police RIBS, RM fast patrol/interceptor boats and the Archers are all pretty different to warrant a single replacement.

Nice to see an absurdly huge contact awarded to a French company in the same week as ‘the golden age of British shipbuilding’ was announced!!!

Jeff
Jeff (@guest_819394)
16 days ago

Sounds like the French government involved. I cannot see see this being of value to the MOD, British manufacturing, British jobs, trade deficit.

David
David (@guest_819399)
16 days ago

Are they sure they don’t mean £90.6m and not £906m??? Big difference!!

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_819400)
16 days ago

What? The notice for these was reported on UKDJ in Dec 2021. 35 boats with an
option for 25 more at an estimated cost of £16m plus £8m for the optional order.
Is this the exercise of the option for@ £9m?

Pacman27
Pacman27 (@guest_819423)
16 days ago

CB90 is c. £3m each
Safeboats mk6 is c. £15m
Carmen 60 c. £10m ?

Any of these or similar means we could get a mix of 200+

Ed Martin
Ed Martin (@guest_819425)
16 days ago

What’s wrong with Ferguson Ailsa?

Simon m
Simon m (@guest_819428)
16 days ago

Just FYI VECTIS is the UK Design arm of Zodiac Milpro
https://zodiacmilpro.com/marine-design-consultancy/
https://www.vectismarine.com/
Maybe this is a way to procure a whole fleet ?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_819430)
16 days ago

I would have preferred three more T31’s.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_819442)
16 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Lol, same, or even a extra T26.. 😆

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_819443)
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

And to think they’re also spending a £1bn on hypersonics… quite an outlay in the same week?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_819512)
16 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Yep, or one of each!!!

Jon
Jon (@guest_819441)
16 days ago

Are we planning on rerunning Dunkirk?

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_819465)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jon

The remainder of the EU expeditionary force was withdrawn in Brexit 🙂

Jon
Jon (@guest_819445)
16 days ago

On the contracts database:

Total final value of the contractValue: £12,578,000 Excluding VAT

find-tender.service.gov.uk/Notice/015518-2024

Still not cheap for a bunch of RIBs, so we are probably getting quite a few.

Final thought: Canada have been gifting Zodiacs to Ukraine….

Last edited 16 days ago by Jon
Jon
Jon (@guest_819446)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Apologies. That URL should start with “www.”

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_819468)
16 days ago
Reply to  Jon

That’s more like it. Odd though that the awarded value is £12m but the notice summary also mentions a total value of £905m.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_819469)
16 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Wrong way round. Total value £12m, awarded value £905m.

Peter S
Peter S (@guest_819546)
15 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

No idea why the larger number was mentioned in the contact notice. But obviously complete b******s.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_819451)
16 days ago

Back in the day you could have easily built the whole WW1 British Grand Fleet for that amount. Maybe the whole Navy.

Zac
Zac (@guest_819456)
16 days ago

No prizes for guessing who they’ll be escorting. It’d be more productive just to set up a ferry service.

Humph Hudson
Humph Hudson (@guest_819476)
16 days ago

Apart from the cost comments, the address for Zodiac Milpro is also incorrect.. It should read 55, Bis – Rue de Lyon ,Paris 12 eme ( ie 55 B, Rue de Lyon). Apart from that they must be reeling with laughter in the French MOD and the Royale ( as the French Navy is nicknamed)

Geoffi
Geoffi (@guest_819483)
16 days ago

3.5 T31s. Unbelievable.

Simon m
Simon m (@guest_819509)
16 days ago

Vectis is also the UK army of Mil Pro based out of Farnham

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_819519)
16 days ago

Thank God!!!! I know DES have a reputation for pouring money down the drain and over paying for everything that moves, but for a while I was seriously worried.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_819630)
15 days ago

Yep that quit a typo.

Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker (@guest_819802)
14 days ago

I think this is first procurement thread were people haven’t said “is that all we can afford?”,”we need more”, etc

Might be a new era. Publish a ridiculously high cost, get everyone saying “we can’t spend that much”. Then publish a really small cost and everyone will be relieved we aren’t spending stupid amounts on a few things. Rather than saying we should be spending double that amount or get more, etc.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_819814)
14 days ago

True!

Humph Hudson
Humph Hudson (@guest_819524)
16 days ago

But the address is still wrong – Zodiac Milproc is situated at 55, Bis, Rue de Lyon, Paris 12— In English it just means 55, Rue de Lyon, Paris