The Ministry of Defence has announced a new £1.8 Billion, 15 years contract with Thales to improve Royal Navy ship availability and resilience.
The contract, Maritime Sensor Enhancement Team (MSET), will sharpen the focus on equipment availability, predicting problems – through AI innovations and data management – rather than reacting when they emerge.
The contract will support over 450 highly skilled, UK-based, engineering, IT and supports jobs as well as many hundreds of apprenticeship and training opportunities all across the UK.
“During the life of the MSET contract, the Royal Navy will undergo a significant transition including the introduction of the new Type 26, Type 31 and Dreadnought platforms, as well as autonomous systems. MSET, a scalable service model, will provide greater stability and breadth in the level of support delivered to the Royal Navy during this complex transition period. By investing in new dockland facilities, AI, data analysis tools, and skills, this will deliver greater resilience for the RN platforms.
Over the life of the contract, it will deliver an average reduction in Turn Around Times of 100 days per repair, spares lead times will be reduced by an average of 44 days and reliability improved by 10%. Data Driven Decision making will enable MSET to see beyond the current support horizons and with the increased investment in emerging technologies, including AI, virtual reality and Big Data, create a more proactive and predictive maintenance regime. Investments will include improving facilities at HMNB Devonport, Faslane, Portsmouth and Bahrain to deliver an advanced test and repair capability, allowing specialist technical and engineering skills at the waterfront to provide direct support to the RN.”
Thales say that the contract will create 450 high skilled jobs all across the UK and support the training 100s of apprentices in much needed engineering skills in numerous local communities, with a further threefold increase in supply chain spend, supporting approximately 1,200 additional staff.