The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded a £4 million contract to Accuracy International Ltd for the supply of components to support the AS50 Sniper Rifle Weapon Platform.

The contract, which will last for three years, was awarded under the Negotiated Procedure Without Prior Publication, as per Regulation 16(1)(a)(ii) of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011.

This procedure was used due to the technical reasons that make Accuracy International Ltd the sole suitable supplier.

Babcock Land Defence Ltd, acting as an agent for the Ministry of Defence, facilitated the contract award. The contract notice states, “Babcock Land Defence Ltd, acting as agent for the UK Ministry of Defence has awarded a 3 year contract using the Negotiated Procedure Without Prior Publication pursuant to Regulation 16(1)(a)(ii) of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 to Accuracy International Ltd. On the basis that, for technical reasons, the Contract can only be awarded to Accuracy International Ltd.”

It further explains, “Accuracy International Ltd is the manufacturer and sole distributor of spares to support the components required to support the AS50 Sniper Rifle Weapon Platform. They own the rights to the technical specifications required to undertake the manufacture, testing and supply and they do not share this knowledge/expertise with any third party.”

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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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DB
DB (@guest_824383)
1 month ago

Graham Moore/Supportive Bloke How does this contract work, Sirs?

Heavens, why the intermediary?

DaveyB.
DaveyB. (@guest_824470)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

Most DE&S contracts have to be put out to tender. Where normally you require 3 bids from different manufacturers. However as Accuracy International (AI) owns the rights the weapon, whose information has not been shared. DE&S are allowed to go with the source OEM. Why they have an intermediary I am not sure, as in the past DE&S have contract straight to AI?

DB
DB (@guest_827939)
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB.

It was my point DaveyB.

DB
DB (@guest_824489)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

Wow! Great contribution.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_824508)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

He is called Trev

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_824497)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

Superb question DB! Over the years Babcock has been getting ever more closely involved in Equipment Support for Land systems and now leads with provision of Level 3-4 maint and also arranging contracts in support by other contractors. Back story. Back in the day my old Corps, REME, ran a number of static workshops (largely civilian manned) and also ran Contract Repair Branch – they were all subordinated to an in-house organisation (later designated an agency) in April 1993 – the Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO) which had 11 sites throughout UK. Then on 1 Apr 2008, the ABRO agency… Read more »

DB
DB (@guest_824514)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sir. I suggested that Jonathan be present at at a UKDJ top table of posters, and in truth, he posted a fantastic posit on the NHS. However, I think now we are going Patreon and somewhat private member, UKDF should have a poll of members for the best posts. I hope I get several choices because there are several of you who need recognition for bringing so much knowledge to the site with Daniele being an OCD nerd on Organisation, Gunbuster, Airborne and Farouk being exceptionally excellent in operational detail and then people like yourself, Rodders, SB and Jonathan adding… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_824552)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

Hi DB, glad you liked my post about Babcock. What does it actually mean to be ‘present at a top table of posters’? I think a poll of members is a great idea. I don’t recall having experienced a poll on UKDJ ever. Do we have to have paid our Patreon sub get polled? I personally really appreciate your contributions – and fully agree that those you mention in the last sentence bring a lot of knowledge to the site. I like learning about the army since I left in 2009 from Dern particularly and learning about the other services… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824705)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

Seconded. Jonathan especially.
Sadly we don’t see A posting much anymore due to his job, but he’s lurking.
I’d add Dern to that group, and Jon. Probably others.

James
James (@guest_824537)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I was surprised by the contract cost especially when you quoted the unit cost of the original rifles. One would assume the unit cost had an amount of spares and maintenance factored into it, so where have all those parts gone in 15 years? But at £23k a pop for 450 units, that’s a contract cost of £10m in 2008. In straight inflationary terms, that’s around £16m today, which would make this spares contract around 25% of the original purchase price. If you consider the inflation of steel (the assumed primary material cost), according to US data, steel today is… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_827841)
1 month ago
Reply to  James

What you call deep maintenance (or Third Line repair) was always done by REME static (non-deployable) workshops which were civilian manned but commanded by a REME officer. Then this organisation became ABRO, then DSG and then was contracted out to Babcocks. Of course there was never any change to REME tradesmen in the Field Force be they attached at First Line (Att Tdsm REME, LADs or Regt Wksp REME) to an equipment-holding unit (Inf Bn, armoured regt etc etc) or at Second Line (in REME battalions). REME trademen do not just do their job on deployment (be it operations or… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Graham Moore
James
James (@guest_827860)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, I didn’t know that Third Line had never been done by REME “troops” before and that it had been civilian before being outsourced. Thanks for that insight.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_828002)
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Thanks James.

Dern
Dern (@guest_824857)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You are correct that Sniper Rifles are held in small numbers, typically a handful per battalion to equip the Sniper Platoon (remembering that each Sniper Pair has 1x Sniper Rifle and 1x Sharpshooter). However this isn’t the .338 Bolt Action L115 that the Infantry Battalions come equipped with, it’s a .50 semi automatic rifle and I’m not entirely sure who uses it.

At £4m I’d GUESS the contract probably includes refurbishment and contractors to fix the rifles, rather than training REME armorers to fix a relatively niche weapon? Your field more than mine that though.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_824973)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks. I have visited REME armourers at 22SAS before, and they fixed a huge variety of specialist weapons.
But in the mainstream army and for AS50, I’m not sure. They would be able to do simple repairs of course, but any repair or calibration task which needed expensive, large and non-mobile STTE (Special Tools and Test Equipment), might be backloaded to AI.

pete
pete (@guest_825231)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Moral low at Bovington and people are still leaving , less productive than ABRO days, it was a mistake merging with DARA , their management reduced productivity with their just in time parts system not working and other so called trendy modernization.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_825459)
1 month ago
Reply to  pete

Thanks for the post Pete. As ex-REME I have an interest in what was formerly 18 Base Workshop REME!..and in all the other REME static workshops across the UK that are now contractor-operated.

A mistake to merge ABRO with DARA and an even bigger one to sell the Land equipment support component of that merged organisation to private Industry who exist to make profits not to delier the best service.

What does Babcocks do now by way of Base Overhaul of AFVs?

pete
pete (@guest_825500)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They do EBR T2 , CRARRV and hulls for CR3 .

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_825620)
1 month ago
Reply to  pete

Thanks Pete. You might have to explain the abbreviation EBR (I left the army in 2009) – don’t say it is Enhanced Base Repair!
Have they been doing EBR on CR2 over the last decade?

Dern
Dern (@guest_824694)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

So you got your comment deleted and decided to make a longer version?

tomcat
tomcat (@guest_824401)
1 month ago

A £4m contract for sniper rifle parts???? This is totally outrageous! Considering the weapon itself cost £8,000, what’s the rest for?

Government leaving party handouts?

Tim
Tim (@guest_824421)
1 month ago

At AI prices u won’t get many for 4 million

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824490)
1 month ago

I’m confused. Is this what I know as the .50 Barret anti material weapon that Pathfinders first got their hands on in the mid 90s?
Or a similar looking weapon.
Dern?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_824511)
1 month ago

They are a long term sniper rifle manufacturer, must admit I didn’t realise we produced sniper rifles in this Country till last year but in an article I read at that time we indeed do and they are highly rated.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824531)
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Accuracy International, yes. I know the army have used their sniper rifles for years. This one looked like a Barrett to my laymans eyes, so thought maybe they’d taken them over or something.

Blackcatdown
Blackcatdown (@guest_824551)
1 month ago

They look nothing alike to me, aside from the fact that they’re both chambered for the .50BMG cartridge and serve similar roles.

The AS50 is gas-operated and the M82/M107 is recoil-operated. They also look very different cosmetically. No relation between the two and as far as I know there’s no relation between Barrett and Accuracy International

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_827989)
1 month ago
Reply to  Blackcatdown

If you’re used to recognising and handling them, then, they won’t.
To me, clueless with guns.

DaveyB.
DaveyB. (@guest_824664)
1 month ago

Accuracy International believed they could build a better “anti-material” weapon than the Barrett. This led to the AW50, which was a scaling up of the “Green Meanie” L96. The AS50 is a further development of the AW50, though is semi-automatic rather than bolt action. It is just as accurate as the bolt action version, even though it has rapid fire. It weighs about the same as the M82 Barrett, but by all accounts is more accurate. Which was demonstrated in a shoot-off competition.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_827986)
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB.

Thanks Davey. I have only now received a notification of this post, weeks late.
Thus late reply.

Dern
Dern (@guest_824692)
1 month ago

Different weapon. The M82 (.50 Barrett) is a short recoil system, the AS50 is a direct impingement gas system.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824703)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Ok, thanks mate.

pete
pete (@guest_825228)
1 month ago

Why go through Babcock , this will only add to costs , wonder who has the shares?