The Ministry of Defence has issued a Voluntary Ex-Ante Transparency (VEAT) notice for the manufacture and procurement of material and support equipment for submarine maintenance projects, according to a recent publication on Find a Tender.

The contract, valued at £125 million, is set to be awarded to Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited.

This notice pertains to the Submarine Delivery Agency’s intention to amend its existing Future Maritime Support Programme Lot 3 Contract with Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited.

The amendment includes the procurement and management of high-risk, long lead, manufactured materials and support equipment required for maintenance and repair, specifically for the Astute-Class (A-Class) Ship Submersible Nuclear (SSN) Deep Maintenance Project (DMP).

The contract amendment will cover:

  • “UK Supply Chain procurement and management of the delivery” of specialist submarine components such as valves, pipes, gaskets, and pumps, as well as portable support equipment like jigs, gauges, special tools, and hardware.
  • “Sub-contractor surveillance and performance management” of the manufactured items and support equipment supply.
  • Ensuring the availability and compliance of long lead items and support equipment for use at Devonport Royal Dockyard’s Nuclear Licensed Site.
  • “Receipt and storage and inventory management of long lead manufactured items and support equipment” in line with A-Class DMP requirements, including delivery to the nuclear licensed site.
  • Security management of the items in accordance with the Naval Platforms Security Grading Guide.

The award of this contract amendment without prior publication is deemed lawful under Regulation 16(1)(a)(ii) of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 for technical reasons. The Ministry of Defence has cited several key factors:

  • Devonport Royal Dockyard is the only company with extensive experience in undertaking A-Class Base Maintenance Periods (BMP) and Vanguard Class SSBN DMPs.
  • The company possesses detailed technical knowledge and specifications for long lead manufactured items and support equipment specific to A-Class maintenance.
  • As the In-Service Support, BMP, and DMP provider for A-Class maintenance, Devonport Royal Dockyard has sole access to essential technical knowledge.
  • The company owns the necessary nuclear licensed site and facilities for the storage and management of these items, ensuring compliance with security and maintenance policies.
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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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Tom (@guest_827187)
6 days ago

As BAE built them, I assumed that they maintained/overhauled them?

Andy P
Andy P (@guest_827397)
5 days ago

A great idea to keep refitting submarines at a place where the biggest ones can only get in and out on certain high tides…..

NLR (@guest_827466)
5 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

What is the problem with that then Andy?

Last edited 5 days ago by NLR
Andy P
Andy P (@guest_827788)
3 days ago
Reply to  NLR

The depth of water entering GUZ isn’t deep enough for the bombers unless its at an extremely high tide. Its all done now but the move from Rosyth was purely political, it was announced when the Tories were facing a big LibDem threat so moved the refits from Rosyth where they were never getting a seat. Its not an ideal situation where your access and egress are restricted by tides.

NLR (@guest_828106)
2 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

You are correct about the tidal restrictions at Devonport Andy, but given that the SSBN’s are not based there, then it is irrelevant. As you are no doubt aware, each Boat has had/will have two major Refits there. So they arrive, go into Refit, and 3-4 years later they leave. That’s hardly restrictive in the grand scheme of things.

Andy P
Andy P (@guest_828115)
2 days ago
Reply to  NLR

Of course its relevant, they still have to go in for a refit, as will their replacements. I seem to recall there being a bit of an issue when one of them was leaving when I was there on a course. Knew quite a few of the bomber F’s onboard and if they didn’t make that tide it was going to knock their ongoing program out of whack. It was a political decision that introduced an unnecessary restriction on the navy. If you were going to make the decision would you really ignore this issue ? Its done and dusted… Read more »

NLR (@guest_828858)
1 hour ago
Reply to  Andy P

It’s refreshing to find someone on a Forum who clearly has experience relevant to the subject they are commenting on Andy. Whilst not ex-RN, and prior to moving to Australia, I myself worked at Devonport for over 20yrs as a Fitter/Turner. Mostly on Surface Vessel Refits, but I did do a couple of DED’s on SSN’s. Splendid and Turbulent specifically. I’ll concede that the tidal issue is not ideal, but I still don’t see it as a massive problem given the infrequent transits of the SSBN’s in/out. Similar restrictions applied/apply to the larger Ships that the RN/RFA have had over… Read more »

Last edited 1 hour ago by NLR
Andy P
Andy P (@guest_828922)
16 minutes ago
Reply to  NLR

Hi Nige, as you say, the RN has a lot of larger platforms now and that does have its own issues. The QE’s are restricted by both tides (not massively though I’m led to believe) and the access to the basin is tight but as the facilities to build (well assemble) them was limited we went into it with our eyes open. They’ve certainly been in and out often enough (I live close enough to hear the pipes) but I agree that its less than ideal although you can only piss with the c*ck you’ve got. From memory the bombers… Read more »