530 jobs secured as Thales awarded £600m Royal Navy contract

French defence contractor Thales has been awarded a £600m contract to service the Royal Navy's submarines and ships for the next 10 years, securing 530 British jobs.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed the deal earlier today, which will see Thales provide maintenance and repairs for 17 sensor systems, described as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the fleet.

These include the Astute, Trafalgar and Vanguard submarines as well as Type 45 warships.

The safeguarded jobs include 230 roles at sites in Glasgow, Manchester, Somerset and Crawley, with a further 300 jobs secured through the UK supply chain.

Additionally, under the new contractual arrange, the MoD stands to make savings of £140m during the 10-year period.

Minister for defence equipment, dupport and technology Philip Dunne, who signed the contract during a visit to Thales’s facility in Crawley today, said: “This contract is good news for the Ministry of Defence and UK industry.

“Not only will it secure a number of jobs across the UK whilst delivering savings but will also provide essential support for the combat equipment that helps give the Royal Navy’s fleet of ships and submarines a vital technological edge wherever they are based in the world.”

Thales UK CEO Victor Chavez said: “This contract recognises the value that can be achieved and the savings that can be delivered through a long-term services agreement.

“It also reflects the successful way in which Thales UK has delivered the required outputs over the past ten years.”

He added: “This project refines that approach to optimise performance over the next ten years, and reinforces our positive well-established relationship with the Royal Navy.”

The new sensors support optimisation project (SSOP) builds on existing support from Thales for the Royal Navy, after it signed a deal in 2003 to provide sonar and electronic warfare systems support.