The Ministry of Defence announced on 2nd December 2012 that it has extended its 2008 contract by five years for A&P Group to continue supporting and maintaining Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships at home and abroad.
Head of Commercially Supported Shipping for Defence, Equipment and Support, Commodore (RFA) David Preston said:
“These contracts represent the best value for money for Defence and each of the companies has a proven track record in supporting the Royal Fleet Auxiliary on a worldwide basis. This ability to support the Royal Navy wherever they are deployed is critical to UK Defence.”
The Cluster approach introduced in 2008 brings together grouped contracts of vessels, hence Clusters for longer terms with benefits of improved maintenance of platforms, increased availability and value for money.
Peter Child Managing Director of A&P Falmouth said: “Clustering has achieved a far more economical approach to ship repair and maintenance of the RFA Flotilla through advanced planning, our knowledge of the vessels, our highly skilled workforce and pride of ‘ownership’ of the ships.
“The cluster programme team has worked very hard on this contract in the UK and around the world supporting ships on deployment. Extension of this contract reaffirms that A&P can be trusted to meet the needs of our clients and the longer term contract term helps to give A&P Group yards security in our future.”
The 5 year contract extension, which is worth over £80m, will run to 2018 and is excellent news for A&P and its highly skilled workforce.
Defence Minister Philip Dunne said “These substantial contracts will not only safeguard hundreds of UK jobs but will ensure that these ships can continue in their roles for years to come.”
Since 2009 major refits have been completed in Falmouth by A&P on four support ships – Argus, Mounts Bay, Largs Bay and Cardigan Bay and a five-month programme of work on RFA Lyme Bay is under way, which includes an overhaul of the main engines and propulsion systems and a full re-paint.
David Hulse, national officer of the GMB union, said “This is welcome news in these bleak times. GMB maintains that the shipyard workers are just as important as the armed forces to our nation’s defences which is why it is crucial that the MoD plan procurement to ensure capacity and skills.”
Pictured: Left to Right – Peter Child, Managing Director & Gerald Pitts, A&P Cluster Director