Our Bureau
01:16 PM, June 12, 2014

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded approximately £111m worth of new contracts to maintain its small boat fleet, which is used by the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and MoD Police.

Firms benefitting from the five-year contracts include Devonport Royal Dockyard, UK Dock Tyne Slipway & Eng, Berthon Boat, MPI Services (UK), Marine Specialised Tech, and BAE Systems Surface Ships.

UK Defence Equipment Support and Technology Minister Philip Dunne said the contracts provide the UK's marine support industry with a steady volume of work, helping to maintain technical and engineering skills in the sector.

In addition to supporting the marine support industry, the contracts will offer maintenance services to offshore raiding craft, Pontoons up to 50m in length, police launches and Pacific 24 ribs and inflatables.

Additional services include maintenance, upkeep, repair, chartering, defect rectification, technical support and provision of spares and replacements.

Commercially Supported Shipping Boats team leader Alistair Hughes said small boats make up a critical component of the military.

"Small boats can be seen in all areas of maritime, from policing the UK's Naval Bases to counter-piracy operations off Africa to training new recruits into the Royal Navy," Hughes said.

"The award of the contracts follows 18 months of intensive activity between the team and industry to ensure the continued support of the numerous craft that make up the small boat fleet and find the best deal for the armed forces."

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