The second of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new Tide-class support ships, RFA Tiderace, has arrived in Cornwall to begin a programme of customisation that will support 300 UK jobs. Like her sister ship RFA Tidespring, which arrived in April this year, the 39,000-tonne RFA Tiderace can carry up to 19,000 cubic metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic metres of fresh water in support of Royal Navy operations all over the world. She has been designed to support the new Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, the first of which, HMS Queen Elizabeth, arrived in Portsmouth last month. Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: This year of the Royal Navy goes from strength to strength as we welcome yet another new ship into the UK’s growing fleet.
New state-of-the-art navigation radars will be fitted to more than 60 Royal Navy ships, submarines and shore facilities
The new radars are the result of a £44 million contract award by the Ministry of Defence.
The contract was awarded to Hampshire based Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems UK and will modernise ship and submarine navigation systems which are critical for safe navigation at sea.
Over the next five years, the MOD’s Navigation Radar Programme will replace existing radars fitted across the fleet and shore facilities with solid-state SharpEye™ radar transceivers designed and developed in the UK by Kelvin Hughes in Enfield North London.
The radars will be fitted to the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, Hunt and Sandown class Mine Counter Measure Vessels, Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, fast patrol boats, as well as the Astute, Trafalgar and Vanguard class submarines.
The Royal Navy's Type 23 will be fitted with the new navigation radar. Crown copyright.
The contract also includes options for the introduction of the navigation radars to future Royal Navy platforms such as the Queen Elizabeth Carriers, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, and Successor submarines.
Defence Minister Philip Dunne said:
The replacement of navigation radars across more than 60 ships, submarines and shore facilities will see the Royal Navy receive the latest generation of digital radar systems which set the standard for the future.
This has been as a direct result of our pledge to invest £178 billion in defence equipment and support, to help to ensure the UK can respond to diverse threats around the world.
The UK's nuclear deterrent Vanguard submarines will be fitted with the new navigation radar. Crown copyright.
Five shore facilities will also benefit from the new technology which provides a highly reliable and safe collision avoidance system. This includes equipment for training at HMS Collingwood, in Hampshire, HMS Raleigh, in Cornwall, and at the Land Based Test Site at Portsdown Technology Park in Hampshire.
Head of Maritime Combat Systems at the MOD’s Defence, Equipment and Support Organisation, Steve Hyde, added:
This contract will see new radars that use the latest technology rolled out across the entire Royal Navy fleet, providing a reliable, technically capable and easy to maintain system that will give our Navy the extra confidence they need when serving on operations.
The contract with Lockheed Martin will cover the demonstration, manufacture and in-service support for the system, providing the optimal technically compliant solution and best value for money for the Royal Navy. It will sustain 14 jobs at Lockheed Martin’s Havant facility and create five additional roles in the company.