SSOP: Britain Extends Contracting Innovations to Naval Sensors
In late May 2013, Thales UK signed a 10-year, GBP 600 million Sensor Support Optimisation Project (SSOP) with the Ministry of Defence. It extends the 2003 Contractor Logistics Support deal that covered electronic warfare/ ESM and sonar system support on an array of submarines and surface ships.
SSOP coverage includes all British submarine classes (SSN Trafalgar and Astute classes, SSBN Vanguard Class), Type 45 Daring Class destroyers, Type 23 Duke Class frigates, and the Hunt and Sandown Classes of minehunting vessels. It also covers all visual systems (periscopes etc.) for all Royal Navy submarines, which had been a separate contract with Thales UK’s optronics business in Glasgow. This progression is familiar to readers who have followed British Future Contracting for Availability practices over the last several years.
SSOP builds on demonstrated savings and availability improvements from the 2003 CLS contract, and is absorbing related contracts over time as risks and costs are clarified and reduced. The UK MoD is expecting savings of GBP 140 million over the life of the new contract.
SSOP will be run through the joint Thales/MoD Equipment Support Delivery Team in Abbey Wood, Bristol, augmented by Thales and J+S Ltd waterfront engineers co-located in the Royal Navy’s 3 naval bases at Portsmouth, Plymouth and Faslane. Thales UK will support the project from its sites in Templecombe, Cheadle Heath, Glasgow and its development center in Crawley. Beyond J+S, major SSOP sub-contractors include:
- Atlas Elektronik UK in Newport, South Wales and Winfrith, Dorset
- The Defence Support Group in Sealand, Flintshire
- MacTaggart Scott in Loanhead, Scotland
- Parkburn Ltd in Telford, Shropshire
- AB Precision (Poole) Ltd in Dorset