UK Signs 10-Year Nuclear Sub Powerplant Maintenance Contract
The UK Ministry of Defence has signed a partnering contract with Rolls-Royce worth up to GBP 1 billion over 10 years to provide through-life support of the pressurized water nuclear reactors on board the Royal Navy’s nuclear powered submarines. The Flotilla Reactor Plant Support contract covers all aspects of support to the Nuclear Steam Raising Plants of the SSN Swiftsure Class and SSN Trafalgar Class fleet submarines (Pressurised Water Reactor Mk1), and to the new SSN Astute Class fleet and SSBN Vanguard Class ballistic submarines (Pressurised Water Reactor Mk2, removes the need to refuel the reactor during its service life).
Rolls-Royce has been supplying Nuclear Steam Raising Plants to the Royal Navy for almost 50 years from their production site at Raynesway, but this contract is different because it falls within the “future contracting for availability” initiatives of the UK’s Defence Industrial Strategy. Technical support, management of spares, the provision of plant safety cases and product development capability are all included. Rolls-Royce and the UK MoD will form a joint team to set agreed service levels, whereupon Rolls Royce will manage the process and be paid for meeting those service targets, rather than through individual contracts for spares, service hours, etc. Rolls-Royce will also receive additional incentive payments for improvements that create savings when the submarines are in service, and both parties will share any savings made using an agreed-upon formula.
Rolls Royce’s submarine operations are based at Derby, where 1,400 people are employed. In addition to the production site at Raynesway, the firm also operates the Vulcan reactor core research facility in Dounreay, Scotland, on behalf of the MoD. The UK MoD anticipates that the Flotilla Reactor Plant Support contract will lead to savings of over GBP 120 million over its 10-year term. UK MoD release | Rolls Royce release.