Babcock has moved to further its business with the Ukrainian Armed Forces after being awarded a three-year contract to support and maintain two mine countermeasure vessels (MCMV) following their transfer from the UK Royal Navy.

The two vessels are intended to will support activity such as keeping sea lanes open, will undergo planned maintenance and support by Babcock. The contract follows the company’s reconfiguration and recommissioning of the vessels to ready them for the Ukrainian Navy, according to a Babcock release.

Babcock has also established Babcock Ukraine Ltd and opened as office in-country, read the company statement.

The MCMV contract is part of the tripartite Memorandum of Implementation signed in Odesa in June 2021 by the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, the UK Government and Babcock, created to assist in the development of the Ukrainian military.

As the prime industrial partner, it is Babcock’s first contract under the Ukraine Naval Capability Enhancement Programme (UNCEP) which includes the enhancement of capabilities on existing naval platforms.

Babcock has previous experience in sustaining the Sandown-class minehunters, of which a small number are still in UK service, with the company also providing technical advice, as required.

David Lockwood, Babcock CEO, said: “The recent announcement of our Ukrainian business, alongside this naval support contract, builds on the work we are already doing to support the country’s military land assets as part of the UK’s support for Ukraine.”

The commitment of the two MCMVs was reiterated during a speed earlier this week by UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, who revealed that the UK would also be providing a number of Offshore Raiding Craft and amphibious assaults vehicles to Ukraine.