UK Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin has confirmed a new follow-on contract for BAE Systems in support of the British Royal Navy’s air defence fleet.

The new contract is valued at £18m and is expected to ensure the continued availability of the long-range radar (LRR) equipment on-board the Royal Navy’s six Type 45 Daring-class destroyers, in addition to the maintenance and repair of the vessels.

The project will also sustain 11 highly skilled jobs with BAE Systems in Chelmsford and a further four employment opportunities in Portsmouth.

"The UK’s Type 45 Destroyers are part of the backbone of the Royal Navy and this contract supports their primary air defence role."

Baldwin said: “It’s been great seeing the cutting-edge innovation of British industry today, especially as my first experience of British business was so close to this site.

“This multi-million pound contract will boost the future of both this high-tech hub and our navy’s battle-winning radars.”

The LRR offers a detailed air surveillance picture of the battlespace and can automatically detect and track hundreds of separate targets simultaneously at ranges of greater than 200mi.

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By GlobalData

In addition, the equipment helps to boost the Type 45 Destroyer’s air defence capability and is also integrated on the newest Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

UK Ministry of Defence Procurement Organisation Weapons for Defence Equipment and Support director Richard Smart said: “The UK’s Type 45 Destroyers are part of the backbone of the Royal Navy and this contract supports their primary air defence role, offering the best protection available to the ships and crew.

“This support agreement is the product of the strong skills base we have in UK defence.

“It will keep Royal Navy personnel safe at sea as they defend our interests all over the world.”

The contract is set to continue for the next five years and will cover support for the entire Type 45 fleet, as well as one shore-based facility in Portsmouth.