ABL Alliance, a joint venture between AWE, Babcock and Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems (LMUKSS), has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide support services for the Trident strategic weapon system.
Under the 15-year contract, ABL Alliance will provide services for the weapon system at the Royal Naval Armament Depot (RNAD) Coulport, as well as the Strategic Weapon Support Building (SWSB) Faslane, which are part of the HM Naval Base Clyde.
As part of the contract, around 149 MoD civilian posts will be transferred to ABL Alliance under the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) Regulations (2006) to deliver support to the Trident system.
The posts include specialist SWS industrial and technical grades, warehousing operatives, logistic support services, supervisors and managers, as well as 39 additional Royal Navy posts to the alliance.
The new arrangement will officially start in January 2013, following the completion of TUPE consultation process and a six-month transition phase.
Capable of maintaining high safety standards, HM Naval Base Commander Clyde will retain responsibility for security and activities performed at Coulport and the SWSB, while the MoD will continue to own the naval base sites, including Coulport.
Under the MoD Nuclear Authorisation, the site will function subject to regulations by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator, the Office of Nuclear Regulation and other authorities.
Currently, the UK Navy operates four Vanguard-class submarines, which were planned to be decommissioned in 2022 as part of the strategic defence and security review (SDSR), but were extended until 2028.
Image: A Vanguard-class Trident submarine submerged on the Clyde. Photo: courtesy of JohnED76.