Small-boat fleet

Babcock has started repair and maintenance work on the small boats used by the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Police.

The work is part of a contract awarded in June by the UK MoD’s commercially supported shipping (CSS) team to Devonport Royal Dockyard, UK Dock Tyne Slipway & Eng, Berthon Boat, MPI Services (UK), Marine Specialised Tech and BAE Systems Surface Ships.

Under the three-year contract, which has a two-year extension option, Babcock will provide support services to the small boat fleet, including over 800 inflatables, five dive boats, ten Mexeflotes (landing raft / pontoons) and Gibraltar region police and patrol boats.

The company may also undertake spares provisioning, post-design services such as modification work, and storage.

"Small boats make up a critical component of the UK’s military effect, operating in the UK and globally."

Babcock naval engineering director Simon Knight said: "We are delighted to have already made a good start, with the completion of work to date on time and in budget, and look forward to continuing to deliver successfully and support the MoD in line with requirements."

MoD Boats team leader Alistair Hughes said: "The award of these contracts follows 18 months of intensive activity between the team and industry, and we have established good working relationships with Babcock and our other suppliers to ensure we maintain this critical component of our armed forces.

"Small boats make up a critical component of the UK’s military effect, operating in the UK and globally. They can be seen in all areas of maritime, from policing the UK’s naval bases to counter-piracy operations off Africa to training new recruits into the Royal Navy."

Image: A Pacific 24 rigid inflatable boat at sea. Photo: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright.

Defence Technology