Portsmouth, United Kingdom: The Royal Navy's patrol vessel HMS Clyde will remain in the South Atlantic to protect the Falklands Islands until 2018, following a six year contract extension with BAE Systems to deliver 24/7 support services to the ship.
The move follows an initial five year agreement and demonstrates the success of the company's partnering approach to deployed support services. Ensuring maximum value to the Ministry of Defence, HMS Clyde's enhanced capabilities enable her to fulfil the valuable protection role, which previously required two ships, and in 2010 the ship's crew and BAE Systems team delivered an unprecedented 99.3% operational availability.
Mick Ord, Managing Director of BAE Systems' Surface Ships division, said: "We have an engineer permanently based in the Falklands to deliver all repairs and maintenance to the vessel stationed 8,000 miles from the UK. This radical approach helps us to achieve great results and is helping to shape the way we deliver support services to our customer.
"Our ability to deliver repair and maintenance services to warships wherever they are around the world provides real value to the Ministry of Defence. Minimising return trips to the UK and ensuring rapid defect rectification, helps to reduce costs and deliver maximum availability of warships to meet operational commitments."
Lieutenant Commander Carl Wiseman, Commanding Officer, HMS Clyde, said: "I am extremely pleased that the contract to lease HMS Clyde has been extended to 2018, allowing her to continue her role as the Falklands Islands patrol vessel, where she has been continually deployed since 2007. The unique arrangement with BAE Systems in the Falkland Islands has proven very successful with the Royal Navy getting high levels of availability providing a widely employable asset for the region."
HMS Clyde is part of the Royal Navy's Fishery Protection Squadron. The Offshore Patrol Vessel (Helicopter) was designed and built by BAE Systems and is leased and operated by the Royal Navy, while the company provides maintenance and logistical support to the vessel. Designed to replace the HMS Leeds Castle and HMS Dumbarton Castle, HMS Clyde's enhanced capability and innovative support solution enables her to remain permanently stationed in the Falklands. The BAE Systems manager based in the Falklands works with local companies and a UK-based support team to ensure all sustainment services are delivered locally.
Weighing in at 1,847 tonnes, the Offshore Patrol Vessel has a top speed of 21 knots and a crew of 43. HMS Clyde is a highly flexible platform which makes a significant maritime contribution to Joint Operations within the South Atlantic Ocean. She regularly operates with fixed wing and rotary wing assets of the Royal Air Force using her air defence radar, versatile flight deck and helicopter-in-flight-refuelling capability. She has also shown her wider capabilities, able to embark and disembark infantry around the islands and reach the many remote settlements within the islands to provide reassurance to the local inhabitants.
Source: New Contract To Support Falklands Islands Protection Ship
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