French electronic defense contractor Thales has secured a $2.3 billion, 15-year contract to keep the British Royal Navy’s fleet at sea longer. The company said the new Maritime Sensor Enhancement Team contract, which started Jan. 1, responds to the rising need to boost the availability of RN ships and submarines amid growing uncertainties in the global landscape.
MSET calls for Thales to deploy its artificial intelligence and data analysis solutions, as well as sensors and systems, such as the Maritime Mine Counter Measures program. The company expects the contract to create more than 450 engineering, IT and related high-skilled U.K. jobs, as well as generate apprenticeship training opportunities.
The Royal Navy platforms’ resiliency will be fostered through investments in autonomous systems and new dockland facilities. Thales estimates that throughout the span of the contract, the client’s ship repair turnaround times will be reduced to 100 days on average, repair lead times will be cut by 44 days and reliability will improve by 10 percent.
“Data-driven decision-making enables MSET to go beyond the current support horizons and make a substantial improvement in the availability and resilience of the Royal Navy whilst preparing for AUKUS,” Alex Cresswell, Thales UK chairman and CEO, said, referring to the trilateral defense and security alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.