Batch 1 Offshore Patrol Vessels – Future Support

Legal Justification

Naval Ships Support (NSS), part of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, intends to extend contract CSS/0022 with BAE Maritime Services Ltd (“BAE”) for the in-service support of the Royal Navy’s three Batch 1 Off-Shore Patrol Vessels (Batch 1 OPVs); HMS Severn, HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey. The contract extension will be for a period of four years and nine months from July 2023 to March 2028 when the Batch 1 OPVs reach their revised Out Of Service Date. In accordance with regulation 4 of The Defence and Security Public Contracts (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/697) this procurement falls to be regulated under the provisions of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 as amended (in particular by SI 2019/697 and SI 2020/1450). Prior publication of a contract notice in the Official Journal of the European Union is no longer appropriate. It is considered that the award of the contract without prior publication of a contract notice in the UK e-notification service is lawful in accordance with Regulation 16(1)(a)(ii) of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 due to technical reasons. Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Limited originally built the Batch 1 OPVs in 2003, and the company has subsequently been acquired by BAE. The in-service support contract (Contract CSS/0022) was first placed in 2013 and has always been held by either Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Limited or BAE. As such, only BAE holds all of the technical information required to ensure safe and effective service support, which includes the “know how” built up during the build and subsequent service support of these vessels. A full set of information pertaining to on-board and shoreside spares provision and utilisation, historical support patterns, drawings, interfaces, test and calibration specifications/procedures cannot be made available as components of this either do not exist or are owned by BAE. Such information is necessary to undertake the full in-service support to the vessels taking due account of their service life, thereby ensuring that risk to the vessels’ ability to operate safely is as low as reasonably practicable in the delivery of their activities as part of the Royal Navy’s wider Defence Tasking. NSS believes that without access to this information, the construction and implementation of a new service design for support would introduce an unacceptably high safety risk into the operations of the Batch 1 OPVs.

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