BAE Systems has clinched contracts worth more than £1billion to maintain battleships and docks at Portsmouth Naval Base.
Britain’s biggest defence company will repair and upgrade state-of-the-art Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft carriers, Type 45 Destroyers and Type 23 under a £900million deal with the Ministry of Defence.
And, in another agreement, it will work with American group KBR to look after buildings and the docks at the base.
£900m deal: BAE will repair and upgrade state-of-the-art Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft carriers (pictured), Type 45 Destroyers and Type 23
BAE has worked at the Portsmouth site for more than two decades and employs 2,400 people there.
The contracts could create jobs in the area. The company has 3,700 workers in the wider Solent area and around 85,000 employees worldwide.
Portsmouth, on the south coast of Hampshire, has been a naval hub for more than 900 years. The five-year contracts will be worth up to £1.3billion and will start in October.
As well as repairing ships stationed at the base, BAE also intends to use technology developed by a company it bought last year, called Techmodal, that can help it predict where there could be problems or breakdowns.
David Mitchard, managing director of BAE Systems’ maritime services business, said: ‘We can use data science and analytics to drive improvements now.
This will give us a much richer view of the conditions the assets are in and means we can predict failures rather than react to failures.’
Manufacturers like BAE have fared better during Covid than companies in many other industries.
Around 90 per cent of BAE’s business is government defence orders, with the rest consisting of work for companies such as airlines and aerospace equipment makers.
It is these contracts – which include building parts like joysticks and flying systems and count GE and Boeing as customers – that have been hammered by the pandemic.
In February, it said full-year sales rose 4 per cent to £21billion and pledged to pay a 2020 total dividend of 23.7p per share – as well as handing back the delayed 2019 divi.