31 May 2019

A&P Group Defence joined a group of the UK’s top naval suppliers this week in making a joint commitment with the Ministry of Defence to work collaboratively to deliver a crucial £1 billion ship support programme for the next decade.

Senior representatives from A&P Defence, Cammell Laird, International Paints, Lloyd’s Register and UK Docks met with the MoD’s DE&S Commercially Supported Shipping (CSS) team on board RFA Tiderace to sign the Future In-Service Support (FISS) Collaborative Working Charter.

The Charter sets out joint working principles which seek to find efficiency, best practice and innovation through the life of the ten-year FISS programme, building on lessons learned over the past decade of ship support at dockyards across the country.

Head of the Commercially Supported Shipping team David Farmer said:

“UK Defence is built on robust working relationships across the MOD and industry which this Charter further strengthens by driving all those involved in the FISS project to deliver in the best interests of our armed forces as well as taxpayers.

“As one of the signatories, I look forward to continuing to encourage and challenge our partners in the years ahead as we secure world-leading support for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Navy.”

While on board the delivery partners also signed a separate Sustainable Procurement Charter which, aided by new tools and processes, commits them to considering the environmental, social and economic impact of work under their contracts, while also promoting good practice and learning from experience.

Commodore Graeme Little Royal Navy, the Senior Responsible Owner for the Future In Service Support programme, said:

“Having now had the opportunity to meet with the industrial partners, I am impressed with the way that the Future In Service Support contracts have transitioned and the enterprise partnering approach which has been engendered across the Commercially Supported Shipping team and suppliers.

“This bodes well for support contracts that are at the heart of enabling the continuous at-sea deterrent, Task Group operations, increasing global forward presence and the not-inconsiderable Maritime Security focus. The Future In Service Support programme is a credit to the DE&S team and their suppliers.”

Gerald Pitts, Managing Director of A&P Group Defence said, “A&P Group is proud of its 12-year partnership with the Ministry of Defence and the achievements that our collaboration has delivered, which has included more than 150 maintenance packages on RFA ships and 43 overseas work packages to maintain the RFA fleet when deployed in overseas operation. A&P continues to strive to achieve greater efficiencies in maintaining the vessels and The Charter is a further acknowledgement of this commitment.”

The Future In Service Support agreement, announced by the Minister of Defence Procurement Stuart Andrew in October 2018, enables maintenance for 17 ships including the entire Royal Fleet Auxiliary fleet and the Royal Navy’s Hydrographic and Patrol flotillas.

Work under the agreement is taking place at yards across the country, including those in Falmouth, Birkenhead and Teesside.