In June 2008 Cammell Laird signed a ‘through-life support agreement’ with Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the maintenance of a collection of ships in Royal Fleet Auxiliary for up to 25 years subject to five year reviews. In December 2012 following the first five year review the agreement was extended for Cammell Laird to continue its maintenance contract for nine ships in the RFA Flotilla until at least 2018.
The Through Life support contract exists because the RFA wanted a change of approach to drive greater continuity across a broad range of areas. Critically the RFA to forge a closer more collaborative relationship between itself and the marine engineering suppliers.
Five years into the contract and the benefits are crystallising. The Cluster Support Team (CST) has a hub in Cammell Laird where RFA staff work side by side, week in week out, with Cammell Laird staff building deep and lasting working relationships. By working together we are learning from experience. The positive outcomes of this close working relationship cannot be understated. From more precise specifications to delivery of those specifications with greater expertise and efficiency. There is further a fundamental change in mindset so engineering decisions are jointly made and problems jointly owned. Moreover the cluster contract commitment allows Cammell Laird to invest in infrastructure and management, we can plan far in advance, we can find innovations, and we can invest in skills and apprentices.
This provides certainty to the RFA that a professional service will be available to maintain its fleet cost effectively for the long term.
Shared experience, shared learning and shared passion means we are delivering better quality, better value and better understanding for the RFA. Our ultimate goal is to increase efficiency in fleet time and non fleet maintenance time by ensuring upkeep periods are shorter meaning availability of the fleet is greater.
The nine ships Cammell Laird maintains are:
- RFA Orangeleaf
- RFA Black Rover
- RFA Gold Rover
- RFA Diligence
- RFA Wave Knight
- RFA Fort Austin
- RFA Fort Rosalie
- RFA Wave Ruler
- RFA Fort Victoria