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Babcock awarded contract for Royal Navy’s Ships Protective Systems support.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to a PR published by Babcock on February 6, 2024, the firm has received a five-year contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to continue its in-service support for the Royal Navy's Ships Protective System (SPS) equipment.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland. (Picture source: UK MoD)

This contract includes providing services such as degaussing, cathodic protection, and active shaft grounding for naval ships and submarines. These measures are designed to reduce hull corrosion and lower the magnetic signature of the vessels, making them less likely to trigger magnetic mines.

Hull corrosion, a natural process exacerbated by seawater's corrosive properties, can compromise the structural integrity and lifespan of naval vessels. By employing cathodic protection, a technique that counters corrosive chemical reactions, the measures aim to prolong the structural health of the ships and submarines. This not only ensures that these assets remain in service longer but also reduces the maintenance and repair costs associated with corrosion damage.

Reducing a vessel's magnetic signature is equally vital, particularly in the context of modern naval warfare where magnetic mines pose a significant threat. Magnetic mines are designed to detect and detonate in response to the magnetic field around metal objects, such as ships and submarines.

By implementing degaussing and active shaft grounding, the measures actively diminish the magnetic footprint of the vessels. Degaussing involves neutralizing or reducing the magnetic field of a ship, while active shaft grounding prevents the generation of additional magnetic fields by the vessel's moving parts.


The continuation of this contract with Babcock is part of the efforts to maintain the operational effectiveness and durability of the Royal Navy’s key assets in a period marked by global geopolitical challenges. The complexity of meeting defence requirements is increasing, making the support for such protective systems critical.

The contract also involves the provision of system spares, in collaboration with Allan Webb Ltd, to address the risk of system obsolescence. Additionally, it includes repairing defective parts, benefiting from Babcock's experience in dealing with the issues related to obsolete systems.

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