Norco Holdings, the Poole-based manufacturer of lightweight composite structures and GRP mouldings is to build the fleet of replacement Workboats for the MoD.
The contract was placed by Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK) and the boats are due to be delivered over the next six years.
The contract is for 30+ boats in total, ranging in size from 11 to 15 metres. As the primary composites supplier for the project, Norco will be producing the major components for the new vessels including hull, deck, superstructure and associated multipurpose modules.
The multi-role vessels share common components and will be modular in design. This unique approach enables rapid changes for a range of specialised operational roles, including diving training, explosive ordnance disposal, officer training, passenger transport, arctic exploration, hydrographic survey and logistic re-supply.
The boats will be manufactured at Norco using modern and proven boat building techniques. The company’s knowledge and experience in such production techniques enables it to maintain the highest standards of quality and repeatability across the range of new boats.
Norco will work closely with AEUK and the design team throughout the life of the contract providing support in areas such as design for manufacture and production solutions, including the design and manufacture of high quality CNC tooling for the production of composite parts.
Mark Northey, MD of Norco Holdings, said: “We are delighted to have secured this prestigious contract from Atlas Elektronik UK and look forward to starting work on the boats immediately. This project is a reflection of the capability Norco has developed in the manufacture of composite work boats, and we welcome further opportunities with AEUK and other defence marine companies.”
On announcing the contract won by AEUK, Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said:
“From the south coast to the banks of the Clyde, British shipbuilding is ensuring that our growing Navy has the reach it needs to protect our interests around the globe. These cutting-edge workboats will support the likes of our iconic new aircraft carriers and the Type 26 frigates as well as sustaining 60 British jobs. This is another step in our £178 billion plan to provide our Armed Forces with the very best equipment to keep our country safe”.