Serco lands pounds 40m Royal Navy contract

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SERCO, the management contracting group, has beaten off competition from leading defence companies, including GEC and Racal, to win a pounds 40m contract to supply test equipment for the Royal Navy, writes

Topaz Amoore.

The contract, which is spread over five years, involves developing and supplying automatic test equipment for avionic and sensor systems in the Navy's EH101 Merlin helicopter.

'We are a small but key part of the total procurement,' David Perkins, finance director, said.

'All equipment on an aircraft must be checked by computer systems. Manual checks with dipsticks have been replaced by sensors.' Serco has been subcontracted by IBM's aerospace systems arm, the project manager. Serco, in turn, will subcontract the necessary technological know- how from Harris Corporation, a US company.

'We were chosen above the competition because we can offer sound project management and a proven track record in delivering the goods on time,' Mr Perkins said.

Serco's activities span traffic speed cameras, air traffic control and maintenance of Marks and Spencer stores. It has also maintained the ballistic missiles early warning systems at RAF Fylingdales for nearly 30 years.