- Press Release
- August 12, 2022
CVF Team wins Future Carrier assessment contract
The Defence Procurement Agency has placed a competitive contract with The CVF Team for the assessment
phase of the Future Carrier, which will replace the Royal Navy’s current Invincible class carriers.
British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems decided last year to combine their resources into a single
team known as The CVF Team because of the range of skills and capabilities required for a project of the size,
complexity and importance of the Future Carrier.
British Aerospace chief executive, John Weston, said: “We are delighted that the CVF Team has been awarded
this contract. The Future Carrier programme is a flagship for Smart Procurement and it is a major undertaking
which requires a new approach to the procurement of a military capability and affordability management.
“By combining the skills of the two companies in the CVF Team, we believe that we have assembled a unique
capability for the programme. The team draws together a wealth of complementary expertise based on real
experience. Lessons learned from projects spanning major land, sea and air programmes will continually be
applied to deliver an innovative and affordable CVF solution.”
The Future Carrier will enhance the UK’s ability to mount joint operations on the world stage. It is expected that
the three Invincible class carriers will be replaced by two larger, more capable ships, which must be able to
cope with heavier and more flexible demands. They must have the capability at one end of the spectrum to
deploy and operate aircraft effectively without host nation support in a hostile environment and at the other, to
provide full humanitarian support operations in a civilian emergency.
The assessment phase is extremely detailed. The work will initially focus on six ship design studies to evaluate
and compare the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing), CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) and
STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested Landing) alternatives of operating aircraft from different sizes of carrier.
This work will provide valuable input to the Future Carrier Borne Aircraft decision on the type of aircraft to
operate from the Future Carriers – for which the Joint Strike Fighter is the current favoured option. Following
selection of the aircraft type, the assessment phase will focus on developing the system requirements and
reducing risk in the design of the ship relevant to the selected aircraft.
The CVF Team will evaluate trade-offs between performance, time, procurement costs, through-life costs and
risks of the different options. It will examine operational and functional requirements and, during the process,
will define and de-risk these so that a fixed price tender can be provided for detailed design and build.
The prime contractor will be selected at the end of the assessment phase in 2003 to design and build the two
carriers together with initial in-service support.
CVF Team managing director, Mark Kane, said: “We have a clear understanding of the requirement and will
capitalise on existing experience, technologies and equipment coupled with innovative proposals and research
programmes to meet the project objectives.
“We have the depth and breadth of capability required of a prime contractor but accept that there may be some
skill and technology gaps as the programme progresses. We intend to close these by using our extensive
contacts at home and abroad and will invite the best the UK, Europe and the US has to offer into the
programme. To date, we have included Rolls-Royce and Harland & Wolff as additional members of our team
and are currently in discussions with a number of organisations overseas.”
He continued: “The CVF Team has a wide knowledge base of all associated aircraft and research programmes.
This will be used to assist the design team in understanding the risks and developing effective solutions. We
will ensure the design is versatile to enable progressive upgrade so that technology advances and operational
changes can be incorporated to improve through-life capability.
“We will adopt a strategy for development, procurement and build that will promote maximum effective
participation of industry, while retaining responsibility for systems integration and provision of a whole ship
capability. We will provide value for money and reduce risk, which is entirely consistent with our prime
contractor philosophy of seeking the best capability to suit the requirement.”
Even at this early stage the team is working with MoD to help deliver the benefits of SMART Procurement,
which is designed to reduce cost and improve programme and functional performance. This entails an entirely
new approach in which “business as usual” is not an option.
The CVF Team’s overall approach is to bring imagination, flair, flexibility and open-mindedness to every aspect
of this programme. It will establish a trusting, durable partnership with MoD that shares joint ownership with all
stakeholders in the programme in order to guarantee better value for money. This is illustrated by co-locating
the CVF Team at Filton, Bristol, close to the MoD IPT in Abbey Wood.