RNAS Culdrose Hosts Fourth Merlin Capability Sustainment Plus Supplier Conference

The Royal Navy recently hosted the fourth annual supplier conference for the Merlin Capability Sustainment Plus programme (MCSP) at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall, the home base for Merlin Mk1 helicopter operations. Over 80 delegates attended from both the Ministry of Defence and Royal Navy customer community as well as industry suppliers. By hosting the MCSP conference with Lockheed Martin UK, the MoD confirmed its commitment to the MCSP programme as well as demonstrating to suppliers how their important contributions enhance Merlin operations.

The central theme of this year's conference was "Systems Integration - the Challenges Ahead," which included presentations from Keith Marsh, Merlin Integrated Project Team, whose topic was Partnering; Group Captain Nolan Collins-Bent, Defence Equipment & Support, Joint Partnering and Relationships team and Commander Colin Miller, representing Commander Merlin, who gave a powerful presentation on the current roles of the Fleet Air Arm, in particular Merlin and the part it plays in operations.

Captain Graeme Mackay, Commanding Officer of Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose said: "The conference is a unique and valuable event that focuses on the challenge of taking Merlin to the next stage of its evolution under MCSP. As partnering is such a key enabler, I am delighted that so many stakeholders in this important programme were able to meet here at Culdrose."

The MCSP programme aims to not only sustain but also to enhance the functionality and capabilities of the Royal Navy's Merlin HM Mk1 helicopter. Lockheed Martin UK, the Prime Contractor and Systems Integrator for the programme, brings together the major MCSP stakeholders and contributors to share project progress at this annual supplier conference. Above all, the conference creates a true spirit of motivation and enthusiasm, which is the key factor in ensuring the project remains an 'A programme' with an excellent track record.

Trevor Watkins, MCSP Programme Director at Lockheed Martin UK, said: "The annual MCSP supplier conference is an important event, which we're delighted to have hosted at RNAS Culdrose. As MCSP enters its next exciting phase, there are clear challenges ahead that will require all team partners to work closely together to obtain the best solutions. As well as giving programme-level direction, the conference provided an excellent opportunity to impress on the whole team the need to deliver on time, as well as achieving perfect programme performance. In addition, suppliers were granted an invaluable insight into how the Royal Navy operates the multi-mission Merlin, the UK's most versatile helicopter, at Culdrose."

Partners of the MCSP programme include:

  • Aerosystems International Limited
  • AgustaWestland
  • Barco N.V
  • CAE Inc. /CAE plc
  • Defence Equipment & Support
  • Lockheed Martin UK - Integrated Systems
  • Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego
  • QinetiQ
  • Radstone Technology
  • Saab Avitronics
  • SELEX Sensors & Airborne Systems UK
  • THALES
  • Tyco Electronics UK Ltd M/A-COM Division
  • Ultra Electronics

Notes to Editors:
One of Europe's largest helicopter bases, RNAS Culdrose delivers highly capable Helicopter Squadrons specialising in Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare and Airborne Surveillance and Control. Its frontline Squadrons are deployed to ships all over the world to support the Royal Navy in its global operations. Back at the Air Station, trainee Aircrew, Engineers, Air Traffic Controllers, Fire-fighters and Flight Deck crews undergo intensive training prior to joining Naval Air Squadrons for duties at sea. Additionally, the 'Search and Rescue' Squadron is on constant standby 365-days a year to react to emergencies throughout the Southwest region. Its red and grey helicopters can be seen braving all types of weather responding to calls for help on land and sea.

Media Contacts:
Ian Mackay (Community Relations Officer) 01326 552460
email: Culdrose-cro@mod.uk

Sally Hillier (Public Relations Assistant) 01326 552450
email: Culdrose-pra@mod.uk

© 2012
Lockheed Martin Corporation