This is the third largest market for the Group where Chesterfield Special Cylinders (CSC) has specialist capability in the manufacture of high-pressure cylinders for submarines, surface vessels and military aircraft. Work done over the last decade to expand the customer base for naval applications has reduced the variability of defence revenue and there is a good forward visibility on projects globally.
Although defence budgets around the world are under pressure, submarine build programmes have continued. The market is less sensitive to competition due to the complexity of products, quality standards and through-life support requirements. CSC is the principal supplier in the naval market to NATO and NATO friendly nations with the exception of the USA, with Germany now our largest market.
There are significant medium term opportunities, the largest being the UK Successor Programme, which replaces the Vanguard class of submarines and we are working with defence OEMs on initial, small-scale prototypes. This programme has also provided the opportunity to promote CSC’s capabilities in the USA. The Australian Government announced in April 2016 it is to build its new fleet of 12 submarines on a French design for which we already provide cylinders.
In addition Integrity Management services are widely used in the UK naval sector and are now being offered on overseas naval contracts.