BARNSTAPLE-based J+S Ltd has been awarded a £1m contract for the sonar upgrade of ships operated by the Dutch and Belgian navies. The company will design and supply four ship sets of sonar transducers for the Defence Materiel Organisation of the Royal Net

BARNSTAPLE-based J+S Ltd has been awarded a £1m contract for the sonar upgrade of ships operated by the Dutch and Belgian navies.

The company will design and supply four ship sets of sonar transducers for the Defence Materiel Organisation of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The transducers will be installed on the M-Class frigates operated by the Dutch and Belgian navies.

It is hoped that options for further ship sets for the M-class frigates operated by the Chilean and Portuguese navies will be taken up next year.

J+S Ltd has been supplying transducer products to the Royal Navy for many years, but the award of this contract continues a trend of recent successes in the export market. In the last two years the company has delivered more than £1.5m of transducer orders to overseas customers.

David Jeffries, managing director of J+S, said: "The award of this contract is highly significant since it represents a major export refit order won against tough competition. In recent years we have increased our focus on the export markets to compensate in part for the reduced spending on naval support activities in the UK market. While our early successes in the export markets tended to be based on refit programmes on vessels sold pursuant to the Royal Navy fleet disposal programmes, we are now achieving success in the wider market place."

A spokesman for the DMO said: "I am delighted to announce that J+S has been awarded this contract which was won against international competition. The development, production and support programme offered by them meets all our requirements and provides excellent value for money. J+S has enormous experience of designing and delivering transducers for naval customers and we look forward to working with them."

J+S Ltd operates from sites at Barnstaple and Aberdeen, employing 120 people on a range of engineering and production activities, primarily in naval support and sub-sea asset management for the North Sea oil and gas exploration markets. The company also supplies sub-sea connectivity solutions to the wave and tidal sectors of the Marine Renewable Energy market.