SEA awarded £135m maritime countermeasures contract

Published 26th March 2024

Cohort, the Independent Technology Group announces that its subsidiary Systems Engineering and Assessment Ltd (SEA) has been awarded a £135m contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to provide a Trainable Decoy Launcher to improve Royal Navy surface ships’ defensive capabilities.

SEA’s Ancilia system, a highly modular and flexible maritime countermeasures solution, has been selected by the MOD to provide Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Increment 1a (EWCM 1a) to the Royal Navy. Ancilia delivers effective and rapid protection against modern anti-ship threats  such as  ballistic missiles as well as other sophisticated systems and tactics. It will be installed across a range of the Royal Navy’s surface ships. Its design builds on SEA’s deep knowledge of existing systems in service with the Royal Navy.

Built on technology developed collaboratively by Cohort subsidiaries SEA and Chess Dynamics, the Ancilia system offers a world-leading solution to a growing threat using the best available engineering solution from within the UK supply chain.

The Ancilia technology is a step-change from traditional fixed solutions, as its trainable nature removes the need to manoeuvre the vessel to counter incoming threats. Its relatively small size and weight enables rapid installation on a wide range of maritime platforms, and its capability to configure the firing of multiple decoy types in varying positions provides the Royal Navy with a truly flexible countermeasures solution.

Andy Thomis, Cohort Chief Executive said of the win:

“We are delighted that Cohort’s Ancilia system has been selected to provide this vitally important capability. It represents a strong vote of confidence in our operating businesses SEA and Chess, and in the Group as a whole.

“The conflict in Ukraine, and investment by some countries in advanced missile technology, has underlined the importance of defence against sophisticated anti-ship threats. Ancilia has generated considerable interest from overseas customers, and this contract award will boost its visibility still further. We estimate that our addressable market for systems of this kind in the coming years is at least £250m.

“The win will sustain employment for 150 professional and skilled staff in North Devon, and further success in export markets will generate new employment opportunities and economic benefits in the region and in the UK more widely.” 

Richard Flitton, SEA Managing Director said:

“The knowledge and maritime domain expertise within our UK-based team has enabled us to build a true and long-standing partnership with the Royal Navy. We’re delighted that this win will allow us to support the UK’s defensive capabilities against modern and complex naval threats, while bringing employment and economic benefits to North Devon.”

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