Improving welfare of personnel onboard warships
STS Defence has been selected as Prime Contractor for the Maritime Multimedia – MMM – programme from the UK MoD. Leading a team with Airbus Defence and Space and BFBS, STS Defence will provide Integrated Logistic Support for the equipment to receive, distribute and display TV and radio content and improve the onboard multimedia experience across the Fleet.
For the generation who have grown up with the internet, access to the web, social media, electronic communications and rich audio-visual content – consumed live or on-demand – has become a basic need, so providing ships’ companies with multimedia welfare and recreation services is key to future recruitment and is retention positive.
MMM’s technical refresh programme will update existing capabilities to modern standards and introduce a network infrastructure to deliver multimedia content and welfare connectivity using available satellite, cellular and alongside sources.
Delivering these capabilities across a fleet which differs widely in size, complement and deployment requires a solution that is low risk, cost-effective and scalable as well as being simple to install without impact on operational systems. The solution also needs to be compatible with a wide range of existing and emerging bearers and sources and adaptable as multimedia and communications technologies evolve while remaining aligned to users’ expectations
The technical refresh programme will be rolled out in stages to match platform priority and to leverage emerging requirements and programmes which will further enhance the onboard multimedia and welfare experience.
When the opportunity arose to tender for MMM, STS Defence based their offer on their strengths in providing Integrated Logistic Support to the RN, including the fleet-wide support of UHF satellite communications. Using an established through-life engineering capability, equipment is supported with capabilities ranging from the management of repairs, maintenance, obsolescence, spares and safety as well as post design services and technical documentation. A 24/7 telephone helpdesk lets users report issues and call upon support from CONDO-trained engineers.
In order to balance the needs for cost-effective support with the vision and in-depth knowledge of all current multimedia, welfare and communications programmes, STS Defence decided to seek an alliance with two companies with extensive knowledge of, and involvement in, the wider picture.
Airbus Defence and Space has extensive experience in the delivery, management and through-life support of satellite communications and welfare services to the Navy. As provider of WelComE welfare services including the unique card-for-life scheme that is deployed to all UK military personnel, they were the perfect partner to provide system-level design expertise and a profound understanding of how MMM fitted into the Navy’s long-term aspirations for welfare services.
A significant element of MMM is the need to distribute TV and radio received via satellite and local terrestrial broadcasts. STS Defence has established a close relationship with SSVC, the charity that provides BFBS Radio and TV to British armed forces around the world, to provide support and expertise of the broadcast and content-management aspects of the programme.
This team, led by STS Defence, is well placed to meet the challenge of ensuring that RN and RFA crews with access to multimedia and welfare services wherever they are, whenever and however they want to consume it.