Awarded contract

Submarine Main Battery TDP Phase 3a - Final Module Design

  • Ministry of Defence

F15: Voluntary ex ante transparency notice

Notice reference: 2021/S 000-021222

Published 26 August 2021, 10:45pm

Section one: Contracting authority/entity

one.1) Name and addresses

Ministry of Defence

Submarine Delivery Agency, Spruce 1b #1110, MOD Abbeywood


BS34 8JH


Bradley Clarke



United Kingdom

NUTS code

UK - United Kingdom

Internet address(es)

Main address

one.6) Main activity

Other activity

Submarine main battery design and development

Section two: Object

two.1) Scope of the procurement

two.1.1) Title

Submarine Main Battery TDP Phase 3a - Final Module Design

Reference number


two.1.2) Main CPV code

  • 73426000 - Development of military electronic systems

two.1.3) Type of contract


two.1.4) Short description

Development of an existing Nickle-Zinc (NiZn) Submarine battery module design

two.1.6) Information about lots

This contract is divided into lots: No

two.1.7) Total value of the procurement (excluding VAT)

Value excluding VAT: £22,300,000

two.2) Description

two.2.2) Additional CPV code(s)

  • 31422000 - Battery packs

two.2.3) Place of performance

NUTS codes
  • AU - Australia
  • UK - United Kingdom

two.2.4) Description of the procurement

Develop and improve an existing Nickel- Zinc (NiZn) Submarine main battery module design inclusive of initial production standard module build, shock testing and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) pre-qualification.

two.2.5) Award criteria


two.2.11) Information about options

Options: Yes

Description of options

Option 1: Phase 3b - Manufacture of a full-scale array and Land Based Testing of the array - Max Price - £20,000,000

two.2.13) Information about European Union Funds

The procurement is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: No

Section four. Procedure

four.1) Description

four.1.1) Type of procedure

Negotiated procedure without publication of a contract notice

  • No tenders or no suitable tenders/requests to participate in response to negotiated procedure with prior publication of a contract notice
  • The products involved are manufactured purely for the purpose of research, experiment, study or development
  • The works, supplies or services can be provided only by a particular economic operator for the following reason:
    • absence of competition for technical reasons


(i) The purpose of this Voluntary Transparency Notice (VTN) is to alert the market of the intention of the Technology Development Management Group (TDMG), which forms part of the Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA), to enter into a contract on a single source basis with PMB DEFENCE ENGINEERING PTY LTD.

(ii) The contract shall be for the development and testing of a Nickel-Zinc (NiZn) battery technology which includes the delivery of a final module design, build of initial production standard modules, shock testing and EMI qualification. The work undertaken under this contract shall be a further iteration of a module design produced under an earlier contract with PMB DEFENCE ENGINEERING PTY LTD. The NiZn battery is being developed as an alternative to the Lead-Acid battery which is currently required to support the Astute Class submarine with the aim of achieving enhanced energy storage and safety improvements.

(iii) A competition was conducted for Phase 1 of the Submarine Main Battery Technology Development Project (TDP) to test the energy storage market and the NiZn cell design which is being developed by PMB was taken forward. The Submarine Main Battery TDP is moving into Phase 3 of the NiZn battery development.

(iv) The contract shall be subject to the negotiated procedure without prior publication of a contract notice pursuant to Article 28(1)(e) of Directive 2009/81/EC and Regulation 16(1)(a)(ii) of the Defence and Security Public Contract Regulations (DSPCR) 2011 (SI 2011/No 1848) where for technical reasons the contract may only be awarded to a particular economic operator. This is due to the technical need to utilise the PMB cell design for the existing NiZn battery module design work conducted under Phase 1 and 2 of the Submarine Main Battery TDP. PMB DEFENCE ENGINEERING PTY LTD are the only economic operator with the tools, knowledge, skills and expertise to be able to continue the development of the NiZn Submarine Main Battery.

(v) The existing module design has been developed using the PMB NiZn cell design, PMB are the only contractor who can continue to develop the main battery design without having to redesign the battery module to make use of a different cell design or battery technology.

(vi) It is anticipated that the contract award date will be November 2021 with an estimated value of GBP 2.3 million (ex VAT). Please note that the date and value are provided for indicative purposes only.

four.1.8) Information about the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)

The procurement is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement: No

Section five. Award of contract/concession

A contract/lot is awarded: Yes

five.2) Award of contract/concession

five.2.1) Date of conclusion of the contract

20 August 2021

five.2.2) Information about tenders

The contract has been awarded to a group of economic operators: No

five.2.3) Name and address of the contractor/concessionaire





NUTS code
  • AU - Australia
The contractor/concessionaire is an SME


five.2.4) Information on value of contract/lot/concession (excluding VAT)

Total value of the contract/lot/concession: £22,300,000

five.2.5) Information about subcontracting

The contract/lot/concession is likely to be subcontracted

Section six. Complementary information

six.4) Procedures for review

six.4.1) Review body

MOD Central Legal Services-Commercial Law (CLS-CL)



United Kingdom