Case study

Kelvin Hughes wins naval contract with UK Export Finance support

UKEF helps British radar technology company, Kelvin Hughes, equip the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet tanker with a navigation bridge system.


Radar technology company, Kelvin Hughes, made a bid for a contract to supply the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) new Maritime Sustainment Capability vessel with an Integrated Navigation Bridge System (INBS). Finding sufficient cash flow to fulfil the contract was a challenge.

Kelvin Hughes was able to secure an advance payment to finance the work. In return, the RNZN required an Advance Payment Guarantee from Kelvin Hughes’s bank which was not possible within its existing financial arrangements.

Cash flow solution secured

With help from UK Export Finance (UKEF), Kelvin Hughes found a solution. Under our Bond Support Scheme, we provided Santander with a guarantee for 80% of the value of the Advance Payment Guarantee within three weeks. Our support helped Kelvin Hughes win the contract and demonstrate its position as a leading provider of navigation systems.

Equipped with Kelvin Hughes’s state of the art INBS, the Aotearoa will be the largest ship ever operated by the RNZN, costing $493 million. It will be constructed at the Ulsan Shipyard in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries and inducted into the RNZN in 2019 to 2020.

Could not have done it without UKEF

David Millard, Finance Director at Kelvin Hughes, said:

Our experience with UKEF has been fantastic. Their process was very straightforward, and we couldn’t believe the range of support it offers. Having our financial package in place with the bond support guarantee that we received from UKEF gave us the competitive edge that we needed to win this contract. We could not have done it without UKEF.

Julie Robertson, Senior Export Finance Manager for the South of England, said:

UK Export Finance has a proud track record of supporting British businesses like Kelvin Hughes win big export contracts. In 2017 to 2018, UKEF provided exporters based in the South-East with nearly £30 million of support, resulting in around £145 million worth of overseas sales, and I am delighted that our offer of financing proved so instrumental in Kelvin Hughes’s success.

About Kelvin Hughes

Headquartered in Enfield, North London, Kelvin Hughes operates a worldwide support network with offices in the UK, Singapore, Netherlands, Den-mark and USA. Kelvin Hughes was recently acquired by the HENSOLDT group. Headquartered in Munich, HENSOLDT is a global market leader in innovative civilian and military sensor solutions.

More information

Published 23 October 2018