A BLANTYRE-BASED firm has won a significant contract with the Ministry of Defence for its vessel cleaning technology.

Under the deal, Cactus Industrial supplies the tools and parts for cleaning ships and submarines while also training 12 personnel initially in how to use the equipment.

The tool blasts off surface corrosion and other issues from the sea-going vessels using its rotary grinding mechanism and “profiles” the steel underneath so that anti-corrosion coating can be applied.

The firm claims its equipment is an improvement on other tools with benefits including that the operation is more confined.

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Cactus has already deployed members of staff to deliver training to Royal Navy personnel and contractors in the effective use of its Bristle Blaster technology in preparing surfaces affected by the marine environment, both on Royal Navy surface vessels and the submarine fleet.

The purchase order, cost undisclosed, was placed after the equipment went through extensive trials at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth.

Jamie Gallagher, chief executive of Cactus Industrial, said that the technology is “uniquely suited to maintaining valuable Royal Navy assets including ships and submarines”.

He said: “We have now trained and educated Royal Navy personnel in how to use the Cactus Bristle Blaster for optimal surface preparation for maintaining the UK’s sea-going fleet. Blasting without grit technology is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that Royal Navy ships and submarines are prepared to face the harsh marine environment with as little downtime as possible.”

Paul Waugh, Royal Navy Warrant Officer 1, said: “A classroom introduction with hands-on training showed how correct surface conditions are achievable so preservation efforts become more effective - thus improving the material state of the platforms.”