BMT Defence Services Ltd (DSL) is a company of some 240 people supporting the UK MoD holding a number of major support contracts covering Naval Architecture, Marine Engineering, Combat Systems and Programme Management Services including the Ministry of Defence's Propeller Shaft Seals and Bearings Development programme, which we are pleased to have held for some 15 years. Obviously, in that period we have accrued a large amount of knowledge and information on seals and water-lubricated 'A' bracket bearing performance. On behalf of the UK MoD we operate four full scale Test Rigs, including 200mm and 514mm shaft diameter rigs for the assessment of bearing materials. The 514mm rig [Plate I] is designated the 'Frigate Rig'. BMT also operates two shaft seal test rigs, one of 21.5 inch diameter and the other of 690mm diameter. The latter is the same diameter as that fitted to the UK Trident Submarine fleet and was used to validate the seal design prior to the submarine being brought into service.

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