Tees Components

Tees Components' pride at official naming of £200m polar research ship


The official naming of the RRS Sir David Attenborough by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was also a proud moment for staff at Tees Valley engineering firm Tees Components.

For the company, based in North Skelton, near Saltburn, supplied four of its Tees White Gill thrusters for the £200m polar research ship after being contracted by the Cammell Laird shipyard on Merseyside.

The innovative 60-T3S-QR azimuth thrusters are specifically designed to allow the ship to overcome the challenges of station keeping at sea and provides highly accurate manoeuvrability in any direction, even in heavy ice.

Tees Components designed, manufactured and commissioned the 360-degree thrusters for the vessel, which is owned by the Natural Environmental Research Council and operated by the British Antarctic Survey.

It hit the headlines in 2016 after an online poll to come up with a name overwhelmingly endorsed ‘Boaty Mcboatface’. Instead, the vessel was named in honour of naturalist Sir David Attenborough and the humorous moniker was transferred to its remotely operated submersible.

Tees Components’ design of the globally approved vertical thrusters has contributed to the smooth hull shape and greatly improve the accuracy of the data it will collect.

Sharon Lane, Managing Director of Tees Components, said: “Everyone within this family-run firm is proud of the contribution it has made to the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

“The Tees White Gill thrusters are at the forefront of design and application and have developed an international reputation for their innovation and excellence.

“The thrusters are an example of great British design and expertise and reflects the engineering capabilities of Tees Components.”

Sir David Attenborough joined the Duke and Duchess at the naming ceremony at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead on Thursday (26 September).

The 130m-long, 15,000-tonne “floating science lab” will undertake world-leading research into the effects of climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic.



For further information contact Jamie Collis 01325 363436

Photo caption: The Tees White Gill Thrusters under construction at the Tees Components site


Editors’ Notes:

Since it was founded in 1963, Skelton-based Tees Components has developed into one of the country’s most comprehensive and versatile heavy machinists, operating very large CNC machines producing precision parts 24-hours-a-day.

It is an award-winning business with one of the largest machining capacities in the UK.

It has been involved in many high-profile complex projects including the Channel Tunnel, the Humber Bridge, and more recently waterjet Tees White Gill thrusters for RRS Sir David Attenborough, the Astute class of submarines, and prototype development for the offshore wind sector. 

back to Tees Components


The Tees White Gill Thrusters under construction at the Tees Components site
The Tees White Gill Thrusters under construction at the Tees Components site
Download Large Image