Supercomputer company Cray has been awarded a contract to provide the Met Office in the United Kingdom with multiple XC supercomputers and Sonexion storage systems. The contract consists of three phases spanning multiple years, and is valued at $128 million. It is also the largest supercomputer contract ever for Cray outside of the United States, says the company.

The supercomputer from Cray will be 13 times more powerful than the current system used by the Met Office and will have 120,000 times more memory than a top-end smartphone, says the Met Office. The supercomputer, which will be based at the Met Office and Exeter Science Park, will be able to perform more than 16,000 trillion calculations per second, and at 140 tonnes, will weigh the equivalent of 11 double decker buses. The Met Office will use its new Cray supercomputers and storage systems for operational weather prediction and climate research.

The Cray Sonexion storage solution will be delivered in phases and, all total, will include more than 20 petabytes of storage capacity, running at speeds of more than 1.5 terabytes per-second of bandwidth. Consisting of products and services, the multi-year, multi-phase contract is valued at more than $128 million at current exchange rates. Multiple system deliveries are expected between 2014 and 2017, with the major deliveries expected between 2015 and 2017.

Headquartered in Exeter, England, the Met Office is the United Kingdom’s national weather service. The Met Office uses more than 10 million weather observations a day and an advanced atmospheric model to create 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings each day.

[Image courtesy: Met Office, UK]