HMS Chiddingfold Rejoins Her Crew after Major Revamp

HMS Chiddingfold Rejoins Her Crew after Major Revamp

The Portsmouth minehunter HMS Chiddingfold has been out of action since the end of last year as she undergoes a mid-life revamp, which has seen the heart of the ship ripped out… then replaced, while her 45 crew lived ashore.


That’s all changed. HMS Chiddingfold Rejoins Her Crew after Major RevampFor with the symbolic raising of the White Ensign and Union Jack for the first time since Cheery Chid went into dry-dock last year, the ship begins her second life.

And after raising the nation’s and Navy’s standards, the next thing to do was toast Her Majesty with a tot of rum. The crew vowed not to splice the mainbrace – as the Queen ordered following this summer’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations – until they were back on board.

That was the easy and enjoyable part of rejuvenating the Hunt-class ship. She’s the first of the eight-strong Portsmouth-based force to receive this mid-life major overhaul.


When Chid came back from the Gulf after three and a half years in the summer of 2011, she was lined up for the revamp which saw the ship’s Deltic engines ripped out and more efficient Caterpillar C32 ACERT ones installed in their place.

HMS Chiddingfold Rejoins Her Crew after Major Revamp

She has also received upgrades to her machinery monitoring systems, computer systems and had obsolete equipment removed, alongside a general spruce up.

In due course, all of Chiddingfold’s sisters will be upgraded over the next few years, significantly extending their operational lives, improving their efficiency, reliability and cutting their emissions, and maintaining the RN’s position at the forefront of mine warfare operations.

“We’ve eagerly watched the ship come back together over the last few weeks and a lot of work has gone into making sure Chid was ready to receive us onboard,” said Commanding Officer Lt Cdr Richard Rees.

“We can now continue making the ship our own and regenerate as the first Hunt to undergo this process.”

LCH Stokes-Lilley added:

“Bringing the galley back to life so that we can live onboard has been hard work and my team and I now need to make sure we keep the crew’s stomachs happy!”

The 45-strong ship’s company, working with BAE and Finnings, will now continue with trials on the new systems before Chid goes back to sea.

Naval Today Staff, November 1, 2012; Image: Royal navy