Babcock Upgrades HMS Penzance’s Operational Capability

Babcock Upgrades HMS Penzance's Operational Capability

Sandown class mine hunter HMS Penzance has left Babcock’s Rosyth dockyard with enhanced operational capability, sustainability and habitability standards, following a successful six month Support Period (Docking) (SP(D)) by Babcock.

The support period was completed under the Surface Ship Support Alliance (SSSA) Class Output Management (COM) Phase 2 arrangements, and the work package was defined by the Babcock-led Sandown class COM team to reflect the ship’s needs and minimise the level of emergent work, drawing on knowledge of the ship’s material state and previous experience of Sandown class refits.

The upkeep has involved a number of upgrades and improvements that significantly enhance the vessel’s operational capability, sustainability, and habitability standards, in addition to a substantial maintenance package.

Upgrades have included installation of a replacement fire detection system; upgrades to the high pressure air system (extending system life, and offering cost and space benefits; Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) installation to provide a coherent infrastructure enabling information sharing and collaborative working across the defence sector network; installation of RATTAM (Response to Attack on Ammunition) arrangements; Chloropac installation (to combat marine growth in sea inlets); ballast re-siting to compensate for weight changes as a result of other work carried out; and a galley upgrade package, among other enhancements.

Additionally, the maintenance package has included represervation of the outer bottom and selected upper decks, and (based on lessons learned from previous Sandown class upkeeps) slow speed drive alignment checks and adjustment.

 Babcock Warships Managing Director Mike Whalley said: “Penzance is the second Sandown class to undergo a support period under the full COM arrangements, and has benefitted from the knowledge and experience gained by the COM team from HMS Grimsby (the first under COM), and previous successful Sandown class support periods. We are delighted to have completed the upkeep work safely and at optimum value for money, and to be delivering HMS Penzance in the best possible material state. As well as having benefitted from previous knowledge and experience gained, this refit will in turn contribute to forthcoming Sandown class support periods.”

MoD T23/MCM Team Leader, Captain Matt Harrison, said: “I am delighted that HMS Penzance is back at sea in such good material state and with significantly enhanced capability, which is a direct result of all the hard work by all stakeholders.”

HMS Penzance will now proceed on sea trials before returning to the Fleet later this month.

Press release, June 10, 2013; Image: Royal Navy