Royal Navy minehunter maintenance begins in Portsmouth

Maintenance works on the Royal Navy Hunt-class minesweeper HMS Brocklesby have begun in BAE Systems’ new Small Ships Centre of Specialisation at Portsmouth Naval Base.

BAE said the work is part of a £600 million Maritime Services Delivery Framework (MSDF) contract to support half of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet on UK and global operations as well as the management of HM Naval Base Portsmouth. The MSDF contract was awarded to BAE Systems by the Ministry of Defence in 2014.

The use of the facility, which is in part of the large ship hall complex on the naval base, is part of BAE Systems’ drive to improve the maintenance programme for the Royal Navy’s eight Hunt Class Mine Countermeasure Vessels (MCMVs). The new facility has been funded as part of the MSDF contract.

The deep maintenance work on HMS Brocklesby includes replacing her engine and control systems and overhauling her generators, in order to extend her service life for another 15 to 20 years. The ship’s crew will also benefit from upgrades and refurbishment to the galley.

The fleet of 13 MCMVs was built between 1979 and 1988 at shipyards in Southampton and Scotland.

Eight remain in service with the Royal Navy, while the Hellenic Navy and Lithuanian Navy retain two each. The remaining pair of Hunt Class MCMVs are used as training facilities.

BAE Systems said its staff would spend around 190,000 hours carrying out a total of 9,000 maintenance tasks, big and small, on the 600-tonne ship.