HMS Shoreham, the Royal Navy's newest Sandown class single role minehunter, has left Babcock's Rosyth dockyard on-time and on-budget today with improved operational capability, following a substantial upgrade and maintenance programme undertaken by Babcock.
Among the various upgrades received, HMS Shoreham is now the second single role minehunter to have the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)) installed, enabling information sharing and collaborative working across the defence sector network.
Additionally, a high pressure air upgrade has increased output pressure and brings space and cost benefits, while further upgrades include a remote isolation capability for the waste water system, fitting of a chloropac dosing system (to reduce fouling by marine organisms), and re-siting of five tonnes of ballast. Full renewal of the outer bottom paint coatings with the new foul-release system will also improve the vessel's speed and fuel efficiency. Further work has included habitability improvements to living quarters, and considerable work on the air conditioning plant, and sea water cooling systems. In addition, a major overhaul was carried out on both main engines.
Close working between Babcock and the MoD in advance of the support period, building on Babcock's experience including HMS Blyth's recent docking period, enabled a work package to be developed that reflected the vessel's requirements while identifying cost reductions where possible, ensuring optimum value for money. It also enabled challenges, such as the reduced timescale between the start date and ship's staff moving on board to accommodate a longer setting to work period for DII, among others, to be successfully addressed.
Babcock project manager Dave Gibb commented: "We are delighted to have returned HMS Shoreham on-time, in-budget, and with improved operational capability at optimum value for money. The effect of material shortages presented a significant challenge to all stakeholders and the success of the project, but these were overcome by the effective working relationship between Babcock, Ship's Staff, CD(R) and the MoD Surface Combatants team, which has been built up over previous projects and reinforced on HMS Shoreham."
MoD Programme Group Manager David Winstanley said: "This is an excellent result for a project which has seen a significant number of material supply difficulties. The success is a testament to the strength and durability of the partnering arrangement and the valuable contributions from the wider stakeholder community."
HMS Shoreham will now undergo sea trials before returning to the fleet in October.
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