Babcock to upgrade Type 23 frigate

Babcock is to undertake an upgrade and maintenance programme which began today on the Type 23 frigate HMS Portland at its Rosyth dockyard, including some significant upgrades and improvements to maintain the ship at peak effectiveness The docking period will draw on Babcock's experience from previous successful Type 23 refits, including that on HMS Kent recently completed by the same team, and its close partnering relationship with the MOD, to deliver the programme with maximum efficiency and minimised cost, representing optimum value for money. Among the upgrades and improvements that HMS Portland will receive during the substantial refit are the new DNA(2) Command System (key to the ship's fighting capability against air, surface and underwater threats); the new Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)), enabling information sharing and collaborative working across the defence sector network; the fit of Sonar 2087 (the tactical variable depth active and passive anti-submarine warfare (ASW) system), involving significant structural modifications to the aft end of the ship; the SeaWolf mid-life update (SWMLU) comprising tracking, guidance and weapon management upgrades to counter evolving anti-ship missile threats; the 4.5 Mk8 Mod1 gun replacement; and new 30mm automatic gun fit. Further upgrades will include NATO radial filters to protect fresh air supplies from contamination, and the Nuclear Biological Chemical Defence Incident Surveillance System; an upgrade to the High Pressure Air system (providing flexibility of supply); the fit of an electro-catalytic chlorination system to control fouling and corrosion in sea water cooling circuits (which in turn will help to extend the life of affected equipment, optimise engine efficiency and aid efficient fuel consumption, and optimise air conditioning capacity); and a galley equipment upgrade and habitability improvements. In addition to these upgrades a full programme of deep maintenance will be undertaken, including structural repairs, refurbishment and maintenance of all the ship's systems and equipment, and renewal of the hull coatings. The demanding and tightly scheduled programme is to be undertaken within an 11 month timeframe. Babcock Project Manager Russell Glancy said: "We will be applying our experience from previous Type 23 refits and will continue to build on the recent success of HMS Kent to ensure that this upgrade and maintenance programme is delivered safely and effectively, to schedule, within budget, and meeting the high quality standards for which Babcock is recognised. We will also ensure that the strong spirit of partnering between all key stakeholders (MOD, Ship's Staff and Babcock) is embedded within the team, thus ensuring we successfully meet the challenges of this project." MOD Project Group Manager, David Winstanley, said: "We are looking forward to the challenges of Portland's upkeep period and are confident that the embedded partnering ethos will ensure another successful project at Rosyth." HMS Portland will leave Rosyth for sea trials in autumn 2012.

Source: Babcock
Date: Dec 19, 2011