Babcock delivers Type 23 frigate on-time, in-budget

Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond left Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard today to start sea trials, following a successful upgrade and maintenance programme completed on-schedule and in-budget by Babcock.

The tightly scheduled and complex refit programme has been a challenging one, involving a number of important capability upgrades, plus extensive outer bottom hull repair and represervation work, and has benefited from the close partnering between Babcock, the MoD and ship’s staff, and Babcock’s experience on previous Type 23 docking periods.

HMS Richmond leaves Devonport with a number of upgrades and improvements.  Upgrades to key weapon and communication systems have included the DNA(2) Command System (which involved a large set to work package to link every weapon system onboard); upgrades to 30mm Automatic Small Calibre Guns; and the SeaWolf Mid Life Update (SWMLU) which will provide an enhanced capability to the existing system to counter an evolving anti-ship missile threat.  The Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)) providing an information sharing and collaborative working capability across the Armed Forces and MoD has been installed, involving installation of power and data cables throughout the ship.  Extensive improvements have also been undertaken to the venting system providing even distribution of fresh air, significantly improving habitability for the crew on board.  These upgrades and improvements are in addition to a full programme of deep maintenance. 

Among the key challenges was a significant emergent structural rectification package to the outer bottom, hull, superstructure and masts, which required some major insert repairs to satisfy Lloyd’s Register Naval Class requirements.   In all, some 500 items of equipment have been overhauled, 20 km of cable installed and 13,000 litres of paint applied during the course of the 10 month docking period. 

Babcock’s Warship Support Head of Operations, Devonport, Mike Weeks commented: “We have built on previous experience and introduced a number of production process improvements in the delivery of this refit to optimise efficiency, safety and cost-effectiveness.  This coupled with our close working with the MoD and ship’s staff to address the various challenges involved, has enabled us to deliver Richmond safely, to quality and schedule, and at optimum value for money.”

Capt Chris Saxby RN Superintendent Fleet Maintenance (Devonport) said:  “Richmond’s SSPD(3) has been a very demanding engineering project with an extensive structural engineering repair programme involving over 250 structural inserts.  The incorporation of this exceptionally high level of work, together with numerous upgrades and enhancements, within the programme has been a remarkable achievement.  Richmond has today successfully completed her Ready for Sea Date Inspection to commence Sea Acceptance Trials and is in good shape to achieve Fleet Date later in the summer.” 

Source: Babcock International
Date: Jun 12, 2012