Babcock has started work on a major upkeep and upgrade programme on HMS Albion at its Devonport Royal Dockyard.
The two year maintenance period will include a number of key upgrades which will greatly enhance the ship’s capability to perform as a key asset to the Royal Navy in future challenging and demanding operational situations. Over 100 alterations and additions will be completed as part of the upkeep.
Additionally a major maintenance programme will include the overhaul of all engines and a complete strip-down and extensive maintenance work on all systems. The upkeep period will see more than 20,000m2 (equivalent to three football pitches) of tank blasting and preservation undertaken, over 40km of new electrical cables installed, and in excess of 1.5km of new pipework.
The programme is being delivered under the Surface Ship Support Alliance (between the MoD, Babcock and BAE Systems) Class Output Management (COM) approach, under which Babcock leads the support of all amphibious vessels.
HMS Albion docked down at Devonport in October 2014, prior to the start of the upkeep period, as part of a different approach to regeneration, to refine and de-risk the refit in advance and ensure that the work is incorporated into the specification from the start, thereby limiting growth in the package. Planning for this upkeep period has drawn substantially on experience from previous amphibious ship upkeeps, notably the recent major upkeep period on HMS Ocean.
Babcock Amphibious COM Team Leader Dai Dumbleton commented: “There is no doubt that the Albion upkeep period is a unique project which will present some significant issues, with equipment and sub-systems that will be in an unknown condition as well as challenges around obsolescence and replacement spares. Babcock is ready and fully dedicated to delivering this project successfully at optimum value to the customer.”
HMS Albion is scheduled to leave Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard to start sea trials in early 2017. When she returns to the fleet, following sea trials, HMS Albion will replace sister ship HMS Bulwark as one of the Royal Navy’s key capital ships.
Babcock International Group is the UK’s market-leading engineering support services company, delivering complex and critical asset support both in the UK and overseas. With revenue of circa £4.5 billion in 2015 and an order book of circa £20 billion, we manage vital assets within a number of industry sectors including energy, defence, emergency services, transport, telecommunications and education.