Babcock takes on full Type 23 upkeep responsibility for Royal Navy

Navy and Babcock representatives shaking hands inside Babcock's frigate support centre

Capt Dan Peskett and Babcock's Assistant Chief Engineer Tony Cox

Babcock has been awarded the contract to manage the Type 23 class frigate Refit Support Group, allowing the company to take end-to-end responsibility for vessel upkeep and regeneration in preparation for handover to the ship’s crew.

This innovative change follows more than five years of close working between the Royal Navy-led Refit Support Group and Babcock. It frees up UK Royal Navy personnel for front line operations and creates new and exciting roles for 40 Babcock engineering technicians and managers at its Devonport facility, who now take responsibility for routine maintenance, addressing emergent defects and contracted upkeep projects.

Babcock’s Type 23 Refit Support Group engineering technicians will work alongside Babcock’s Upkeep project teams to ensure vessel systems are maintained and regenerated. The move is targeted to deliver improved platform availability through more seamless management of upkeep activity. It has already contributed to success in assisting Ship’s Staff and the Upkeep project team in delivering HMS St Albans to sea three months ahead of schedule.

Captain Dan Peskett, Royal Navy, the Type 23 Strategic Class Authority in Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), said: “This new approach demonstrates the continued evolution of the Type 23 Refit Support Group and recognises Babcock as our trusted partner for deep maintenance. It also provides the opportunity for seamless integration between Ship’s Staff roles and upkeep delivery driving improved schedule adherence and risk mitigation. The delivery of the Refit Support Group by Babcock also allows our valuable Royal Navy engineers to be made available for other roles where they are needed.”

Babcock’s Marine Support Technical Director, Martin Burns, said: “Our team has delivered Refit Support Group full operating capability to plan, building on our long-standing Type 23 frigate support capability. This innovation, in collaboration with our Royal Navy and DE&S customers, is a great step towards de-risking Type 23 upkeep programme delivery, as demonstrated with St Albans, enabling our thorough understanding and control of material state during upkeep as well as releasing Royal Navy personnel to support fleet operational priorities.”