Babcock begins docking period for HMS Monmouth

Babcock has begun work on a 15 month refit period for HMS Monmouth at Devonport Royal Dockyard, where the Type 23 frigate docked down on Friday (31January 2014).  This brings to four the number of concurrent support periods now underway on Royal Naval ships at Babcock’s Devonport dockyard.

The refit on HMS Monmouth will involve a number of upgrades and improvements that will significantly improve the frigate’s sustainability and fighting capability.  These include Radar 996 replacement with Artisan 3D Medium Range Radar 997, Vertical Launch Seawolf midlife update, galley updates, installation of a chloropac system that reduces marine growth in the pipe system, the installation of Automatic Small Calibre Guns, and modifications to high pressure air systems to allow safer isolation of distinct parts.

Additionally, the deep maintenance work to be carried out as part of the refit programme includes rudder inspections, replacement or overhaul of all hull valves, shaft replacement, revalidation of the hull and structures, renewal of high and low pressure air compressors and overhaul of both special service air compressors, and a large re-preservation programme.

The workscope has been developed by the COM and operational teams, drawing on their knowledge of the material state of the vessel and lessons learned from previous successful Type 23 refits, helping to ensure that the right work is undertaken at the right time and minimise emergent work, to ensure maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness for optimum value for money.

Babcock Warship Support SSS Delivery Director Mike Weeks said: “Particular challenges for this refit will include the 100% removal of the dock blocks to allow survey and painting of the hull, using an innovative hydraulic lifting process being used for the first time on a Type 23 frigate.  We look forward to completing the project to time, cost & quality allowing HMS Monmouth to return to the Fleet much enhanced and in a very good material state for her to continue in her role.’’

HMS Monmouth is scheduled to leave Devonport in early 2015 for sea trials, returning to the Fleet in mid 2015.