HMS Richmond ready for sea following technology led lifex (life extension) package

Babcock International, the Aerospace and Defence Company, has completed the Power Generation and Machinery Controls Update (PGMU) embodiment for the Type 23 Class frigate, HMS Richmond at Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard.

HMS Richmond, is the first Type 23 frigate to receive such a work package. The PGMU replaced the main generators and conversion equipment and was accompanied by a fully-modernised control and surveillance system, making it easier to control and monitor the engines.

The design team at Babcock built a Virtual Reality (VR) model which they used to support the design and production process. Each affected compartment was laser scanned from 10 different positions to create a detailed digital image. Designers then removed redundant systems from the model, and overlaid the new systems in software.

Following the refit HMS Richmond is now ready for sea trials.

The PGMU package is the biggest design change for the Type 23 platform since build and formed a large proportion of a total upkeep package which involved a team of over 350 Babcock employees working a total of 1 million hours. The installation included 600 metres of new pipework and over 8 km of new cable. 

Mark Varney, Project Manager for Marine Warships, said:

“The use of virtual reality and 3D CAD technology allowed us to anticipate any issues ahead of working on HMS Richmond.  In particular, the pipefitters working on the frigate were enthused by it, as it provided an opportunity to manufacture accurate pipework by CNC rather than traditional wire methods; resulting in a significant saving in production hours.”

Will Erith, Babcock’s Surface Ships Managing Director, said:

 “We are delighted to have worked with our Customer to complete this rigorous work package and are excited to see her progress through sea trials in the final important phase of the project.”

Following sea trials HMS Richmond will spend the rest of the year undergoing extensive training.