Babcock Delivers First Sandown Class Under COM Phase 2

Mon, 10 December 2012

Sandown class minehunter HMS Grimsby left Babcock’s Rosyth dockyard on Friday (30 November) with enhanced operational capability following a successful six month Support Period (Docking) (SP(D)).  This was the first Sandown class refit to be undertaken under the Surface Ship Support Alliance (SSSA) Class Output Management (COM) Phase 2 arrangements, under which Babcock leads the Sandown class COM team.

HMS Grimsby has received a number of upgrades and improvements, significantly enhancing the ship’s operational capability, sustainability and habitability standards, during the tightly scheduled support period.  These include a first-of-class replacement of the entire fire detection system; an upgraded high pressure air system (extending system life and offering cost and space benefits); the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) which provides a coherent infrastructure to enable information sharing and collaborative working across the defence sector network; the Centrix communications system; a fresh water embarkation unit (monitoring purification of shore supplied water); a package to enhance operations in hot climates; and a galley upgrade package.

These enhancements have been in addition to a substantial maintenance package, in which the vessel’s sustainability in extreme climates has been improved by an extensive renewal programme of protective coatings on the hull and weather decks, and considerable work has been undertaken to the air conditioning system, as well as removal and overhaul of the bow thruster units.

Babcock Managing Director Warships, Mike Whalley, commented: “We are delighted to be delivering HMS Grimsby in the best possible materiel state, while also reflecting optimum value for money for her support period.”

The knowledge of the vessel’s material state and experience gained from this support period will now be retained and built upon by the Babcock-led Sandown class COM team.  This will be invaluable for the forthcoming Sandown class refits to be undertaken by Babcock under the auspices of the SSS Alliance on HMS Penzance, and HMS Pembroke and Bangor.  Knowledge and experience gained will be captured to inform future work scope development, to minimise emergent tasks and achieve further efficiencies and savings.

SSS Alliance Sandown COM Team Leader Paul Holdsworth said: “The challenge for the COM and the wider SSSA is to provide an effective through life support service.  The goal is to optimise platform availability for the available budget to meet Fleet commitments.

“The close working relationship between the Ship’s Staff, MOD, Babcock Rosyth operations and production teams and the Sandown COM has ensured HMS Grimsby’s support period was completed on schedule, safely and to the quality standard.  This demonstrates one of the fundamental advantages that underpins the SSS Alliance Agreement: the joint responsibility in sharing expertise, knowledge, and skills in delivering successful performance for the Surface Ship Support Enterprise.”

Captain Jonathan Fry RN, the MoD’s Frigates & MCM Team Leader said: “I am delighted that HMS Grimsby is back at sea in such a good material state and with significantly enhanced capability.  The Sandown Class delivers a vital element of the Royal Navy’s operations worldwide, and the high quality support delivered by the Sandown COM and Rosyth dockyard is fundamental to their success.”

HMS Grimsby now leaves Rosyth for sea trials before returning to the Fleet in 2013.

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