British Royal Navy's upgraded HMS Albion completes sea trials


The British Royal Navy's Albion-class amphibious command ship HMS Albion has successfully concluded its sea trials following a £90m upgrade programme.

The future flagship was placed at extended readiness in late 2011 and completed its initial sea trials earlier this year, which were conducted in order to test the vessel's the machinery and sensory systems.

HMS Albion commanding officer captain Tim Neild said: “Albion has been performing really well throughout the sea trials package.

“We are buoyed by the prospect of a return to the front line. With such a capable ship and a highly professional crew, I have no doubt that we will see a really positive return on the Royal Navy's investment as we return to high readiness, ready to protect our nation's interests worldwide.”

HMS Albion returned to sea after completing its two-year mid-life technical modernisation programme in Devonport.

The revamp project was carried out by Babcock Marine in collaboration with the Defence Equipment and Support organisation and various defence contractors, and is expected to enable the ship to be in service with the navy into the 2030s.

"I have no doubt that we will see a really positive return on the Royal Navy's investment as we return to high readiness."

The scope of the project included the installation of a new cooling system that will enable the vessel to operate in warmer climates. 

It also comprised the integration of an upgraded radar solution and a new command system, which will transform data from the ship's sensors into interpretable information for the operations room team.

Additionally, the refit included the installation of Phalanx automated Gatling guns to replace the traditional Goalkeeper system.

HMS Albion is set to rejoin service with the navy as a high-readiness amphibious ship in 2018.


Image: Future flagship HMS Albion completes sea trials after £90m overhaul. Photo: courtesy of the Royal Navy.