British Royal Navy's HMS Albion completes sea trials following £90m refit


The British Royal Navy's assault ship HMS Albion has successfully completed four weeks of initial sea trials following the vessel's £90m mid-life technical upgrade programme.

The vessel is one of the navy’s two amphibious assault ships, and is currently being prepared for delivery to the Royal Navy.

HMS Albion carried out its trials after being placed in extended readiness at its home base in Devonport for approximately six years.

The refurbishment works were carried out over a period of more than two years, and saw 110 major changes and enhancements made to the ship.

The vessel had an additional 130 men and women on-board during the trials, in addition to the ship's crew.

"The refurbishment works were carried out over a period of more than two years, and saw 110 major changes and enhancements made to the ship."

HMS Albion carries a permanent Royal Marines detachment, which is in charge of two large landing craft that are capable of carrying Challenger tanks, as well as four smaller variants for troops and vehicles such as Land Rovers.

A wide range of trials were carried out to assess various features that were new to the assault ship's class.

These features include Artisan 3D radar, Phalanx Gatling gun, electronic warfare systems, and the DNA2 command system, which combines input from the vessel’s many sensors and converts the data into displays and information for crew members to interpret.

HMS Albion was initially placed at extended readiness in late-2011, following a decision taken by the UK Government in the Strategic Defence and Security Review to operate one of two amphibious ships at any one point of time.


Image: HMS Albion conducts four weeks of initial sea trials. Photo: courtesy of British Royal Navy.