BMT Defence Services Ltd, a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, has completed a study of safety issues to determine feasible options for implementation during the planned 2008 refit of RFA ARGUS.

The Aviation Training Ship, RFA ARGUS has a secondary role as the primary casualty receiving facility.

The MOD’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service (RFAS) Integrated Project Team, now Afloat Support Directorate, commissioned the feasibility study, which was placed with cluster contractor A&P Falmouth.

A&P Falmouth and BMT have worked together since January 2006, co-operating on A&P Falmouth’s refit of RFA ARGUS, and on various warship refit bids.

Acting as A&P Falmouth’s design agent for the feasibility study, BMT investigated the ship’s structural safety, stability, casualty escape and evacuation, and fire safety.

During the study, BMT worked closely with MOD stakeholders such as the RFAS IPT, Director Equipment Capability, Fleet Command, Fleet MedOps, ARGUS Waterfront Team, Technical Enabling Service Air Systems Group, Naval Authority Integrated Project Teams (IPT) and the ship’s staff, as well as A&P Falmouth, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping and with those responsible for awarding Key Hazard Certificates.

“The safety issues were interrelated and the study was quite complex due to constraints imposed by the vessel itself,” says David Lester-Card, Head of Naval Engineering at BMT Defence Services.

“We’ve made recommendations and, subject to decisions on the ship’s roles, the project will progress to the assessment and detailed design phase through to August 2008.”

“By building on our partnership with A&P and the wider project team associated with this work, the development of the study has satisfied the key requirement sets. This has resulted in DEC redefining RFA ARGUS’ primary role post the 2008 Refit and, therefore, allowed the MOD to prepare for the extensive conversion package together with Cluster Managers, A&P Falmouth.”

BMT Defence Services are continuing to support A&P and the newly formed Afloat Support Directorate in the development of the design solutions that are being incorporated in the 2008 refit.