The UK Defence Equipment & Supply has awarded a contract to Houlder to upgrade the vehicle deck travelling monorail hoist systems on the UK Royal Navy’s HMS Bulwark and HMS Albion.

Under the contract, worth over £1m ($1.5m), the company will supply electric travelling monorail hoists with twin ratings of 6t safe working load (SWL) for general loads and 4.5t SWL for handling ordnance at sea.

The Royal Navy’s two 18,500t landing platform dock (LPD) ships are responsible for the transportation, deployment and recovery of troops, equipment, vehicles and cargo.

In addition, the amphibious assault ships will support counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations.

The ships’ capability to safely lift, manoeuvre and quickly load equipment throughout the internal vehicle decks is critical for their operational success.

Work will be carried out in cooperation with specialist crane builders Street CraneXpress and the first hoist system is scheduled to be completed by 2011.