Babcock will upgrade the UK Royal Navy’s minehunter, HMS Blyth, under a contract awarded by the Surface Ship Support Alliance.

During the six-month refit programme, the Sandown Class single-role minehunter will undergo capability upgrades, including a new high-pressure (HP) air system to increase the system’s pressure and extend its life.

Other upgrades include a new ammunition storage system, ammunition protection – known as Response to Attack on Ammunition – in the main magazine, as well as remote isolation capability to the waste water system.

In addition, the minehunter will also receive the new polymer-based foul-release paint system, which will be applied to the ship’s outer bottom to increase the vessel’s speed and fuel efficiency. All superstructure areas will be preserved and internal deck coverings will be renewed.

Babcock is expected to complete the refurbishment and begin sea trials in November 2010.

The Surface Ship Support Alliance is an alliance between the UK Ministry of Defence, Babcock and BAE Systems.