The UK Royal Navy’s Sandown-class minehunter HMS Grimsby is undergoing six-month support period (docking) (SP(D)) at Babcock’s Rosyth dockyard, marking the first refit to be carried out as part of the Surface Ship Support Alliance (SSSA) class output management (COM) phase 2 arrangements.
The SSSA, which formed in April, is an alliance between the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Babcock and BAE Systems.
UK MoD’s frigates and mine counter-measures vessels team leader captain Jonathan Fry said: "HMS Grimsby’s docking period will be a good early test of the alliance’s resolve to deliver a complex package of work to meet the Royal Navy’s demanding operational schedule.
"The Sandown-class forms an essential element of both the security of UK waters and conflict prevention across the globe, which is why the upgrades being installed in this SP(D) are so important."
Under the refit programme, the maintenance package will include several upgrades and enhancements intended to significantly improve the minehunter’s operational capability, sustainability and habitability standards.
Scheduled work on the ship includes replacement of the entire fire detection system, inclusion of an upgraded high-pressure air system to extend system life and lower cost and space, as well as the defence information infrastructure (DII) to enable sharing of information and collaboration.
Additional upgrades include the Centrix communications system, fresh water embarkation unit for monitoring purification of shore supplied water, a package to enhance operations in hot climates and a galley upgrade package.
Based on the previous experience gained, the current Sandown-class refit includes the pre-docking material assessment, as well as an efficient method of ballast elimindation and early removal of system components.
Babcock warship support operations head Mike Weeks said: "The team’s goal is to return HMS Grimsby to her operational commander in the best possible material state on completion of her short but very busy SP(D)."
HMS Grimsby is expected to undergo sea trials by the end of the year.
Image: The UK Royal Navy’s Sandown-class minehunter, HMS Grimsby. Photo: courtesy of the Royal Navy.