The UK Royal Navy's Sandown-class minehunter HMS Grimsby (M108) has successfully completed a six-month support period (docking) (SP(D)) at Babcock's Rosyth dockyard and is ready to undergo sea trials.
Under the Surface Ship Support Alliance (SSSA) class output management (COM) phase 2 arrangement, HMS Grimsby is the first ship to receive upgrades for enhanced operational capabilities, sustainability and habitability.
The SSSA formed in April and is an alliance between the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Babcock and BAE Systems.
Upgrades to the vessel include replacement of the entire fire detection system and an integration of a high-pressure air system to extend system life, cost and space benefits.
In addition to a Centrix communications system, the frigate is equipped with defence information infrastructure (DII) to provide to enable information sharing and collaborative working.
Additional upgrades include a freshwater unit to monitor purification of shore supplied water, a package to enhance operations in hot climates and a galley upgrade package.
SSS Alliance Sandown COM team leader Paul Holdsworth said that the programme aimed to optimise platform availability for the available budget to meet fleet commitments.
"The close working relationship between the ship's staff, MoD, Babcock Rosyth operations and production teams and the Sandown COM has ensured HMS Grimsby's support period was completed on schedule, safely and to the quality standard," Holdsworth added.
Featuring very low magnetic and acoustic signatures, Sandown-class vessels are armed with an Oerlikon 30mm gun with a range of up to 10km and two ML Aviation Barricade lightweight decoy launchers to launch infrared decoys and chaff.
HMS Grimsby is scheduled to return to the fleet in 2013, following sea trials.
Image: HMS Grimsby leaves Babcock's Rosyth dockyard for sea trials. Photo: courtesy of Babcock International.