HMS Ocean repair

The UK Royal Navy’s amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean has successfully completed the initial phase of engineering sea trials, after undergoing a multimillion-pound refit.

The trials, held off the south-west coast, involved testing of the vessel’s propulsion plant, auxiliary machinery and steering to the limit, while reaching speeds of more than 20k, the fastest achieved by the vessel since being built.

Refurbishment work was carried out by Babcock at Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouth, UK, under a £65m contract, which involved updates and enhancements to the radar, gun, command system and living quarters.

Furthermore, Babcock assisted the vessel’s marine engineers in testing, adjusting and fine tuning the engines.

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HMS Ocean senior engineer commander Shane Doran said: "There is a formidable amount to do when you bring a warship out of refit.

"That we have achieved so much in record time is down to the commitment and skill of the ship’s engineering technicians."

Aircraft lifts and weapon equipment were also updated to meet the surface-ship support alliance’s class-output management approach.

"After an extended support period, it feels good to have Ocean back at sea again."

Chief petty officer engineering technician Matt Christie said: "After an extended support period, it feels good to have Ocean back at sea again.

"Setting the propulsion plant to work has been an arduous process, but we have met the standards required and exceeded expectations."

Powered by two Crossley Pielstick 16 PC2.6 V 200 medium-speed diesel engines, HMS Ocean can cruise at a maximum speed of 18k, and has a range of 8,000 miles.

The 203m-long warship, which is designed to accommodate approximately 1,100 people, is capable of operating 12 EH101 Merlin and six Lynx helicopters, and has landing and refuelling facilities for Chinook helicopters.

Image: Petty officer engineering technician Gemma Wollaston carrying out engineering works during the refit of HMS Ocean. Photo: courtesy of the Royal Navy.

Defence Technology