The British Royal Navy's Hunt-class mine countermeasure vessel (MCMV) HMS Brocklesby has commenced sea trials from Portsmouth Naval Base, marking a significant milestone in its refit programme.
The minehunter is expected to return to operations within the Royal Navy’s surface fleet following refurbishment four months earlier than any other Hunt-class vessel to date.
BAE Systems Maritime Services managing director David Mitchard said: “The work carried out on-board HMS Brocklesby is the largest refit programme for a Royal Navy minehunter we have undertaken, so to begin her sea trials four months earlier than any previous upkeep for a Hunt-class vessel is a terrific achievement.
“This is testament to the new ways of working to maximise how we use the Minor War Vessels Centre of Specialisation at the naval base, as well as the planning and procedures we put in place to ensure the significantly reduced duration of her upkeep programme.”
The entire propulsion system of HMS Brocklesby was replaced during the maintenance period, along with the vessel’s machinery controls and surveillance system.
Other upgrades include overhauling the vessel’s chilled water plant and installing new propellers, in addition to the renovation of the ship’s galley.
BAE initially received the £15m contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to replace the 30-year-old propulsion systems on-board the Royal Navy's eight Hunt-class vessels in October 2010.
Another MCMV known as HMS Quorn was transported to the Minor War Vessels Centre of Specialisation in December, and is slated to begin its major maintenance programme later this year.
Image: The British Royal Navy’s Hunt-class MCMV, HMS Brocklesby. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.