The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS St Albans is set to undergo repair works at Portsmouth Naval Base after completing its nine-month deployment.
The process has been made easier by pumping out 128,000t of water surrounding the vessel in one of the ten dry docks at the naval base.
As part of the upgrade, HMS St Albans will undergo maintenance works that will include repair works on its underwater fittings and rudders, in addition to painting them.
Royal Navy deputy marine engineering officer lieutenant Peter Ainscow said: “Getting into the dry dock is a lengthy process but it is essential to carry out essential underwater maintenance that otherwise would be expensive or impractical to be completed in the water by divers or in a habitat.
“All ships incur wear and tear from deployments and HMS St Albans, in particular, has been operating at a high operational tempo which makes this sort of work necessary for her continued capability.”
For several weeks, the Royal Navy frigate will be stationed in the Portsmouth Naval Base dry dock before returning into service.
In August 2014, HMS St Albans was re-commissioned after completing successful sea trials off the south coast in May.
The re-commissioning of the frigate marked the completion of a £25m redevelopment programme, under which BAE Systems carried out the modernisation works on HMS St Albans’ weapon systems, command and control computer systems and information processes, in addition to an upgrade of its main propulsion systems.
Image: The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans. Photo: courtesy of L(Phot) Dave Jenkins / MOD.