Royal Navy’s amphibious warship HMS Albion left the dockyard at HMNB Devonport and moved to a tidal berth where she will now undergo final preparations before heading out to sea.
Repositioning HMS Albion onto her new tidal berth marks a significant milestone in her regeneration schedule. Since 2011, the ship has been alongside in Devonport at extended readiness, with the past two years undertaking a major refit.
The Captain of HMS Albion, Captain Tim Neild, said, “It’s great to see HMS Albion back on her tidal berth and marks a significant milestone in the refit project.
“We are on track to complete the project by the summer – a testament to the hard work and professional pride poured in to the ship by a combined Royal Navy, Babcock and DE&S team effort.”
Re-floated in May 2016, the ship was towed to the largest non-tidal basin to commence testing and re-commissioning of her own power systems at the same time the crew rejoined in newly refurbished accommodation in January.
This morning HMS Albion was effectively placed under sailing orders-for the first time in six years.
It took six tugs and several hours to line the 20,000 tonne, 176m long and 36m wide warship up ready to slip through the narrow dock gate. The exit is narrow with only four metres margin for error and the whole move had to be complete in less than one hour while the tide was still slack.
HMS Albion is now on a jetty in Devonport where final preparations for going to sea can be completed.
Tests of HMS Albion’s propulsion systems and numerous other support systems, such as the new Phalanx Close In Weapon System will commence in anticipation of the ship returning to sea in the summer to start a busy and complex time of sea trials and operational training ahead of rejoining the fleet for operational service in 2018.