Royal Navy minehunter HMS Brocklesby has been returned to the waters of Portsmouth after spending 18 months in the ship hall undergoing refit.
The 196ft ship is the latest Hunt-class vessel to undergo a massive overhaul, chiefly focused on replacing old Deltic diesels engines, which powered her for 33 years, with new Caterpillar motors which should significantly cut her fuel bill.
Other systems have been serviced and, where necessary, replaced, a new chilled water plant installed (better able to cope with temperatures in the Gulf) and her decks and hull have been treated, repaired and re-painted – some 9,000 maintenance tasks in all, requiring 190,000 ‘man hours’ (or the equivalent of one person working solidly for more than 21 years).
“It was important for us to achieve this key milestone on time to make sure that Brocklesby will complete her regeneration and return to the fleet,” said marine engineer PO John Benson.
“We are looking forward now to getting onboard and continuing with that process.”
To date most of the work has been carried out in the cavernous ship hall in Portsmouth.
The refit, carried out jointly by staff from BAE and the ship’s company, continues afloat in the dockyard, ahead of harbour and sea trials, operational sea training in the summer and active duties once again in the autumn.