Royal Navy minehunter starts sea trials after 18-month refit

Photo: BAE Systems

Royal Navy’s Hunt-class mine counter measure vessel HMS Brocklesby has started her sea trials after spending 18 months in refit.

According to shipbuilder BAE Systems, the trials started four months earlier than usual.

Despite undergoing the largest work package for a Royal Navy mine countermeasure vessel (MCMV) to date, thanks to a new way of working at Portsmouth Naval Base, she will return to the Royal Navy’s surface fleet four months earlier than Hunt Class vessels in previous upkeeps.

The time saving is thanks to BAE Systems’ engineers being able to work on HMS Brocklesby under cover in the naval base’s dedicated Minor War Vessels Centre of Specialisation for part of her refit.

David Mitchard, Managing Director, Maritime Services, BAE Systems 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.”

During her upkeep, HMS Brocklesby has had her entire propulsion system replaced, including the machinery controls and surveillance system. Other upgrades include overhauling her chilled water plant and fitting new propellers. The ship’s crew have also benefitted from upgrades and refurbishment to the galley.

Lieutenant Commander Maryla Ingham, HMS Brocklesby’s Commanding Officer, said: “I would like to extend my thanks to all enterprise partners who contributed to HMS Brocklesby’s refit including BAE Systems, Portsmouth Flotilla (PORFLOT) and of course my own team. We are now back at sea and conducting trials and look forward to our return to full operational capability.”

HMS Quorn was moved into the Minor War Vessels Centre of Specialisation in December 2016 and is due to begin her major upkeep programme later this year.

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