May 17, 2016 - Engineers have begun deep maintenance to overhaul the Royal Navy's minehunter HMS Brocklesby in BAE Systems’ new Small Ships Centre of Specialization at Portsmouth Naval Base. The work is part of the £600 million Maritime Services Delivery Framework (MSDF) contract to support half of the Royal Navy's surface fleet on UK and global operations as well as the management of HM Naval Base Portsmouth. The MSDF contract was awarded to BAE Systems by the Ministry of Defence in 2014. The use of the facility, which is in part of the large ship hall complex on the naval base, is part of BAE Systems’ drive to improve the maintenance programme for the Royal Navy’s eight Hunt Class Mine Countermeasure Vessels (MCMVs). The new facility has been funded as part of the MSDF contract. The fleet of 13 MCMVs was built between 1979 and 1988 at shipyards in Southampton and Scotland. Eight remain in service with the Royal Navy, while the Hellenic Navy and Lithuanian Navy retain two each. The remaining pair of Hunt Class MCMVs are used as training facilities.
Barry Woolley, BAE Systems' Director of Projects and Operational Performance, said: “These warships have been instrumental in keeping our oceans and seas safe for the past 37 years, both in seeking and destroying sea mines and in their secondary role conducting Maritime Security Operations for the Royal Navy. “By undertaking their deep maintenance within the ship hall we will reduce the time they spend out of service by a third, deliver value for money to the Ministry of Defence, and ensure these vital ships are available for the Royal Navy to use for years to come.” The deep maintenance work on HMS Brocklesby includes replacing her engine and control systems and overhauling her generators, in order to extend her service life for another 15 to 20 years. The ship’s crew will also benefit from upgrades and refurbishment to the galley. In total, BAE Systems staff will spend around 190,000 hours carrying out a total of 9,000 maintenance tasks, big and small, on the 600-tonne ship. Capt Phil Milburn, RN, Captain Mine Warfare & Patrol Vessels, Diving and Fishery Protection (CMFP), said: “This is the perfect facility to undertake the deep maintenance work on the Hunt Class ships, and other small warships, and the Royal Navy is looking forward to accepting HMS Brocklesby back into service in record time.”