19 Mar 15. Babcock has successfully delivered a first for the Sandown Volvo Generator Programme (SVGP), fitting the new generator sets in HMS Penzance as part of a deployed support period in Bahrain during her Gulf deployment. SVGP replaces the now aging Perkins CV8 diesel generators with the modern, efficient and more environmentally friendly Volvo Penta D13 Marine diesel generator set. The programme is rolling through all seven Sandown class mine countermeasure vessels in a fast paced 18 month period, easing the maintenance loading while improving diesel generator reliability and therefore platform availability. HMS Bangor was the first of class to be fitted with new generators during a dry dock support period undertaken by Babcock at Rosyth last year. The modification design work has been delivered by Babcock’s Design Management Services team, ensuring all aspects of the design are well considered to fit the new generator footprint; from compartment air flow, fuel and lubrication oil system integration to control interfaces and exhaust compatibility. The success of this fit programme has enabled experience to be captured and measures taken to allow remaining fits to be undertaken outside docked support periods, extending regular support periods by one week for the purpose. This was successfully proven in HMS Pembroke during her support period undertaken by Babcock in Rosyth in autumn 2014.
The latest SVGP installation is now complete in HMS Penzance, the third Sandown class minehunter to receive the new generator set. The fit was achieved whilst deployed in the Gulf operating areas and was overlaid with other key work packages, including an air conditioning plant improvement package and other support period maintenance work. In-theatre engineering support was delivered by the Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY) in Bahrain as the shipyard of choice to complete the support period. The Babcock-led Sandown Class Output Management (COM) team (under the Surface Ship Alliance between the MoD, Babcock and BAE Systems) provided project management and key technical oversight for the support period, including the SVGP fit and other docking activities. These included emergent and additional work to address the extreme climatic effects on the minehunters deployed in the Gulf environment, including optimising the air conditioning, suppressing marine growth, and addressing upper deck paintwork requirements as well as the removal and overhaul of hull valves and inspection, cleaning and re-preservation of sea tubes, salt water strainers and machinery coolers.
16 Mar 15. Philippine Navy to receive two decommissioned LCH vessels from Australia. The Philippine Navy is to receive two decommissioned Balikpapan-class heavy landing craft (LCH) vessels from Australia, strengthening its capacity to combat natural disasters. The Royal Australian Navy will provide its former HMA Ships Brunei and Tarakan to the Philippines in order to deliver additional intra-theatre sealift capability. The landing crafts will be handed over after being refurbished with new safety and navigation equipment. Brunei last executive officer Lieutenant Brenton-James Glover said: “They were certainly the work horses of the Royal Australian Navy and I am sure they will provide just as much service to the Philippine Navy. In 2013, Philippine Navy faced difficulties in relief efforts during Typhoon Haiyan due to the lack of sealift ability. This will be addressed with the supply of the two vessels, the Australian navy said. The LCHs will be capable of delivering personnel and equipment to areas that are considered to be unreachable disaster relief missions. The 44.5m LCHs cruise at a maximum speed of 10k to 13k, carrying 180t of cargo. The Philippine Government is also considering purchase of the remaining three Australian landing crafts, the former Wewak, Betano and Balikpapan. The Royal Australian Navy decommissioned these vessels in 20