U.K. Royal Navy HMS Northumberland to receive significant upgrades and improvements

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Someoneforyou, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

    Jan 26, 2011
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    Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland is to receive a number of upgrades and improvements that will significantly increase her sustainability and fighting capability, in a complex and tightly scheduled nine month refit being undertaken by Babcock at its Devonport Royal Dockyard facility, which started today (14 March).

    A key feature of this complex and tightly scheduled project (awarded under the Surface Ship Support Alliance – the alliance between the MoD, Babcock, and BAE Systems) will be close and effective partnering between Babcock and the MoD. Already Babcock has been working closely with the MoD to develop the work specification, taking into account lessons learnt from recent Type 23 upkeep periods. This has enabled much of the traditional project growth work to be included in the work specification from the start, for optimum efficiency in planning and execution.

    Among the 13 upgrades to be undertaken, Northumberland will receive the new DNA(2) Command System, which is central to its capability against air, surface and underwater threats. A comprehensive programme integrating all existing weapons, sonar and radar systems will be carried out during the commissioning phase of this upgrade.

    Further upgrades include installation of the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)), enabling information sharing and collaborative working across the Armed Forces and MoD; the SeaWolf mid-life update (SWMLU) comprising tracking, guidance and weapon management upgrades to counter evolving anti-ship missile threats; the installation of the new automatic small calibre gun (ASCG); NATO radial filters to protect fresh air supplies from contamination in the event of an incident; and replacement of the incident detection Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Incident Surveillance System (NBCDISS) with a new sophisticated, digital system including fire and flood detection and door and hatch status indication. A galley equipment upgrade will also be undertaken, ensuring the services areas are in the optimum condition to support the ship.

    Mechanical upgrades include the high pressure air system (to provide a safe, reliable and flexible method of isolation across the HP air ring main, without needing to drain the whole system during periods of maintenance or repair), and modification to the underwater inlets and outlets.

    These upgrades will be undertaken alongside a full programme of deep maintenance, including replacement of the Sonar 2050 dome and array, replacement of port and starboard shafts, and replacement of the port main propulsion gear wheel (involving removal and replacement of a large quantity of equipment, pipework, and cables as well as the ten tonne gear wheel), plus a full structural survey of the ship and large paint preservation package.

    In recognition of the importance of close working on this project, a partnering day is being arranged involving all key stakeholders (Babcock, the MoD, ship’s staff and key Babcock suppliers), and a partnering charter established, setting out agreed principles and values to which all involved will work to ensure the success of the refit.

    Babcock project manager Jim Hart commented: “There are a number of challenging goals to be achieved on this refit, with a complex programme of work to be undertaken. There are numerous interlinking activities that must be carefully planned to avoid any conflict and enable the very tight schedule to be maintained. We will be building on our previous experience and successes, and working closely with the MoD and ship’s staff to ensure an efficient and effective approach, maintaining a safe working environment, and delivering optimum value for money. We look forward to returning HMS Northumberland to the MoD and Royal Navy on time and in budget.”

    Platform Group Manager Surface Combatants, Commander Tim Geary, said: “This will be a challenging project, but Devonport has a strong track record of delivering to time and quality, and all parties are determined to continue this success with HMS Northumberland.”

    HMS Northumberland will rejoin the fleet on completion of her sea trials in December.

    File Photo: U.K. Royal Navy HMS Northumberland

    Source: Babcock International Group PLC
  3. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    Addition of the Thales 2087 sonar will make her a good ASW platform. Sea Wolf MLU is good CIWS, Sea Dart is obsolete but still effective. Should serve well until T26... whenever they decide.

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