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BAE Systems to upgrade Royal Navy minehunters

Royal Navy's HMS Middleton. A file photo.

PORTSMOUTH, UK (BNS): BAE Systems has been awarded a £15 million contract as part of a major overhaul project to replace the 30 year old propulsion systems onboard the Royal Navy’s eight Hunt Class mine countermeasure vessels.

The design of the new propulsion and machinery control system will reduce the upkeep maintenance load on the ship’s staff and increase availability of the vessel for operational duties.

It will also take significantly less space and the layout makes it more accessible, providing better working conditions for Royal Navy engineers carrying out maintenance and repairs, often in difficult climatic conditions, as reported in the company news release.

"Lower through life costs and better reliability of the minehunters is essential to enable the Royal Navy to carry out its operational commitments, which includes protecting valuable shipping lanes," said John Walton, Mine Warfare Marine Engineering Manager, for Defence Equipment and Support.

The work will be carried out over the next six years by support engineers at BAE Systems' facilities in Portsmouth.

"The first new propulsion system is expected to be installed onboard HMS Chiddingfold in late 2011, with upgrades to the remaining seven Hunt Class taking place during planned ship docking periods up to 2016, in order to maximise efficiency and avoid disruption to availability of the fleet," added Mark Draper, Hunt Re-Propulsion Project Manager at BAE Systems, as per the release.


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