Lyme Bay’s refit continues
RFA Lyme Bay enters drydock this week as her five-month refit continues.
Work on the vessel will include the fitting of a new exhaust; ballast water treatment installation; an overhaul of the main engines and propulsion systems; survey and recertification work; a full paint and antifouling programme; general upkeep and maintenance.
Gerald Pitts, A&P’s Cluster Director, said: “I am delighted to see the RFA Lyme Bay in Falmouth and for the team to be able to begin work, implementing further improvements and efficiencies we identified during the previous refits.
“The Cluster contract has been running for four years and we are currently working with the Ministry of Defence to compile evidence proving it has delivered excellent value for money. We hope this will secure the option available to extend the contract through to June 2018, continuing to provide the support, maintenance and availability of the vessels.”
The Lyme Bay, mothership to the UK Mine Countermeasure Vessel (MCMV) fleet, has been deployed in the Gulf since the beginning of 2009, where she provides support to coalition forces. She has been relieved by the RFA Cardigan Bay, which left Falmouth earlier this year after receiving her own major refit and communication upgrade.
While the ship was half way across the world, the Lyme Bay was maintained by members of the Cluster Support team, who regularly travel to the Gulf. She had multiple maintenance periods while in theatre and was drydocked in a shipyard in Bahrain.
Kevin Murray, Cluster Support team leader for the Ministry of Defence, said: “Providing maintenance to the ships while they are on long term deployment demonstrates the flexibility and advantages of the Ministry of Defence working jointly with industry.
“It’s cost-effective because it minimises down time, making sure the vessel is available for operational requirements.”
Since August 2010, A&P Falmouth has become a one-stop shop for the four RFA vessels with its spares supply service.
It provides all the in-service spares and logistics to ensure the vessels and their land based stores are kept fully stocked to keep them operational.
Benefits of the Cluster programme include fast communication and decision-making; estimating and cost control; in-house design capability; programme planning and project management; a global key supplier network and preferred supplier arrangements.