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Scotland's RRD Performs Technically Demanding Ship Stretch

The U.K. Navy's Royal Fleet Auxiliary landing ship (LSL), Sir Bedivere, is now fully afloat after a having its hull stretched in a technically demanding procedure at Scotland's Rosyth Royal Dockyard (RRD). As a result, the ship — featuring two new midship sections — is 43-ft. (13-m) longer. Work has begun on her new superstructure, main engines and power generators, electrical systems and accommodation spaces.

Described as one of the most complete reconstructions of a naval vessel ever carried out in Britain, the contract is a first for the yard in terms of the sheer scale of work.

The 21-month contract has a value of $68 million. An option for similar work on two sister ships — Sir Geraint and Sir Percivale — brings the total potential value to more than $208 million.

Allan Smith, chairman of Babcock Rosyth Defence Ltd., (BRDL) operators of RRD, said "This award clearly demonstrates the progress we have made at Rosyth towards achieving our objective of being the U K ' s premier ship refit facility for defense vessels." Sir Bedivere arrived at RRD last fall. The conversion is intended to extend her service life by 15 years.

Hull separation was carried out after an initial strip-out of equipment and removal of asbestos. The cut was made midship.

Following this, construction work included replacement of about 40 percent of deck and side plating and the building of a new superstructure. Sir Bedivere's vehicle and flight deck forward wil be replated and strengthened in order to accommodate Chinook helicopters, while the flight deck aft — to be sited one deck lower—and the stern ramp will be replaced by a new hinged version. New EH36 steel, which is less likely to crack in cold weather, is being used to replace large parts of the outer hull.

Twin Wartsila 12SW280 engines with a continuous rating of 6,920 bhp/3,600 kW at 900 rpm have been installed to replace the old units. The diesels, the first Wartsila's believed to have been selected by the Royal Navy, are designed to greatly reduce running costs and weight. BRDL has teamed with several specialist partners to complete the contract including experienced design experts YARD and marine planning consultants Harry Wilson Associates. Sir Bedivere is scheduled for completion next April.




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