A&P Birkenhead Ltd, part of the A&P Group, has been awarded the contract for the ‘pre-acceptance’ drydocking of BAE Systems’ newbuild HMS Bulwark (L15) prior to its delivery to the UK Ministry of Defence
The vessel is due to arrive in Birkenhead during early June this year (2004). Whilst in drydock, work will include final removal of the hull launch ‘poppets’ and complete coating of its underwater hull, plus other work as required by BAE Systems.
In order to achieve the high standards of paintwork required for the vessel, the hull is to be covered under a special containment system, which will provide protection from the weather and allows heating to be applied to suit the coating application should the climatic conditions not achieve specified requirements.
HMS Bulwark is a 18,500 ton Albion Class Landing Platform Dock (LPD) vessel designed to be used during amphibious assault. She was launched in Barrow-in-Furness in November 2001. The vessel is second in her class to HMS Albion, and is expected to enter service during 2005. The two ships were part of an order placed by the MoD with BAE Systems worth £450m. The LPDs replace HMS Fearless, which retired from service in March 2002, and HMS Intrepid which was decommissioned several years ago.
Clive Towl, Managing Director, A&P Birkenhead Ltd
, said “We are delighted to be awarded this contract. HMS Bulwark will
be the first White Ensign vessel to be worked on by A&P Birkenhead Ltd, and complements other MoD vessels which have recently undergone repairs within our A&P facilities on Tyneside and at Falmouth”.