Babcock Begins First Type 23 Post-LIFEX Upkeep
Defense company Babcock International has started a post-life extension (LIFEX) on the U.K. Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll at Babcock Devonport’s facility. It is the first Type 23 to begin their post-LIFEX upkeep, adopting a new innovative approach to recertification at the Frigate Support Centre (FSC).
Babcock will be overhauling key equipment and carrying out design changes for new capabilities such as communications upgrades and mixed crewing. The Duke Class frigate will also receive a full spray coat on the outer bottom and ship side.
Sarah Hilder, Project Manager for HMS Argyll’s upkeep, said, “HMS Argyll presents a huge opportunity to demonstrate Babcock working in collaboration with our customer throughout the planning period and by implementing new efficient and innovative processes we are striving to complete the project in a vastly reduced timescale compared to a standard upkeep.”
Work began immediately with the vessel currently being prepared for a Lloyds structural survey to achieve an early full ship assessment in just 9 weeks.
Commissioned in 1991, HMS Argyll is the longest-serving Type 23 frigate and was the first to undergo upkeep within the LIFEX program in 2015. After she returned to the Royal Navy in 2017 Babcock has continued to extend the life of the Type 23 fleet.
Babcock’s recent milestones across the program have included HMS Somerset achieving ready for sea date and commencing Sea Trials earlier this year, HMS Iron Duke recently undocking to continue her upkeep within 2 Basin and HMS St Albans preparing to flood up later this month.