Prince of Wales Maiden Visit to Home Port
Britain's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales sails into home port of Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time.The £3.1 billion warship left Rosyth dockyard, Scotland, where it was built in September before undergoing eight weeks of sea trials.The ship’s arrival into Portsmouth represents the culmination of 16 years of work by the ACA – a unique alliance relationship between BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales, and the UK Ministry of Defence.More than 10,000 people across the UK have been involved in the program to deliver the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers…
HMS Forth Commissioned
The first of the U.K. Royal Navy's next-generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) has been formally commissioned into the fleet.Commissioned last week at her home base of Portsmouth, HMS Forth represents the second ship to join the Royal Navy in less than six months, following aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth commissioned in December. The warships are part of the government’s £178 billion plan to bolster its Armed Forces over the next decade.HMS Forth is the first of five new OPVs designed for counter-piracy…
UK Team to Resolve Type 45 Destroyer Power Issues
An alliance team led by BAE Systems has won the contract to resolve propulsion issues that have been plaguing the U.K.’s most advanced air defense warships. The team, which also includes Cammell Laird and BMT, has been tasked to improve the resilience in the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer power and propulsion system by replacing the existing two diesel generators, fitting an additional diesel generator and modifying the high voltage system on each ship. The warships had reportedly suffered a number of breakdowns at sea due to problems with their propulsion systems.
Queen Elizabeth Welcomes UK’s New Aircraft Carrier
The U.K.’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth was commissioned into the Royal Navy fleet this morning by Her Majesty The Queen. Serving as the ship's Lady Sponsor, The Queen addressed guests before the ship's Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd, and read the commissioning warrant at a ceremony in Portsmouth Naval Base. The ceremony, attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson and military chiefs, marked the first time the Queen has visited the new warship since the formal naming ceremony in Rosyth in July 2014.
UK Partners to Launch Autonomous Vessels Testing Service
The U.K.'s first maritime autonomous systems testing service is set to launch later this year. BAE Systems said it has been awarded £457,000 (approximately $594,700) in grant funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to design and deliver the U.K.’s first dedicated autonomous systems testing service. Based around Portsmouth, Southampton and the South East of the Isle of Wight, BAE Systems will work with ASV Global (ASV), Blue Bear Systems Research (Blue Bear)…
Unexploded WWII Bomb Halts Ferries in Portsmouth Harbour
An unexploded World War Two bomb was found in Portsmouth Harbour on England's southern coast on Wednesday, halting traffic of cross-channel ferries at the port. The 500 lb bomb was discovered by a barge dredging the harbour ahead of the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth - the Royal Navy's new 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier. "This is the third piece of historic ordnance found in the harbour during the dredging works since September," said Bill Oliphant, Captain of Portsmouth Naval Base. The Royal Navy said disposal experts will tow the bomb out of the harbour and destroy it in open waters off the eastern Isle of Wight but the timing will depend on tides and weather conditions. Reporting by Adela Suliman
HMS Westminster Undergoes Extensive Refit
A multimillion pound refit has been carried out on Portsmouth-based Type 23 Frigate, HMS Westminster, to return her to the forefront of naval capability. Her extensive maintenance period, as part of the £600 million Maritime Services Delivery Framework (MSDF), has been carried out by a team of more than 800 people at Portsmouth Naval Base, U.K. The upkeep program on the 24-year-old Duke Class frigate has followed several busy years of deployments across the globe and includes upgrades to weapons and marine systems that will enhance her warfighting capabilities for years ahead.
Unmanned Surface Vessels: From Concept to Service
Over the next decade the maritime sector is likely to see one of the largest changes since sail gave way to steam. Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) are now being considered for various marine roles and the drivers for rapid development are significant. Unmanned or autonomous vessels have passed through the trial and evaluation stage and are now being adopted for civilian and military applications. The maritime sector now has the opportunity to shape technology developments from legislative and end-user standpoints.
GE Partners for Royal Navy Business
GE announce its partnership with VolkerStevin Ltd. to provide technical solutions to the Defense Infrastructure Organization (DIO) for the Royal Navy. Through this partnership, GE is set to design, manufacture and commission a Rotary Frequency Converter (RFC) which enables efficient, safe and reliable power transfer from the national grid to HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, based at Portsmouth Naval Base, UK. The electricity from the U.K. national grid, which operates at a frequency of 50Hz, will be converted by the RFC into 60Hz for use by the equipment on-board the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier. This allows for the ship’s diesel generators to be switched off while at berth in Portsmouth Naval Base, reducing noise, pollution and costs.
BAE Systems Welcomes Record Number of Paid Interns
More than 140 university students from across the country are being given a unique insight into working life at BAE Systems, as part of the company’s 12-week summer internship program. At Portsmouth Naval Base and Cowes on the Isle of Wight, 11 interns are currently working across a number of disciplines from HR and finance, through to engineering and supply chain. Now in its third year, this growing program gives students the opportunity to learn from employees who are experts in their fields and gain insights that can only come from real world experience.
New Vessel Traffic Management System for Portsmouth
BAE Systems has been awarded a £5.5 million contract to install a new Vessel Traffic Management System to assist in the controlling and monitoring of all ship movements within Portsmouth Harbor and the Eastern Solent. The contract is the latest development in the partnering agreement between BAE Systems, the Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defense to modernize HM Naval Base Portsmouth and prepare for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the four acre, 65,000 metric ton aircraft carriers to be based in Portsmouth.
Portsmouth Naval Base Harnesses Sun Power
BAE Systems has completed a large scale installation of solar panels at Portsmouth Naval Base to increase energy efficiency and generate savings. In total, almost 2,000 solar panels comprising the latest photovoltaic technology have been installed on two key Portsmouth Naval Base buildings. The new 500kW system is expected to generate energy savings worth more than £1million over the next 20 years. Ken Hobbs, Head of Energy Solutions and Services at BAE Systems Maritime Services said, “We are proud to be managing this important project for the Portsmouth Naval Base estate.
WWI U-Boat Propeller Returned to German Navy
A brass propeller from the first U-Boat to be sunk a century ago has been given back to the country it belongs to, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported. The propeller from the German World War I submarine U-8 was handed over by the MCA to members of the current Navy during a handover ceremony on the German Naval vessel Karlsruhe in the Portsmouth Naval Base. The propeller, recovered along with other historical items following a number of seizures of illegally recovered dive artifacts in the Kent area in 2014…
Sunken WWII Landing Craft Refloated
LCT 7074, the last known landing craft to survive the D-Day invasion in 1944, has been refloated as part of a project to lift and save the vessel which began in March 2014, almost exactly four years to the day after she had sunk. The vessel, which came out of service at the end of the WWII after numerous deployments to the Normandy beaches, was converted to a naval repair facility for a short while, and then became a floating nightclub berthed in Liverpool from around 1950. Unique Seaflex (Seaflex)…
Barge Operator Fined for Releasing Dangerous Gas
The operator of a Portsmouth-based barge has today been made to pay almost £111,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to a breach of maritime legislation. Serco Ltd. admitted an offence at Portsmouth Crown Court in relation to the health and safety of workers aboard the barge 1706, which is operated as part of a service contract with the U.K. Ministry of Defense. The primary function of the barge is to collect waste products from naval vessels when they were moored in Portsmouth. On July 6, 2011, barge 1706 was secured alongside a warship at Portsmouth Naval Base and was taking waste water from the vessel. A short while later, the crew started to smell the distinctive 'rotten eggs' odor of hydrogen sulphide (H2S).
HMS Illustrious Decommissioned
HMS Illustrious – the last of the Royal Navy’s Invincible-class aircraft carriers – was decommissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base today, marking the end of her 32-year career. The ship’s White Ensign was lowered for the final time during the decommissioning ceremony in front of hundreds of guests, ending an era which began with the launch of her sister ship HMS Invincible in 1977. Illustrious is being replaced as the nation’s helicopter carrier by HMS Ocean which has just undergone a £65m refit.
McIntosh Named CTruk Chairman
Composite high-speed craft designer and builder CTruk has appointed shipbuilding industry veteran Peter McIntosh OBE to succeed Andy White as chairman. McIntosh, the former executive director of VT Group PLC, holds experience of the marine and defense industries and will steer the innovative company through its next stage of growth, CTruk said. White will remain on the board as an executive director. Managing director Ben Simpson will be working closely with McIntosh on implementing…
BAE Ocean Patrol Vessel Handed Over to Brazil Navy
'Araguari', the third of 3 Ocean Patrol Vessels built by BAE Systems, is handed over to the Brazilian Navy in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base UK. Employees joined guests from the Brazilian Navy and UK Royal Navy, to watch as members of the ship’s company raised the ensign for the first time, formally marking the handover of the Brazilian Navy’s newest vessel. Mick Ord, Managing Director of BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships business, said: “We are extremely proud to deliver Araguari. She is a highly capable ship, and with her sister ships, will be a great asset to the Brazilian Navy.
Brazil Takes Delivery of Third Ocean Patrol Vessel
Araguari, the third of three Ocean Patrol Vessels built by BAE Systems, was handed over to the Brazilian Navy in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base. Employees joined guests from the Brazilian Navy and U.K. Royal Navy, to watch as members of the ship’s company raised the ensign for the first time, formally marking the handover of the Brazilian Navy’s newest vessel. First of class, Amazonas, was handed over to the Brazilian Navy in June 2012. The second ship, APA, was completed in November of last year.
Destroyer Duncan Sets Sails
Duncan, the sixth and final Type 45 destroyer built by BAE Systems, has set sail from the Clyde in preparation for her handover to the U.K. Royal Navy. Duncan set off from the company’s Scotstoun yard with a combined BAE Systems and Royal Navy crew for the 600-mile journey to her new home port of Portsmouth. Duncan’s departure was delayed due to a technical issue and the BAE Systems team has worked tirelessly with the Ministry of Defense to complete repairs over the weekend. The…
Merger Creates UK's Largest Independent Ship Repairer
Burgess Marine acquire Testbank Ship Repair, making them the country's largest independent in the ship repair business. Burgess Marine, headquartered in Dover and with sites in Poole and Portsmouth’s naval base, has acquired Testbank Ship Repair, with locations at Southampton docks, Portchester, near Portsmouth, and Avonmouth, near Bristol. The deal will see 120 full-time staff work under the Burgess Marine banner from the six sites, with a combined annual turnover of £20m-plus. Nick Warren, Managing Director, Burgess Marine, said: “The various work streams of both companies very much complement each other, so it made compelling business…
Duncan: Final Type 45 Destroyer on Sea Trials
DUNCAN, the sixth and final Type 45 destroyer built by BAE Systems, has today set sail from the company’s Scotstoun shipyard on the Clyde to embark on her second stage sea trials off the west coast of Scotland. During the next 19 days at sea, DUNCAN will undertake an extensive program of trials, including final testing of the ship’s power and propulsion, combat systems, navigational and communications equipment ahead of her handover to the Royal Navy in March next year. Jennifer Osbaldestin…
If Portsmouth, UK, Shipyard Closes, 4,000 Jobless
The study, reported in 'The News' by Chris Broom, was commissioned by local council and business leaders to examine three alternative futures for Portsmouth Naval Base at a time when its shipbuilding future is in doubt. In the worst case scenario, if BAE Systems was to pull out, it would have a massive knock-on effect on the area – resulting in huge job losses, and a hit to the region’s economy of £370m a year. BAE employs 1,500 ship builders in Portsmouth and a further 1,500 people working on the maintenance and repair work it does for the navy’s surface fleet. But the report – commissioned by the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH)…