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Babcock International Group Initiates Innovative Post-Life Extension Upkeep for Royal Navy’s HMS Argyll

In a significant move, Babcock International Group, a prominent defense company, has embarked on a post-life extension (LIFEX) project for the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate, HMS Argyll, at its Devonport facility. Notably, this marks the first instance of a Type 23 frigate undergoing a post-LIFEX maintenance phase, characterized by an innovative approach to re-certification at the Frigate Support Centre (FSC) within the facility.

HMS Argyll, currently the oldest active Type 23 frigate within the Royal Navy’s fleet, will undergo a comprehensive overhaul, encompassing equipment upgrades and design modifications to incorporate advanced capabilities, such as enhanced communications systems and mixed crewing arrangements. As part of this effort, the Duke Class frigate will also undergo a complete spray coat of paint on its outer bottom and ship sides.

Sarah Hilder, the Project Manager overseeing HMS Argyll’s upkeep, emphasized the collaborative aspect of the project, stating, “HMS Argyll presents a significant opportunity for Babcock to work closely with our customer during the planning phase. By implementing efficient and innovative processes, we aim to complete the project within a shorter timeframe compared to conventional upkeep procedures.”

The maintenance work began promptly, with the vessel undergoing preparations for a comprehensive Lloyds structural survey to facilitate an early full ship assessment, all within an impressive span of nine weeks. It’s noteworthy that HMS Argyll was the pioneer vessel to undergo LIFEX maintenance within the program back in 2015. Following its return to active duty in 2017, Babcock has consistently executed the Type 23 life-extension program across the Royal Navy’s fleet.

Babcock’s recent accomplishments within the program are commendable, including HMS Somerset successfully achieving a readiness for sea date and commencing sea trials earlier this year. Additionally, HMS Iron Duke recently completed the undocking phase, while HMS St Albans is gearing up for the upcoming flooding phase later this month.

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