HMS Edinburgh has entered the dry dock in Portsmouth for a major overhaul under a £17.5m contract with BAE Systems.
As the last of the Type 42 destroyers to undergo an upkeep period, the move marks the end of a maintenance schedule for the Class that began in 1979. During the extensive refit, her hull will be coated with a super-efficient Sigma 990 paint to make it glide through the water more easily and an underwater spoiler known as a transom flap will be fitted to the stern — which together will cut fuel consumption by up to 15%.
Weapons and communications systems will also be revamped, and preparations are underway to remove all four of the ship’s engines, with two to be restored and the other two to be replaced. The 30 year old vessel will be returned to the fleet in October 2010 as a greener, more efficient ship, and will sail on until 2013.
Malcolm Fudge, BAE Systems’ project manager responsible for the refit, said, “The Type 42s have changed substantially over their life time, and so has the way we look after them. Today we have a much more intelligent approach to upkeep. We work with the Ministry of Defence to analyse trends as well as systems and equipment on board ahead of each refit, so we only do the work that really needs doing.”
HMS Edinburgh’s support programme comes on the back of recent successes to refit HMS York, HMS Liverpool and HMS Ark Royal, where the Company has already demonstrated its ability to schedule and deliver complex refit packages. The close partnership between BAE Systems, MoD and the Royal Navy, combined with lessons learned from earlier programmes, is expected to deliver further efficiencies to HMS Edinburgh’s programme.