Refit for HMS Ocean
HMS Ocean, the Royal Navy’s largest warship which played a starring role during the London 2012 Olympics, will receive a £65M upgrade, the MoD announced today.
Work on the helicopter carrier, which was moored on the Thames during the Games and provided essential security support and a home for hundreds of military personnel responsible for venue security, will secure more than 600 UK jobs. Her upgrade will be carried out at Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouthand will be the largest upkeep programme of its kind to be carried out at the docks in more than 20 years.
The contract has been awarded toUKmaritime support specialists Babcock, securing 300 jobs in Devonport. More than 70 contractors are also set to be involved in the project securing a further 300 jobs across the UK. During the refit, which is expected to last 15 months, upgrades and improvements will be made to her radar, gun, command system and living quarters. Around 1,200 metres of new pipe work will be laid and around 100,000 litres of paint will be applied to HMS Ocean.
Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:
“HMS Ocean plays a crucial role supporting operations as we saw during the Olympics and theLibyacampaign and it is essential that we continue to invest in the upkeep of this formidable vessel. I am delighted that this contract will not only ensure that HMS Ocean remains a significant, highly-flexible, and capable warship for years to come, but will also secure hundreds of jobs within the UK.”
Vice Admiral Andrew Mathews, Chief of Materiel (Fleet) for the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said:
“Since entering service HMS Ocean has delivered comprehensive support to countless military operations as well as humanitarian and disaster relief missions. This extensive refit programme is essential in ensuring that this magnificent ship is able to continue in her role supporting and protecting the UK’s interests across the globe.”
HMS Ocean played an integral role in theLibya campaign launching Apache attack helicopters from her deck to attack Libyan ground defences, the first time Apaches had been launched from a Royal Navy warship.
HMS Ocean was built by Kvaerner Govan on the Clyde taking advantage of commercial build methods and facilities, before sailing from Barrow-in-Furness for fitting out prior to acceptance into service with the Royal Navy. She was launched on 11 October 1995 and named by Her Majesty The Queen on 20 February 1998, at the yard of the prime contractor Vickers Shipbuilding Engineering Limited, prior to the delivery voyage to her base port of Devonport. She was commissioned on 30 September 1998 and completed her trials programme and initial BOST (Basic Operational Sea Training) in the spring of 1999. The Amphibious Helicopter Carrier was originally conceived in the mid 1980's to provide the sort of amphibious assault capabilities last offered by HM Ships Albion and Bulwark. The ship's primary role is to carry an Embarked Military Force (EMF) supported by 12 medium support helicopters, 6 attack helicopters and 4 Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) Mk 5 Landing Craft. Her secondary roles include afloat training, a limited anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platform and a base for anti-terrorist operations.