Babcock’s Rosyth Yard Redelivers HMS Portland

HMS Portland Leaves Rosyth Yard (UK)

Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Portland has left Rosyth to return to her base port of Plymouth. The departure follows a 50-week, multi-million pound refit by Babcock at the Fife dockyard.

With more than 260,000 man hours invested in the almost year-long project, the 133-metre HMS Portland will return to sea bristling with the latest high tech equipment, maintaining her role at the cutting edge of the Royal Navy’s fleet.

A total of 19 major system and capability upgrades have been undertaken, including the installation of anti-submarine warfare Sonar 2087, full upgrade of the ship’s IT systems, Sea Wolf missile mid-life overhaul, gun replacements, galley refurbishment and accommodation improvements, to name but a few. And all involving 13 kilometres of cabling.

And she slipped beneath the famous Forth Bridges having had a total exterior make over, too, with 15,000 litres of paint applied to her hull and superstructure.

“I am very much looking forward to getting this fantastic ship back to sea to put her through her paces,” said Commander Sarah West, Commanding Officer of HMS Portland.

“In tandem with the MOD and Babcock, the crew has spent many long months working hard to return HMS Portland to fighting form.

“The ship is equipped for the many future challenges which greet the modern Fleet and we are ready to be with her every step of the way.

“It is an exciting moment returning a warship to sea after refit – we know that HMS Portland is in great shape for regaining full operational readiness early next year.”

The project has benefited from close partnership working between Babcock, the MOD, ship staff and the Class Output Management (COM) team under the Surface Ship Support Alliance, resulting in the refit programme being delivered on time and budget.

Babcock project manager Russell Glancy said:

“We have successfully met the challenges of this project, and applied our experience from previous Type 23 refits, along with strong partnering, to ensure delivery of this upgrade and maintenance programme.”

HMS Portland will undertake a further three months of sea trials before returning to Fleet and operational duties in early spring next year. The 3,500 tonne Type 23 frigates, of which there are 13 in the Royal Navy’s Fleet, are ultra-capable and adaptable ships which protect the UK’s interests both in home waters and further afield.

Typical deployments will include anything from the Fleet ready escort, which is the UK’s high readiness ship, to counter narcotics, counter piracy and counter terrorism patrols. These frigates are also able to respond to requests for humanitarian intervention when required and provide security at sea.

HMS Portland was launched by Lady Heather Brigstocke in 1999 and commissioned into the Fleet in May 2001. She is the eighth ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name.


Press Release, December 17, 2012