RN ‘survey squadron’ enjoys renovation in Teesside

UK Docks, based in South Shields, won a ten-year deal to refurbish the Navy’s three survey ships, according to ITV.

HMS Protector has been in the company’s Tees dock since March while HMS Enterprise recently arrived for a refit.

As the navy’s only icebreaker, Protector enjoyed a significant upgrade costing £16m over the course of an eight-month stay, says Teesside Live.

A major part of the work involved a specialist ‘deep maintenance’ survey, carried out every five years, which identified numerous issues to tackle.

A new module was installed which houses key machinery, boats and equipment, and a 60- tonne crane removed, refurbished and refitted. Specialist paintwork, from mast to keel, was carried out.

Beneath the waterline, there was a complete recoating of the ice-class underwater painting application which crucially helps the vessel deal with sub-zero polar temperatures.

There was also an upgrade to the ship’s electrical systems and the shore power supply system as well as hundreds of minor adjustments and improvements, including preparing the ship to carry unmanned survey devices.

UK Docks will also maintain HMS Echo over the next ten years.

The three 90m vessels need to have an operational availability of 334 days per ship per year, with the renovation project costed at around £150m.

Protector provides a UK presence in the British Antarctic Territory and meets the UK’s treaty obligations for inspections, hydrographical charting and support of scientific research. It can also be called upon to operate in the tropics.

Enterprise and her sister ship Echo deliver defence, global environmental data-gathering requirements and associated war roles. It will be UK Docks’ responsibility to ensure their availability by, if necessary, overseeing maintenance and repairs across the globe.

Since the announcement of UK Docks winning the contract, the company has increased the size of its facilities on Teesside. It has also recruited a specialist team of marine experts to meet the specialist needs of the Royal Navy.

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