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HMS Albion is in the final stages of completing an extensive £90 million mid-life technical upgrade.

In late 2011 the ship was placed at extended readiness, following the decision by the UK Government in the Strategic Defence and Security Review to operate one of two amphibious ships at any one time.

According to a Royal Navy press release, in 2015 Babcock Marine began work on the ship’s rejuvenation. In one of Devonport’s largest dry-docks Albion rested temporarily whilst her hull was inspected, and major invasive structural work and re-preservation of the paint scheme was undertaken.

“Twelve months later, she was refloated and moved to the non-tidal basin at which point the propulsion and weapon systems were brought alive. In January of this year 350 sailors and royal marines of her ships company moved back on board and in March the ship was moved to her home berth at Weston Mill.”

Captain Tim Neild said:

“Becoming the UK’s very high readiness amphibious ship is tantalisingly close and we very much look forward to getting stuck in to the trials programme and rejoining the front line fleet.

My crew and I are extremely proud to take HMS Albion back to sea. The ship looks amazing and is a credit to Babcock Marine, the Defence Equipment and Support organisation and the plethora of defence contractors. Becoming the UK’s very high readiness amphibious ship is tantalisingly close and we very much look forward to getting stuck in to the trials programme and rejoining the front line fleet.”

Babcock Project Manager James Morton said:

“It’s been fantastic to see Albion grow over the past two years into the advanced and sophisticated warship that she is now. Babcock and all of the team are immensely proud of the project and we wish the Captain and all the crew every success and look forward to continuing our support to the Royal Navy.”

According to the Royal Navy website, HMS Albion will now undertake an intensive sea trials package followed by operational sea training. The ship is scheduled to sail from Devonport Naval Base at the end of the week.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Good glad Albion is back. Just so long as HMG/ MOD do not now scrap her after spending £90 million on her. They do have a habit of doing that (HMS Ocean) RFA Diligence. The holes in our RN capabilities are huge and very worrying.

    • Agreed Mr. Bell. Another very valuable fleet asset without any point defence missile – ref Ocean, QE, RFA assets. Why is we are the only country that spends vast sums on surface ships with great potential but puts them to sea armed with the absolute bare minimum. It only gets worse next year with Harpoon phasing out. This WILL come home to roost some day and is a very dangerous gamble….

      • 100%. Lack of point defence missiles (air and multi role) seems utter madness to me. Even QE won’t carry it FFS and that’s a £10b asset when it’s fully loaded. It’s like not investing in sprinkler systems in high rise towers!

  2. Not adequately arming our capital ships so QE carriers, Albion/ Bulwark and hopefully a future lphd replacement for Ocean is just madness I totally agree. I do not know about sprinklers in high rise flats but it is akin to fitting sub standard cheapest possible laminates on the outside of high rise flats. Our point defence weaponry on some ships is laughable 3x phalanx on a 73,000 tonnes carrier costing £5 billion is just crazy.
    This countries decision makers seem to always think cheapest option is best, when in reality it is often the most likely to cost lives.

  3. To ‘iain’ and ‘Mr Bell’ I don’t think abusing the tragedy of Grenfell Tower to make your point advances your arguments at all. We all agree the cuts in defence are wrong, short sighted and will come back to bite us in the national arse at some point. There are many strong arguments but I think this is not one of them.

    • Hi Chris,

      Respectfully I’m not much into sensitivity at the moment on issues like this. I am not prejudging the Grenfell cause but one thing is for sure, folk shouted out long before the fire and weren’t listened to.

      The Nation, ship and crew are all at risk through cutting corners and the allegory is intended to be sharp.

      No one needs things till they need them and when they aren’t in place people die. Our limited ships and their crews are strategic assets which should be properly protected and IMHO our Government is not doing its job. It’s making some terrible choices with potentially devastating and entirely predictable consequences.

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