The DE&S Boats Team, part of the Ministry of Defence, has published a contract tender outlining a requirement for the Training Vessel (TV) Sir Tristram to undergo a number of improvements to a specified set of requirements to extend its life to 2026.

According to the notice, an 8-week window has been identified between December 2022 and February 2023 in which work shall be undertaken.

“Tristram is now a training vessel used predominantly to simulate real life scenarios at sea, say the Ministry of Defence. The vessel is moored in Portland Harbour, Dorset.”

According to the contract notice, the scope of the £700,000 improvements is expected to include but will not be limited to;

• CCTV at entry ways on Port and Starboard. At least 2 CCTV cameras
• LED lighting with dimmer and adjustable light colour to green and red
• New Porta Cabin that includes small kitchen
• Refit of toilets facilities (male and female)
• Replacement of all access platforms and stairs
• Re-preservation/refurbishment of deck, fittings and other structures

Why Sir Tristram?

According to A&P Group, the firm that last worked on the ship, in 2006 it was decided to regenerate the ex-RFA Sir Tristram for a new role as a special forces training platform to replace the aged Rame Head and relocate the facility from Portsmouth Harbour to Portland in Dorset under a project name of Project Newman.

Sir Tristram was replaced by the introduction of the new Bay Class and was retired from RFA service in 2006.

The A&P project work awarded following a major UK based competition included :

  • Accommodation strip out including asbestos removal
  • CCTV Installation for range safety reasons
  • Sanitisation of Ship Systems
  • Installation of new Power Supplies
  • Installation of Class Rooms and Viewing Galleries
  • Ballistic Protection
  • Ensure Watertight Integrity for a static role
  • Long life anti fouling systems to obviate necessity for docking over a 15 year period
  • Upgrade of Ventilation System for smoke and fume extraction

You can read more on the history of the ship, including its service in the Falklands War, by clicking here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
90 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
JohninMK
JohninMK
4 days ago

Is she permanently alongside in Portland?

Sleepy
Sleepy
4 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

No she is moored in the harbour a few hundred yards from Monkey Pier.

Autofleet4429
Autofleet4429
4 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

No. at anchor in the harbour

Airborne
Airborne
4 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

If you can claim to utilise specific research tools to find out what is happening in Ukraine, down to BCT/sub unit level, pretty much on every front, I’m sure you can see if she is alongside at Portland! So the lesson for today is do stop trying to put in “reasoned”, none Russian supporting posts, to give the impression you are reasonable and impartial, prior to going on an anti Ukraine RT supported rant about Ukraine! Anyway on the lighter side of the news I see one of your murderers is being tried for war crimes! 21, Sgt, tank commander… Read more »

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
4 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

He might have been asking on behalf of his comrades in the Russian navy who are running out of vessels…..!!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 days ago

It is cutting edge to the Russians.

Probably not rusty enough for them?

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago

And she survived Bluff Cove , sitting ducks ,not like nanciing around a vastly bigger stretch of The Black Sea and still getting hit and sunk RFA better trained that saved her unlike the Russian version of the muppetskis

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Hi Tommo. Mate, were you in the service during the Falklands campaign? Keen to hear any stories you had if so.

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Hi klonkie ,yes OP Corporate, Navy our job was just too ensure nothing Sub surface got through to the Carriers and STURFT was on the Bristol Only story was seadarts away at a plane that’s was probably carrying NUNS to the Vatican they missed , oh we also had an Argon Laser fitted all hush hush at the time 5 maths of tinned processed meat and powdered milk

Klonkie
Klonkie
2 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Excellent Tommo – liking the Nun story. The fog of war perhaps? All the best Mate.

Tommo
Tommo
2 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Cheers kronkie just hope they got too meet the Pope unscathed

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 day ago
Reply to  Tommo

😀

andy reeves
andy reeves
1 minute ago
Reply to  Klonkie

i’ve a picture of the ships hulk in stanley after the bombing of it.i was amazed it was still afloat

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago

😂😂😂!

JohninMK
JohninMK
3 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Ye Gods you are a case. I asked a perfectly reasonable question and received two positive responses, for which thanks. Then you appear with your normal rant attacking me and bringing Ukraine into this thread, which has nothing to do with it, so I won’t respond.

You might care to note that although she is indeed alongside in the photo and your comment, that is not her normal location which is moored in the harbour.

Dern
Dern
3 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Have you condemned Putins invasion yet?

Airborne
Airborne
3 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Troll not liking being trolled methinks! Any condemnation of Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine yet? And I refer you back to my original post, a rather simple ruse you use on occasion to appear impartial, yet we all know you are not don’t we! And, I do presume you fully support the ongoing war crimes trials against the accused Russians, (who are in Ukraine illegally)? Try and answer a simple question for the first time since you started posting!

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
3 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Well, in fairness, you’ve been asked on many times perfectly reasonable questions that you always seem to avoid answering.

Donaldson
Donaldson
3 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Now used by UKSF for Maritime Counter Terrorism training

SIRTRISTRAM.jpg
Tommo
Tommo
1 day ago
Reply to  Donaldson

An Osprey, at ex RNAS Osprey

Farouk
Farouk
4 days ago

Here is what she looked like just under 40 years ago after she was berthed up in Stanley Harbour next to the Public jetty, she was used as accommodation for 3 sqn Royal Engineers before getting a lift back to the Uk:
comment image

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

OMG – quite the mess.

Nobody would try and say that was serviceable these days.

Well except for the Russians who would say it was part of their wonder weapon boxed set: the one Santa promised Vlad would be delivers for Christmas 2019 and is lost on the back of the sled?

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago

The Russians would just slather her in enough paint to cover the rust and call it an upgrade. 😀

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

She was a right mess when we pulled into Stanley, and we thought we were rusty there was a terrible smell of that IZAL dissenfecant hanging in the Air if I smell it now takes me right back

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Yeah but after what she’d been through it was understandable. She wasn’t a spring chicken at the start of the war. Every time I look at Farouk’s picture I think of Bluff Cove and what a balls up it was. I don’t blame the Welsh Guards for it they had no idea how serious the air threat was and apart from cross channel ferries they’d never even been on a ship never mind one in a war zone. I don’t even blame the Argies it was a war and they were doing their job. I don’t know if you’ve read… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Thanks dave some years back there was a programme on the Falklands and They interviewd a Royal marines landing officer who pleaded with some Army major too get the troops off before the sun came up as there were Argie spotters who’d witnessed both ships coming in to the Cove, .He was kindly told too hold his tongue and the rest is history unfortunately

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Yep back then there were plenty of Army types happy to tell the Andrew and Royal how to do their jobs. Thank god that doesn’t happen nowadays. 😐😐

Tommo
Tommo
2 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

That Royal should of decked him after the event shame that he held his tongue for the programme and didn’t name him for all the public too know why their sons didn’t come home the Royal had manner upfitting of a Marine officer

Jack
Jack
4 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

She has aged like wine, better now than then.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Are they your own photos farouk?

Farouk
Farouk
3 days ago

Daniele wrote:

Are they your own photos farouk?

Yes, a very young Sapper was sent down south after completing his CSB course and after working on the runway(building roads, culvets Rubb shelters and repairing the AM2 matting) I was detatched from the troop and worked out of Stanley on the boats (Combat Support Boats as seen top picture) Here is a picture you might like from my time working on the Runway:

comment image

Last edited 3 days ago by Farouk
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Thought so.

Respect.

BILL LILLEY
BILL LILLEY
3 days ago

Indeed respect!

JamesD
JamesD
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

What an epic picture

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Great story and pics Farouk. No doubt you’re reflecting on your experiences from 40 years ago. I’ve always held the view this was a remarkable undertaking and achievement by all three of the armed services. .

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Absolutely. I was 10 at the time and glued to the TV.

Klonkie
Klonkie
2 days ago

Ditto – oddly enough it good good coverage on the News in South Africa. I waa a vey young candidate officer in the SAAF. We admired and respected (and were a little jealous) of those outstanding Sea Harrier jocks- just brilliant!

I’m speaking of those of us of UK descent. Some of the Afrikaans lads my not have been as enthusiastic in supporting the UK. Everyone to their own I guess.

Have a good weekend Mate.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 day ago
Reply to  Klonkie

And you K mate. 😁

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Blimey Farouk CSBs and that bloody Kelp nightmare for our Workboats tangled props weren’t yours water Jet powered?

Farouk
Farouk
3 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Tommo wrote:

“”Bloody Kelp nightmare for our Workboats tangled props weren’t yours water Jet powered?””

Yup, the CSB was fitted out with 2 Perkins diesels which powered 2 impellers situated at the rear of the boat (under the two hatches there) which sucked water from vents also at the back of the boat. Fine control was achieved by the use of moveable buckets which directed the flow. Part of each first parade was to open up the impellers housing and inspect inside for any foreign objects, which only took a few minutes .

Last edited 3 days ago by Farouk
Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Cheers Farouk ,we’d watch you lot just go straight through that damn Kelp whilst we being Navy just gave up

Farouk
Farouk
3 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

As you will know we were based out of the Public jetty and used to get a load of calls from the Navy usually for Beer runs out to ships moored up in the outer harbour alongside the Stena Inspector (never knew my boat could carry so much beer) The one i can remember the most was HMS Cardiff and I was told to park up at the rear, where the beer was quickly offloaded, I was given a crate of beer as well, Also did a number of late home runs for ships crew who had missed their last… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Farouk Good bit of forces cooperation although when the tins ran out Cooperations went out the window ,ended up on the Stenna I 87 doing bugger all except getting call rounds up at MPA , there was a couple of CSBs down at Mare harbour called them Combined service Bitter , as that was all we’d get with The double DDs Devon and dorsets when having a tinnie with them

Darren hall
Darren hall
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Farouk, did those aircraft land before or after you did the runway?

Farouk
Farouk
3 days ago
Reply to  Darren hall

They were already there, apprantly they were unflyable and so the Argies used them as decoys

Sipowitz
Sipowitz
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

I was on her when she came out of her last refit in 2003 she was an absolute wreck even after maintenance, but she had a certain “something” about her. I sneaked aboard her one evening around 2012/13 when she was taken of the mooring in Portland and put alongside ‘Q’ berth for maintenance, it was horrible and ghostly, like seeing a happy home gone to ruin and dereliction! A firm reminder that it’s the crew not ship that make it. On another note she had a completely unique “trophy” (memorial may be a better word) in the Officers bar.… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
3 days ago
Reply to  Sipowitz

When I was working off Public getty on the boats, we used to eat our meals off her.As I mentioned above 3 sqn was based on her and their Chef ran the Kitchen on board. he received a commendation for getting rid of the Islands stocks of canned Pilchards ((The larger army ration packs (10 man) all came with a few cans of tinned Pilchards and nobody liked them, so they piled up somewhere, well The 3 Sqn chef got rid of them. You went for dinner and picked a cornish pasty…wrong, Meat stew…wrong, Lasagna ..half right , to this… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Damn, that should be jetty

Alan B
Alan B
1 day ago
Reply to  Sipowitz

The Molten coins Trophy was transferred to the RFA Mounts Bay LSL and displayed
In the officers recreation room.

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Looks like The Norland in the background Farouk, she ended up the trot in Pompey so we had a go and get any gizzits from her I got a carpet cleaner she got picked clean

Farouk
Farouk
2 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Actually i believe thats the St Edmonds which became HMS Keren I sailed back on her on my second tour a year later, still chuckle as after we left Stanley and hit the roaring forties most of the squaddies became sea sick, me as a boat op didnt have that problem and was one of the few who bothered with meals. I rememeber the Norland well, as I moved accommodation from the School Gym onto the Rangi ,which had a huge mexi type float fitted to the back, this made onloading and offloading a lot easier such as allowing Royal Navy landing… Read more »

Last edited 2 days ago by Farouk
Tommo
Tommo
2 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Cheers Farouk, a couple of our Lads got pressganged to crew the Black Pig if you can remember that old tug in Stanley

Farouk
Farouk
2 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

There was a request for lads to fly out to one of the smaller islands and kill a load of cattle for food, everybody presumed it was wind up, but I put my hand up and flew out with a load of army butchers, a vet, landed on the Island by Chinnook and spent the next few days building a corral and then proceeded to herd a load of cattle for the vet to put a round in between their eyes (but one inch above with a 9mm) we would then tie off their hind legs and lift them up… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
2 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Steaks all round

Tommo
Tommo
2 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Never the main civvy cook on the Stenna was the same you never gave him abuse as you didn’t want anything extra in your Scran

Sean
Sean
4 days ago

As a boy I remember her entering the Tyne after the Falklands War for repair. Her blackened, charred and mangled superstructure was a sobering sight, and made the tv pictures all the more real…

Is she the oldest surviving ship of the Task Force?

Last edited 4 days ago by Sean
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 days ago
Reply to  Sean

How old is Argus?

Can’t think of anything else still floating other than maybe the T22’s that were sold off?? Broadsword still exists but isn’t active.

Sipowitz
Sipowitz
3 days ago

A bit of thought and some googling leads me to think that Sir Bedivere probably takes that crown, still in service (although largely rebuilt) with the Brazilian navy.

Other ships I can think of (of the top of my head) still afloat Argus, Fort Austin, Diligence (now awaiting disposal, though still subject to Archimedes principle!) and the QE2. Did any of the Pakistani type 21’s go down south during the “conflict”?

Lusty
Lusty
3 days ago
Reply to  Sipowitz

Seven of the eight ships went south. Amazon was the only one that managed to dodge the action. After the war, the six surviving ships were sold to Pakistan – all but one of them saw action in the south.

Four of the Pakistani ships have been decommissioned, with two sunk as targets. The other two remain in service, with rumblings of bringing one home. I bet it will come to nothing though.

Sipowitz
Sipowitz
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Good to know. I’m sure I’ve RAS’ed all of them at one time or another. Interestingly they were the only ships I’ve ever known who wanted topped up with fresh water, they wanted it more than dieso, never worked out why. Did they not have RO/evap plants? Weird.

Lusty
Lusty
3 days ago
Reply to  Sipowitz

I think that might be a question for Tommo. Either that or they kept a few barrels of rum and wanted something to water it down with!

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Cheers, lusty RFA lads must of liked their Rice boiled , and their uniforms spotless for that amount of fresher’s or as you put for those Tots of rum

Sean
Sean
3 days ago

You’re right, RFA Argus was also taken up for service in the Falklands War AND is still in service in the RFA!!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago

I thought of ex RFA Dilligence, which was a STUFT in 82. But she is newer than Sir T.

Lusty
Lusty
3 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Hmm. One of the oldest, certainly. Not counting submarines, the UK only really has four ships remaining if I recall (this one, Argus, Dill and Bristol), although three of those are no longer in commission. Percivale is the oldest. Some ships of the taskforce remain in service with other navies. The two Fort-class ships were sold off to Egypt recently, after a long and storied service with the RFA. Sir Bedivere remains in service with the Brazilian navy (the same vintage as Percivale) and some of the Type 21/22 frigates were in use up until recently. A group wants to… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Hi Lusty. Were you in the service during the Falklands campaign? I recall you mentioning you served on the Invincible class ship but was unsure when? If so, it would be grand to hear any stories of your experiences.

Lusty
Lusty
3 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

The buggers sank Vince at least five times. Fortunately, we managed to salvage and repair her each time! They still claim that they sank her! The thing that sticks is the loss of aircraft.. but more so, the people in them. Vince was ‘lucky’ in that only four harriers were lost (if I recall), all from accidents. Two pilots died, and another young man died on Vince and was buried at sea. Hermes lost a few more aircraft, resulting in the deaths of 22 guys in one crash alone. It’s certainly a helpless feeling, with perhaps a little guilt.. was… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Thanks for posting this Lusty. There was a rumor that the Sea King crash you referenced had a bird strike on the tail rotor. Mid Winer South Atlantic are atrocious weather conditions to operate in, an amazing achievement.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

That was D Sqn 22 SAS I recall.

Klonkie
Klonkie
2 days ago

yep – very sad outcome.

Lusty
Lusty
3 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Yes, I head that as well. We’ll likely never know now. These days, we would have recovered or examined the airframe to determine the cause and implement fixes to the rest of the fleet if needed. In times of war, it’s just a case of rescuing the survivors, recovering the dead (only if possible) and moving on.

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Bird strike or Blue on Blue The Cardiff did take out a Gauzelle ,in San Carlos resulting in the loss of its crew but the ship transfer of 22nd SAS via helo was a bird strike but then again 50yr Rule and you might finally know ?

Lusty
Lusty
2 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

A very sad day when that happened, and when the true nature of it became known.

Tommo
Tommo
1 day ago
Reply to  Lusty

Thanks Lusty,

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Know what you mean Lusty Auction their belonging buy something then put it back into the Auction and keep going on we had a Wafo in Sinvincible who choked whilst diving the Newly seaborne WR,NS didn’t realise that when you bought an article you put it back into the auction again and again

Lusty
Lusty
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Also.. I meant Tristram (the ship pictured), not Percivale!

Complete brain fart.

Last edited 3 days ago by Lusty
Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Cheers Lusty Hms Bristol D23 was the last RN vessel from Corporate her ensign finally came down last year she had been alongside Whale Island as a harbour training ship for cadets since 91

Tommo
Tommo
3 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Must be now as the Bristol was the last task force ship in service until last year she was berthed up at Whale Island Portsmouth As a training ship for for SCC and Cadet forces with a Naval crew ensign came down in 21

Nick C
Nick C
4 days ago

I was in Dorset a couple of weeks ago and looking at Portland harbour from the east I was baffled to see the ship, I thought they had all gone long ago. So now I know!

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 days ago

Isn’t the Round Table class along the lines of what the Navy need for the multi-role support ship (MRSS) requirement?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Add a beaching capability for flexibility when RO-RO is denied and what’s old is new again – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Tobruk_(L_50)

Still think something like Damen LST 120 for both MRSS and Point sealift replacement would provide maximum flexibility. Keep the davits and you could do MCM or littoral ASW mission systems deployment from the platforms.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
3 days ago

Ballistic protection?
AA

Donaldson
Donaldson
3 days ago

The ship is still used by UKSF for Maritime Counter Terrorism training, Some brilliant pictures and videos out there. 

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago

AA! 😆

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
3 days ago

Yes…..👍
Will vet posts in future!,
AA

Daveyb
Daveyb
3 days ago

They use reduced load “safe!” ammo. So I’d expect the ship to have lost of padding added to it to stop ricochets etc.

Expat Alien
Expat Alien
3 days ago

Was involved in the handover of Sir T from BISN in 1970. Great ship, glad to see she’s still in service

John Anderson
John Anderson
2 days ago

Mod are one of the poorest run outfits in the Goverment.Waist billions on tanks that can’t be used Helicopters that are faulty and god knows what else.Its all on record if you look.Billions now that could help inflation

John Fuller Stephens
John Fuller Stephens
1 day ago

Travelled across the north sea on her about 69/70. We took a squadron of tanks (centurions) from Southampton to Esbjerg for a big NATO exercise. I think Percival was the other ship with us for the crossing. Had a force 8 on the way over, exhilarating to say the least. Mostly crewed by Lascars then with British officers.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 day ago

Good to see the RN making the most of its assets. Here’s another: it looks like feasibility of pairing up Wildcat and River 2 is being thoroughly evaluated.
https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defence/royal-navy-warship-hms-trent-pushes-helicopter-operations-to-the-limit-in-the-mediterranean-3703731