Babcock International, the Aerospace and Defence company, has successfully completed the refit of HMS Penzance at Babcock’s Rosyth site in Fife.

HMS Penzance – one of the Royal Navy’s Sandown class minehunters – underwent a 10 month docking period at Rosyth. The refit included the replacement of both main engines, multiple Glass Reinforced Plastic repairs and Addition and Alteration packages.

A team of over 50 Babcock employees made up of experienced electrical, mechanical, engineering, joinery and GRP shipwright resource delivered the work – alongside specialist

After passing the Ready for Sea inspection on schedule, HMS Penzance returned to her home port, HMNB Clyde, with full operational capability.

The second of the Royal Navy minehunter flotilla, HMS Pembroke has arrived at Babcock’s Rosyth facility to undergo a similar package of work.

Sean Donaldson, Managing Director of the Babcock Rosyth site, said:

“We were delighted to work on the upgrade of HMS Penzance and look forward to working on HMS Pembroke.

Our Common User Facility at Rosyth is home to one of the largest waterside manufacturing and repair facilities in the UK. This, alongside our skilled and experienced workforce with their commitment to innovation and quality, ensures that we offer the complete package for visiting ships.”

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Steve Taylor

SRMH fantastic pieces of kit. Most expensive ‘ships’ per tonne ever purchased by the MoD(N).

Daniele Mandelli

Down to 6 from 12? Very sad.

MCMV fleet very easy target to salami slice.

Cam hunter

I still think we should have anti submarine frigates even just two based at Clyde with our submarines, and to patrol the North Atlantic, it’s crazy that it’s just mine hunters.

Harry Bulpit

It makes no sense to just base two. It take a huge logistical effort to support them. Also at the end of the day ship basing is no longer made for strategic reasons but rather political. HMNB Clyde has enough work with the submarines plus minehunters to keep it open. However, are surface Fleet is berley big enough to support both Devonport and Portsmouth. So if you take 2 type 26 from Devonport that leaves you with only 6 to be based there. Not enough to justify the harbour. So you may as well shut down Devonport and move the… Read more »


Hmm… Where are they going to get the pirates from to man her?


Sheesh, and they turned down HMS Boaty McBoatface???


Steve Salt

Hi Helions.
Penzance is a port town in my home county of Cornwall and as such is perfectly entitled to have one of Her Maj`s ships named after it. It`s the gateway to the Channel so a minehunter is an appropriate choice.
Hasn`t the USN got it`s fair share of dodgy ship names?


Blame it on Gilbert and Sullivan…

The USN does have a ship named Churchill though…


That’s USS Winston S. Churchill, Arleigh Burke-class destroyer…

Daniele Mandelli

With a RN navigator at all times I believe?


USS WINSTON S CHURCHILL Was affiliated to HMS Marlborough ( before we sold it to Chile) .
The Navigators where swapped. A UK Navs in the States and a US Navs in the UK.
When HMS Marlborough visited Norfolk (Virginia) and Churchill was in it got, from what I can vaguely remember through the flash backs, very, very messy 🙂


Got a problem with USS Ponce ? 🙂


Hi Steve,

The USN certainly has had some deusies for ship names – the current USS Devastator – a small MCM ship stationed in the Gulf comes to mind – better name for a DDG IMHO – :D. I’m certainly not impinging on your hometown’s good name! As Rokuth has noted it’s just the automatic affiliation the name has with G&B. The RN has a great tradition of quirky names though and “Penzance” certainly wouldn’t make the list for the quirkiest! Here’s a few I found at the Portsmouth site.

Note number 14 is also an MCM… 😀


Steve Salt

Hi Helions
I think the good ship Spanker is named for a sail on frigate from the days of fighting sail.
But I’m ready to corrected by any real sailors out there.?
The RN has certainly had some crackers over it’s history.


Ah, HMS Penzance. Named for my hometown. I’m glad she hasn’t been salami sliced. Shame they have shown no interest in reactivating the three decommissioned minesweepers.

Anyway, she occasionally berths in the town’s harbour, a fine vessel to visit.


Agree – too few MCMV’s for the hard work they are tasked with for my liking.
Look at the make up of STAN’s Navy, always used to be an RN contingent as a mainstay of the core groups, whether big or little ships. Now, very rarely see HM Ships mentioned in the news articles. Walney is beyond return as far as I can tell, interesting though to know how much was spent on HM Ships Atherstone and Quorn before their mid life updates were canned. I imagine a fair sum in terms of prep and equipment purchase……


Good grief! How does that refit take 10 months? Sounds like they have been working on Crossrail as well.


GRP hull ships are a lot more difficult to work on.
Also you need to factor in the Non mag work that needs to be undertaken.
10 months isnt bad…compared to some refit work undertaken on very very similar vessels abroad.


Duly noted. Cheers!