The Royal Navy’s largest survey ship HMS Scott is half way through its most extensive refit in Plymouth.
The oceanographic survey ship started its most extensive multi million pound refit in its 17-year life in November after completing a gruelling deployment in the North Atlantic towards the end of last year.
Commander Pat Mowatt, HMS Scott commanding officer, said: “We are well over halfway through, and the ship’s company have worked relentlessly alongside Babcock Marine to allow the great progress we have made so far. It has also allowed the ship’s company to spend some quality time at home with their families and take part in some of the varying sport and adventurous training opportunities the Royal Navy has to offer.”
After the long process of moving the ship into dry dock and then pumping out the thousands of tonnes of water and easing her down onto concrete blocks, the refit began in HM Naval Base Devonport.
The process will see the ship transformed with an entirely new hull and superstructure repaint, increasing her top speed by a few knots because it is low-friction paint. The refit will include a revamp of all accommodation, an overhaul of the engines and essential work to upgrade the vital sonar equipment HMS Scott uses to scan the deep ocean seabed. The data will up-date charts for the Royal Navy and international merchant navies to use to safely navigate the globe.
With 8,000 litres of paint applied and 10,000 meters of cabling already fitted the ship she is well on her way though the seven-month refit. Babcock Marine, which is conducting the refit in HM Naval Base, Devonport, have 80 people with up to an additional 40 working on her each day.
HMS Scott is the Royal Navy’s single deep-water ocean survey vessel and the fifth largest vessel in the fleet, at
13,500 tons. Her size is due to the need to house the long unique sonar equipment which is capable of surveying the deepest oceans in continuous lines of up to 400 miles in length.
The ship’s crew is 78, which is split into three watches of 26 operating on a rotational system with two watches onboard at any one time during time at sea on operations. This allows the crew to take leave whilst maximising operational availability with the ship not needing to return to baseport.