Following two years of major refit work HMS Albion has re-entered open water, moving from her temporary home inside the dockyard walls at HMNB Devonport, Plymouth, to her new tidal berth on the river.
The move to open water marks a significant milestone for the ship, which has been at extended readiness since 2011 and is now effectively placed under sailing orders-for the first time in six years.
The Captain of HMS Albion, Captain Tim Neild, said: “It’s great to see HMS Albion back on her tidal berth and marks a significant milestone in the refit project.
“We are on track to complete the project by the summer – a testament to the hard work and professional pride poured in to the ship by a combined Royal Navy, Babcock and DE&S team effort.”
The process of moving the 20,000 tonne, 176m long and 36m wide warship required six powerful tugs and several hours to negotiate the confine basin. With a narrow exit of only four metres, the margin for error was extremely small, and moving with the tides added an extra layer of complication.
Babcock Warships Director Stuart Leonard said: “Moving HMS Albion from the basin to her new home on the tidal berth marks another significant milestone in her refit.
“The move follows the successful completion of an extensive trials period culminating in the commissioning of the ship’s main engines. Our dedicated and committed joint Babcock and Royal Navy team will now focus on the final preparations for the ship to go back into service in the summer.”
HMS Albion will now undergo tests of its propulsion and support systems at its jetty in Devonport before sea trials commence in the summer and an anticipated return to service in 2018.
If you would like to join our community and read more articles like this then please click here