03 Jan 2019

HMS Chiddingfold returns to the water

HMS Chiddingfold has returned to the water following the most comprehensive improvement programme ever to be carried out on the plastic hull of a Hunt-class ship.

As HMS Chiddingfold reaches the end of its current phase of maintenance, BAE Systems – together with the Royal Navy – has launched its inaugural association programme. The initiative aims to forge closer ties between the ship, its company and the BAE employees responsible for her upkeep.

“HMS Chiddingfold moving out of the ship hall is another great delivery milestone, but the work certainly doesn’t end here,” said Jon Pearson, Warship Support Director at BAE Systems. “We’re also preparing for the first quarter of 2019, which is looking like it will be the busiest period the yard has seen in ten years.

“Our ship association is another way we are working with our customers to show our continued support and commitment to the Royal Navy. We take great pride in getting ships to sea on time and in the right condition to allow the Royal Navy to meet its operational needs.”

Measuring 60 metres long and 10 metres wide, Hunt-class ships are the largest glass-reinforced plastic vessels in the world and have been in service for over 30 years. All six are base-ported at Portsmouth Naval Base and maintained by BAE Systems.

The first phase of HMS Chiddingfold’s upkeep was carried out in the former ship hall facility, now the Minor Vessels Centre of Specialisation. It offers engineers 360-degree access to the ship no matter the weather, cutting down maintenance times and offering the Ministry of Defence better value for money.

HMS Chiddingfold’s upkeep included extensive blasting of her hull, side and decks to prepare her for repainting. She also received upgrades to many of her systems including firefighting equipment, new fuel tanks, salvage generator and underwater valve replacements. There were also modifications to the electrical systems, and a new galley was installed so that the crew will have better on board facilities.

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