All of us – MOD, Babcock and ship’s company – are raring to go and up for the challenge

Commander Steve Ward, HMS Albion’s Senior Naval Officer

Although marine growth had attached itself to the 577ft hull, so good was the original paint scheme applied to the ship that a high-pressure wash removed it “in a jiffy”.

Other elements of the refit package planned for Albion will prove rather more demanding – computer, weapons, radar and command systems will need upgrading to keep pace with developments while the ship has been out of action. 

Her engines and propulsion system will be given a full overhaul, as will the accommodation spaces and messes – more than 300 sailors, plus over 400 Royal Marines when deployed.

Commander Steve Ward, the ship’s Senior Naval Officer, said his team found the ship “in surprisingly good nick” when they stepped aboard to begin Albion’s rejuvenation.

“The first impression was very much like stepping onboard any Royal Navy warship – the core team have done a good job of keeping the patient alive these past few three years,” he added.

“We’re undaunted by the rollercoaster ride that is invariably associated with the maintenance period for any capital ship.

HMS Bulwark (L15)

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Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering)

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