Brocklesby back in the water as massive revamps nears end

After 18 months out of the water veteran minehunter HMS Brocklesby is back where she belongs, with the waters of Portsmouth Harbour lapping at her 196ft hull.

The ship is the latest Hunt-class vessel to undergo a massive overhaul, chiefly focused on replacing old Deltic diesels engines, which powered her successfully for 33 years, with much more efficient, modern Caterpillar motors which should significantly cut her fuel bill.

Other systems have been serviced and, where necessary, replaced, a new chilled water plant installed (better able to cope with temperatures in the Gulf) and her decks and hull have been treated, repaired and re-painted – some 9,000 maintenance tasks in all, requiring 190,000 ‘man hours’ (or the equivalent of one person working solidly for more than 21 years).

It was important for us to achieve this key milestone on time to make sure that Brocklesby will complete her regeneration and return to the Fleet

PO John Benson.

“It was important for us to achieve this key milestone on time to make sure that Brocklesby will complete her regeneration and return to the Fleet,” said marine engineer PO John Benson.

“We are looking forward now to getting onboard and continuing with that process.”

To date most of the work has been carried out in the cavernous ship hall in Portsmouth – erected to build sections of the Type 45 destroyers and extended for giant segments of the Navy’s new carriers.

The refit, carried out jointly by staff from BAE and the ship’s company, continues afloat in the dockyard, ahead of harbour and sea trials, Operational Sea Training in the summer and active duties once again in the autumn.