HMS Sabre ready for operations

HMS Sabre has returned to the water following successful completion of her annual maintenance package.

The 24-tonne Scimitar-class patrol vessel, part of the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron was craned back into the water following her Annual Survey and Repair Period.

The annual 30-day package, which requires the ship to be craned out of the water onto a shore-side cradle, included an emptying and cleaning of all of her tanks, extensive deep cleaning and a full internal and external survey to ensure that the ship remains safe to go to sea.

Not to mention the removal of the sea growth from her hull and a fresh coat of grey paint to ensure the highest levels of performance when she gets back in the water.

This annual maintenance package is vital to ensuring that we can keep these vessels at the short notice required for our tasking here in Gibraltar.

Lieutenant Lloyd Cardy RN

Sabre’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Lloyd Cardy said: “HMS Sabre and her sister ship HMS Scimitar have provided valuable service in different guises for 25 years.

“The way we achieve longevity like that is by careful and regular maintenance, both by the ships’ engineers and with the assistance from external contractors. 

“This annual maintenance package is vital to ensuring that we can keep these vessels at the short notice required for our tasking here in Gibraltar.”

The Scimitar-class vessels were originally built for use on inland waterways in Northern Ireland and were first brought into service in 1993. Sabre was commissioned for the Royal Navy in 2003 and has served as part of the Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron ever since.

Whilst Sabre was in deep maintenance, HMS Scimitar and the three RNGS PAC 24 RHIBs ensured there was no drop in the operational tempo, patrolling British Gibraltar territorial waters and conducting force protection for visiting units.

Lt Cardy said: “There is a lot of excitement within the squadron about the replacement craft arriving over the next couple of years but we remain very much focussed on the here and now, and that is ensuring that our current units remain ready for operations.”