Cammell Laird welcomes four Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels

Cammell Laird has enjoyed a busy three months having welcomed four Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels to its facility.

The UK’s first Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance ship is one of the latest Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels to undergo maintenance and refitting at Cammell Laird.

Cammell Laird undertook the conversion of RFA Proteus, formerly known as the Topaz Tangaroa, which was purchased by the UK Ministry of Defence for the conversion for Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance. Cammell Laird was tasked with preparing the vessel for its new role, with works to the crane and deck machinery as well as a full paint scheme and name change.

RFA Proteus and RFA Stirling Castle are the newest members of Cammell Laird’s RFA cluster – and both vessels will now be supported by Cammell Laird at home and in operational theatres across the globe.

In what continues to be an extremely busy period for Cammell Laird, the facility has simultaneously welcomed four vessels from Royal Auxiliary Fleet for ship repair works.

Tide-class replenishment tanker RFA Tiderace has visited Cammell Laird for a major refit period and regeneration work, whilst sister ship RFA Tidesurge is also undergoing an intense contractor support period.

RFA Fort Victoria – a Fort-class combined fleet stores ship and tanker – is undergoing maintenance, while RFA Proteus was converted into the country’s first multi-role surveillance vessel before heading to sea.

RFA Fort Victoria in Plymouth Sound. Credit: Dmgerrard CC BY-SA 3.0

Cammell Laird’s Managing Director Mike Hill said, “Cammell Laird’s RFA Cluster Support Team has delivered comprehensive through-life support to `17 RFA platforms since 2008 and it’s something we’re immensely proud of.

“These ships enable the long-range capabilities of the Royal Navy and it’s essential they’re kept in top operational order. Our unique knowledge of these vessels underpins the availability of not just the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, but in turn the Royal Naval fleet.”

Cammell Laird’s partnership with the Ministry of Defence means it can provide the very best service to the RFA, working across different classes with varying roles and capabilities and drawing on vital experience, Cammell Laird also procures spares and equipment from all over the world to suit vessels’ operational requirements.

David McGinley, CEO of APCL Group, added: “The Cammell Laird workforce knows these ships inside and out and that level of experience is something that the RFA and Ministry of Defence always know they can count on.

“I’m also extremely proud of the fact that our apprentices get the chance to learn on these contracts, which is key to ensuring we have the skills in our workforce to keep these vital ships running in top operational condition both now, and long into the future.”

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