New Contract To Safeguard Future of HMS Victory

Portsmouth, Unit­ed King­dom: HMS Vic­to­ry, the old­est com­mis­sioned war­ship in the world, will under­go an exten­sive restora­tion at Portsmouth His­toric Dock­yard as part of a £16 mil­lion con­tract with BAE Sys­tems.

Help­ing to pre­serve the ves­sel for the next 10 years and beyond, this new con­tract will see the icon­ic ship being over­hauled from the tip of her masts, right down to the cra­dle in which she rests in dry dock. Work­ing in part­ner­ship with sub­con­trac­tors Bell Rig­ging and T Nielsen & Com­pa­ny, the high­ly intri­cate work will be car­ried out by a team of spe­cial­ist engi­neers, help­ing to sus­tain the tra­di­tion­al wood­en ship­build­ing skills such as ship­wrights and join­ery.

Since July, the company’s engi­neers have been under­tak­ing vital main­te­nance work to pre­pare the ship for the next phase of the ambi­tious ren­o­va­tion project and have removed the upper sec­tions of the vessel’s three masts, as well as the booms, yards, spars and asso­ci­at­ed rig­ging.

John O’Sullivan, BAE Sys­tems Project Man­ag­er for HMS Vic­to­ry, said: “This phase of restora­tive work is nec­es­sary to guar­an­tee Victory’s long term future and our project team are look­ing for­ward to get­ting start­ed on the job of main­tain­ing the ship for future gen­er­a­tions to enjoy.

“Dur­ing the recent removal of the top sec­tions of the masts we have kept HMS Vic­to­ry open to the pub­lic and it’s our inten­tion to keep the ship open as we car­ry out the rest of the work. The restora­tion will give the vis­it­ing pub­lic the oppor­tu­ni­ty to gain an even greater insight into the build of this icon­ic ves­sel.”

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The five year con­tract, with an addi­tion­al five year option, will allow a detailed sched­ule of work to begin, includ­ing the instal­la­tion of a new fire sup­pres­sion sys­tem to help pro­tect HMS Vic­to­ry for years to come. A project team will now under­take a full sur­vey of the ves­sel to iden­ti­fy pri­or­i­ty areas, which is expect­ed to include the replace­ment of ship­side plank­ing and repairs to the mid­dle-gun deck, as well as planned main­te­nance.

The Nation­al Muse­um of the Roy­al Navy’s Direc­tor Gen­er­al, Pro­fes­sor Dominic Twed­dle, added: “We are intense­ly heart­ened that a new con­tract is in place for the restora­tion of HMS Vic­to­ry. We are look­ing for­ward to work­ing with BAE Sys­tems to ensure that this icon­ic ship is open to vis­i­tors through­out. Our new exhi­bi­tion, ‘Bones of Oak and Iron’ which explains what is hap­pen­ing to Vic­to­ry and why, is already draw­ing crowds and as work pro­ceeds it will be con­stant­ly updat­ed.”

The project is one of the most exten­sive restora­tions of the 246 year old war­ship since she was repaired after the dam­age sus­tained at the Bat­tle of Trafal­gar in 1805. BAE Sys­tems has sup­port­ed HMS Vic­to­ry for more than 13 years at Portsmouth His­toric Dock­yard, as part of its mil­i­tary and tech­ni­cal ser­vices offer­ing. As well as sup­port­ing the old­est war­ship in the Roy­al Navy’s fleet, BAE Sys­tems also pro­vides in-ser­vice sup­port to the newest addi­tions, the Type 45 destroy­ers.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Kristi­na Crowe, BAE Sys­tems
Tel: +44 (0) 239 289 6232 Mob: +44 (0)7540628673

Gillian Churchill, BAE Sys­tems
Tel: +44 (0) 141 957 2150 Mob: +44 (0)7540628325

Issued by:

BAE Sys­tems, Farn­bor­ough, Hamp­shire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hot­line: + 44 (0) 7801 717739


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