UK — Minehunter’s upgrade reaches major milestone

The instal­la­tion of two new engines marks a major mile­stone in the 12-month upgrade of Roy­al Navy mine­hunter HMS Chid­ding­fold.

A new Cater­pil­lar C32 ACERT engine is care­ful­ly craned into HMS Chid­ding­fold dur­ing upgrade work being car­ried out by BAE Sys­tems in Portsmouth [Pic­ture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The two new engines replace her old Rolls-Royce Deltics which have been used in the Roy­al Navy’s minor war ves­sels for decades. 

The work is part of a major mid-life upgrade of the Navy’s eight Hunt Class mine­hunters being car­ried out by BAE Sys­tems in Portsmouth. 

The pro­gramme will enhance and sig­nif­i­cant­ly extend the lives of the eight ships, main­tain­ing their posi­tion as some of the most capa­ble mine coun­ter­mea­sures ves­sels in the world. 

Work on Chid­ding­fold start­ed in Jan­u­ary with the removal of two sec­tions of deck to allow access to the bow­els of the ship. 

With the engine room ful­ly pre­pared for the new Cater­pil­lar C32 ACERT engines they were care­ful­ly craned into the ship and onto their new mounts. 

Lieu­tenant Peter Davis, the ship’s exec­u­tive offi­cer, said: 

“It is very excit­ing for us to see the new engines being put into Chid­ding­fold after months of preparation. 

“She is the first of the re-engined Hunt Class mine­hunters and we are look­ing for­ward to putting this new sys­tem through its paces lat­er this year to find out exact­ly how the ship will perform.” 

Mark Drap­er, BAE Sys­tems Project Man­ag­er for the Hunt repropul­sion pro­gramme, said as well as replac­ing engines the work also includ­ed fit­ting new gear­box­es and pro­pellers and an upgrade to the hydraulic bow thruster system. 

Mr Drap­er concluded: 

“Chid­ding­fold is the first of class for this project and we are learn­ing a lot. The engine instal­la­tion is a real mile­stone. The team is work­ing hard and know there is a lot left to com­plete this chal­leng­ing programme.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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