A&P Group UK and A&P Australia refitted two Bay-class vessels simultaneously; RFA Cardigan Bay in the UK and HMAS Choules in Australia.
RFA Cardigan Bay recently completed her refit at A&P Falmouth and resumed her ‘Fleet Time’ program from the MoD, while HMAS Choules continues a significant period of refit at A&P Australia’s facilities in Sydney.
The Bay Class are amphibious landing craft built for Britain’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) in the 2000s. The UK-based A&P Group supports RFA Cardigan Bay, RFA Lyme’s Bay and RFA Mounts Bay under its contract Through Life Support (TLS) with the MoD.
HMAS Choules, formerly RFA Largs Bay, was purchased by the Royal Australian Navy in 2011. A&P Australia was incorporated in 2012 and has supported HMAS Choules since its arrival in Australia. In 2015, A&P Australia won the In-Service Support and Support contract for HMAS Choules, which was extended in 2019.
RFA Cardigan Bay has completed a major mid-life refit at A&P Falmouth. Work included critical and obsolescence equipment upgrades and accommodation updates.
The vessel underwent a significant berthing period at the start of a 90-day refit, including painting, hull access, removal of the stern/side ramp and extensive work on the propulsion system. The remainder of the period was spent alongside A&P’s Falmouth facility and ensured the continued performance and availability of this RFA Bay class vessel.
The RFA Cardigan Bay refit was the second of three planned refits to be delivered to A&P Falmouth for Bay Class ships with RFA Mounts Bay completed before and RFA Lyme Bay scheduled for 2022.
Since 2019, A&P Australia has been the lead systems integrator for the HMAS Choules Capability Assurance Project (CAP). The project involves the design and installation of over 80 engineering modifications in 44 capability improvement areas to ensure the capability and sustainability of HMAS Choules until its scheduled retirement date early in the next decade.
The CAP has been integrated into sustainment and has been delivered incrementally through a number of maintenance windows, however, this current refit is the major upgrade window and acts as a mid-life upgrade of the platform.
Refurbishment Period 21 spans over 300 days at an estimated production cost of $90 million and is delivered by a daily workforce of 500 from over 50 vendors.
The refit period includes a major system renewal program that includes dry exhaust, HVAC, ballast water treatment, numerous auxiliary and mission system upgrades and improvements, as well as a major sustainment program for hull and tank preservation, structural and machinery repairs, and planned maintenance. on all installed equipment, including main engines, power generation, propulsion and auxiliary systems.
David McGinley, Managing Director of Cammell Laird Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd, Atlantic & Peninsula Marine Services, said: “A&P Group and A&P Australia are proud of their continued support of the LSD(A) Bay class of vessels on behalf of the Royal Fleet. . auxiliary and the Royal Australian Navy.
“Our relationship builds on a long-standing relationship with the MoD and the Royal Australian Navy, which enables us to provide global maintenance support to these vessels.
“As competitive and commercial ship repair facilities, we continue to provide the MoD and the Royal Australian Navy with significant efficiencies and cost savings, maintaining the highest levels of ship availability for the MoD and the Royal Australian Navy and Australia Defence.”
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