Survey ship HMS Scott prepares for second record breaking mission in a row
The fifth largest surface ship under the White Ensign (only aircraft carriers and assault ships are bigger) has completed a three-month £7.5m revamp in Falmouth to prepare her for the most demanding deployment in her 25-year career.
Once trials and training are complete, the Plymouth-based vessel – unique in the Royal Navy for her ability to accurately survey vast expanses of ocean to great depths ¬– will head out into the North Atlantic.
While deployed, her crew intend to spend over 200 days at sea, surveying half a million square kilometres of ocean and seabed (that’s roughly the size of Spain)… beating the record she set on her 2021-22 survey ‘season’.
The ship has been in dock in Cornwall since she completed that mission back in March – her most successful/prolific since she was commissioned in 1997.
The team surveyed an area of 400,000 square kilometres – more than one and a half times the size of the UK and sailed a distance of nearly twice around the globe, hoovering up data about the Atlantic which will assist Royal Navy operations. Those efforts earned Scott the title of the Navy’s best survey ship.
Whilst that data benefits the Fleet, the Atlantic weather and high tempo of operations took their toll of the ship and her machinery.
The period in the hands of Falmouth’s A&P has allowed deep maintenance and technical upgrades on almost all of Scott’s systems, cleaning and repainting all ballast tanks, overhauling engines, generators and pumps.
Living quarters and facilities for crew have been refurbished, ventilation improved and, not least, the ship’s hull re-painted from bow to stern – and, being in dry dock, allowed crew a rare glimpse of their ship from below to appreciate the sheer size (131 metres long, 21 wide and 13,000 tonnes in all).
“Overall, it has been a really successful – and very busy – maintenance period and HMS Scott is in a great state to get back out to sea,” said Officer of the Watch Lieutenant Naomi Stevens.
The engineering team worked around the clock alongside A&P employees and also Royal Navy Reservist engineers to complete the comprehensive revamp.
“There have been some long hours but it is exciting to see how good the ship looks. We’re ready for our next deployment” marine engineer Michael Munday, aged 22.
Scott is now undergoing trials/training off the South Coast before deploying later this month.
“We’ve achieved a huge amount during this life extension docking period. The team have worked diligently alongside their A&P counterparts and the ship is now in an excellent condition to deploy for another record-breaking period of military data collection. We’re all excited to get back to sea and back on deployment” said Commanding Officer Commander Tom Harrison.