RFA vessel returns to Falmouth after three years

Thursday 13th January 2011

RFA Cardigan Bay returned to Falmouth for maintenance this week after three years in the Gulf supporting coalition operations and the Iraqi Navy.

While the ship was half way across the world, the Cardigan Bay was maintained by members of the Cluster Support Team, a joint venture between A&P and the MoD based in Falmouth, who regularly travel to the Gulf.

Leading ship repairer A&P Group has a five year rolling contract with the MoD to provide upkeep support to some of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships worth more than £300m.

The partnership has led to a much more economical approach to ship repair and maintenance throughout the RFA flotilla, with A&P being praised in Parliament last September for the “major part” it played in reducing MoD spending.

Kevin Murray, Cluster Support Team Leader for the MoD, said: “Providing maintenance to the ships while they are on long term deployment demonstrates the flexibility and advantages of the MoD working jointly with industry. It’s cost-effective because it minimises down time, making sure the vessel is available for operational requirements.”

Work included equipment upgrades to cooling and weapons systems; dry docking; operational support and general upkeep, and took place in ship yards in Dubai and Bahrain, and resulted in a partnership between A&P and Arab Ship Repair Yard (ASRY), which has been recognised as providing a ‘gold standard’ level of support to vessels within the operational theatre.

Gerald Pitts, A&P’s Cluster Programme Director, said: “The contract offers excellent value for money to the MoD, which has been proven with the successful execution of over thirty projects, and most recently with the RFA Mounts Bay – the first ship in its class to undergo a major refit.

“We have a worldwide reputation for excellence and efficiency and have provided support in Dubai, Bahrain, South Carolina, Curacao and the Mediterranean. We are delighted our work has been highlighted once again with the RFA Cardigan Bay.”

Following the planned three-week maintenance period, the RFA Cardigan Bay is expected back in Falmouth in August for a major refit similar to that of the RFA Mounts Bay, which was completed last year.

January 18th 2011


  1. Gerald Pitts, RFA Cluster Programme Director for A&P Falmouth; Chris Potter from Arab Ship Repair Yard and Contract Manager Chris Gunn signing the Heads of Agreement with ASRY in Bahrain.
  2. The RFA Cardigan Bay

Notes to Editors

  • The A&P Group has six dry docks in three different locations in the UK
  • A&P Tyne is located at Hebburn, has the largest drydock on the East Coast of England and in addition to marine repair and conversion work,is also a major contributor to the QEC Aircraft Carrier project.
  • A&P Falmouth is based in Falmouth, Cornwall, UK and is a leading force in ship repair, conversion and marine services. It is Europe’s premier ferry repair destination
  • A&P Falmouth is one of the largest employers in West Cornwall – also it is celebrated 150 years of the docks in their present location during 2010

For further information contact:

Zoe Bourdeaux
Deborah Clark Associates (PR for A&P Falmouth)
01208 77900 or 07796 175634

A&P Group Media Relations

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