A&P Falmouth has just completed a multi-million pound refit of Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus as part of the company’s through life support “cluster” contract with the Ministry of Defence.
Work started on January 21 this year and was completed in late June 13, involving an average of 200 A&P staff during the six month contract.
The work included upgrading lifeboats and davits, overhaul of the main engines, installation of an incinerator and shredder, new engine control systems, refurbishment of the ship’s hospital and a five-year paint and preservation package.
A&P Falmouth’s contract with the MOD for the long term maintenance of RFA ships was originally signed in 2008 and earlier this year was extended by five years, taking it to 2018 following a value for money review.
‘Grey’ ships now account for 50% of A&P Falmouth’s business.
Gerald Pitts, A&P’s Cluster Director, said: “It’s been a real team effort between A&P and the Ministry of Defence. This was an intricate job but thanks to meticulous planning, design development and equipment procurement that the cluster contract affords us, together with the excellent project management and hard work from the workforce, we’re delighted to have completed this complex refit. Value for money and quality of service are what this contract is all about.”
Kevin Murray, RFA Argus Cluster team Leader for the MOD, said: “The co-operation and close ties forged between A&P and the Ministry of Defence ensures that complex projects like the Argus refit are completed to a high standard which in turn delivers high levels of platform availability for Navy Command’.
RFA Argus is a Primary Casualty Receiving Facility, able to treat up to 100 casualties at a time ensuring wounded service personnel of any nationality can receive rapid medical care on operations. She also provides specialist aviation training facilities.
The Italian-built ship was originally a container ship and was requisitioned in 1982 for service in the Falklands War. This summer RFA Argus can be seen playing a starring role in the Brad Pitt zombie blockbuster World War Z, parts of which were filmed aboard in Falmouth in 2011.
In addition to RFA Argus under the cluster contract, A&P Falmouth also provides Through Life Support including refit and maintenance periods to RFA Mounts Bay, Cardigan Bay and Lyme Bay.
Lyme Bay is in Falmouth now undergoing routine maintenance and is due to leave in mid July 13. RFA Mounts Bay is due in Falmouth in late July 13 for further equipment upgrades before deployment and Argus will be back in August for final checks before deployment.
Photo: Nick Cowan CST Deputy Team Leader (centre, 7th from left) and Darren Rice A&P Project Manager (centre, 9th from right) surrounded with the MoD/A&P project