The first of the two most recognisable ships on the Falmouth landscape for the past 18-months is preparing to leave the port following the completion of a major naval regeneration project.
A&P Falmouth, on behalf of Thales Naval, has been working on extensive refits on two ex-Royal Navy vessels that have been sold to the Lithuanian Navy.
HMS Cottesmore and HMS Dulverton – now called Skalvis and Kursis – were originally Mine Counter-Measure Vessels (MCMVs), before they were converted to patrol vessels in 1997 for duties in Northern Ireland.
The project has involved converting both ships back to a full mine-hunting capability for use by the Lithuanian Navy.The ships, which have been in Falmouth since May 2009, have been formally handed over to the Lithuanian Navy and the first will soon depart for Lithuania.
Both vessels were decommissioned from the Royal Navy in 2005 and until April 2009 were held in HMNB Portsmouth awaiting disposal.
Staff at A&P Falmouth have also trained the ships’ crews in how to use the new equipment onboard once the refit is completed.
Paul Hebson, operations director at A&P Falmouth, said: “The MCMV regeneration project was an important contract for A&P Falmouth, and really uses the high skills available in our workforce and our client, Thales Naval.
“As the Royal Navy accepts new ships into the fleet, older ships that still have a service life are very attractive assets for overseas navies. A&P Group is the acknowledged expert in regeneration and we are delighted to have been able to demonstrate our expertise on this latest project.”