RFA Lyme Bay back in port

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RFA Lyme Bay, the fifth ship to have a multi-million pound refit as part of the Cluster contract at A&P Falmouth, has arrived in the port for work to begin.

Members of the Cluster Support Team at A&P Falmouth, from L-R Gerald Pitts, A&P Cluster Director; Dave Baker, RFA Project Engineer; Nick Cowan, RFA Technical Superintendent; Jamie Johnson, A&P Senior Programme Engineer; Darren Rice, A&P Project Manager and Kevin Murray, RFA Cluster Support Team Leader

She returned to Falmouth after three years in the Gulf supporting coalition operations.

The major refits, carried out every five years, have been completed on the RFA Argus, RFA Mounts Bay, RFA Largs Bay and RFA Cardigan Bay between 2009 and earlier this year.

The grey ships, which have become a familiar part of the Falmouth skyline over the past four years, are in the docks as part of the Cluster Support Programme – a contract between A&P Group and the MoD to provide worldwide support to the ships.

The partnership has led to a more economical approach to ship repair and maintenance throughout the RFA flotilla, through advanced planning, knowledge of the vessels, continuous improvements in working practices and the reliable quality of work and availability of the docks.

The five-month programme of work to the RFA Lyme Bay will include a new exhaust; ballast water treatment installation; an overhaul of the main engines and propulsion systems; survey and recertification work; a full paint and antifouling programme; general upkeep and maintenance.

Gerald Pitts, A&P’s Cluster Director, said: “The Cluster contract has been running for four years and we are currently working with the MoD to compile evidence proving it has delivered excellent value for money. We hope this will secure the option available to extend the contract through to June 2018, continuing to provide the support, maintenance and availability of the vessels.”

Peter Child, MD of A&P Falmouth, added: “The Ministry of Defence has strong ties with Falmouth and we are delighted to celebrate the continuing success of the partnership between A&P Falmouth and the RFA and to showcase what has been achieved.”

“The contract helps provide A&P Falmouth – and it’s highly skilled employees – with vital security for the future.”