The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus has returned to Falmouth Docks for a major programme of works to be carried out by A&P Falmouth, as part of the company’s ‘cluster’ contract with the Ministry of Defence.
The ship’s refit cycle is five yearly and this will be the second refit undertaken in A&P Falmouth since the contract was placed in 2008. She was used as a film location for the Brad Pitt zombie movie World War Z while in Falmouth in 2011.
Work began on last week and is due to be completed during the summer. The multi-million pound refit will contain general upkeep and upgrade work to ship systems to ensure compliance with the relevant certification authorities and will include replacement of the existing lifeboats, overhaul of the main engines, installation of a new emergency generator, fitting of new engine control systems and an extensive 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 has recently been extended by five years, taking it to 2018 following a value for money review. This refit is expected to sustain around 200 jobs.
Gerald Pitts, A&P’s cluster director, said: “The arrival of RFA Argus for her refit demonstrates once again the benefits of the cluster contract and is the culmination of 12 months of design and planning work ready for implementation by A&P Falmouth production teams. The refit is part of the through life support we provide to RFA ARGUS wherever in the world operations take her on a 24 hour, seven day a week basis.”
In addition to RFA Argus under the cluster contract, A&P Falmouth also provide ‘through life support’ including refit and maintenance periods to RFA Mounts Bay, Cardigan Bay and Lyme Bay.