Milestone Achieved in Major Submarine Maintenance Period

A major and visible milestone has been achieved by Babcock in the Revalidation and Assisted Maintenance Period (RAMP) being undertaken on SSN HMS Torbay, with the successful completion of flood-up this week – the first time the submarine has been afloat since docking ten months ago. The milestone has been achieved in what is the largest planned workscope ever undertaken in a RAMP.


The successful achievement of flood-up signals completion of some 85 per cent of the work programme on Torbay, which includes significant communications upgrades.


A substantial amount of the work scope undertaken has included non-destructive examination of the hull and ship’s systems, including the reactor primary circuit, demonstrating that the submarine is fit for service well into her extended commission. Meanwhile, overhaul work has included a full rebuild of one of the platform’s combined coolers and a revalidation of the circulating water system. The weapons and communications programme has delivered sonar system improvements, a full overhaul of the torpedo tubes, and improved communications for the vessel when in port.

Much of the work undertaken has been as a result of programmed surveys, including additional work on the steering & hydroplanes systems, the garbage ejector, hydraulic systems, high pressure air bottles, the low pressure air blower system and the sonar bow array. The significant emergent work has been managed as part of the RAMP programme by a Joint Project Team comprising Babcock, ship’s staff and Fleet, and the MoD.

Babcock boat manager Jon Lewis commented: “Flood-up is an important milestone and pace marker in the progress of this RAMP, and marks a significant achievement. The constant challenge to shape and control the programme while responding to the results of surveys requires a massive effort from all involved. Flood-up truly marks the ‘beginning of the end’ for this project as we focus firmly on the RAMP end game and delivery back to the customer.”

Remaining key milestones in Torbay’s RAMP include repairs that can only be done afloat, a complex set-to-work and integration package for the combat system, and final revalidation tests that will prove the safety and integrity of the submarine’s systems. Completion is scheduled for summer 2013.