Under the Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) contract BAE Systems provides whole ship availability management service to all of the eight Royal Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) around the globe. Repairs and maintenance are delivered wherever in the world they are operationally required, minimising waited transit time and ensuring rapid defect rectification.

Through this arrangement the Royal Navy benefits from reliable support and maximised availability – helping it meet its global operational commitments – as well as reduced, consistent costs. Thanks to BAE Systems’ industry-leading expertise and its global network, the support team delivered in excess of 98% operational availability across all eight OPVs in 2020.

The maintenance received by HMS Medway, the second of five new OPVs built by BAE Systems, ensures that she continues to be fit to operate in the demanding conditions of the Caribbean Sea as part of her role in the Atlantic Patrol Tasking North (APTN) group. HMS Medway’s APTN mission is focused on providing reassurance to Commonwealth and British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, disrupting the flow of smuggled narcotics and supporting humanitarian relief efforts.

For this maintenance period BAE Systems called on expertise from its Jacksonville facility located two miles (three kilometres) from the Atlantic Ocean, at the intersection of the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, to complete the work.

During the maintenance period restrictions on the international movement of parts and labour meant that much of the maintenance had to be planned and project managed from 4,000 miles away, in the UK. However, through careful re-planning and remote management BAE Systems was able to complete the project with only one of 62 tasks deferred, ensuring that the ship was in an enhanced material state before she sailed.

Darren Coukham, BAE Systems Ship Manager for HMS Medway added: “I am hugely proud of our teams for completing this work on time. I believe our customers recognise that BAE Systems will go above and beyond, when required, to meet their needs, and has the expertise to re-plan such projects quickly and effectively.”

While the majority of the maintenance was completed before Christmas last year, the ship spent the festive period in the naval base allowing some of the ship’s 40-strong company to be released and return to the UK to spend time with families and loved ones.