HMS Scimitar back in action
After a month of maintenance, inside and out, HMS Scimitar is back on the water.
Freshly painted and with a full service of her main machinery the 24 tonne Lifespan Patrol vessel was returned to Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron hands by local contractor Bolaños following her Annual Survey and Repair Period (ASRP).
The maintenance package, which required the ship to be craned out of the water for the period, included an emptying and cleaning of all of her tanks, extensive deep cleaning and a full internal and external survey to ensure that the ship remains safe to go to sea.
The most obvious change was the complete stripping back of the underside paint and replaced with a brand new coat of red anti-fouling paint to try and ensure she can always reach top speed when back on the water.
Scimitar’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Kyle Walkley said: “Scimitar and her sister ship Sabre have been out here in Gibraltar for over 15 years, having served in Northern Ireland for 10 years before that.”
“Like all warships they need lots of care and attention to keep them ready for operations at all times, so this annual period of deep maintenance is essential to keep them both ticking over,” he added.
The Scimitar -class vessels were originally built for use on inland waterways in Northern Ireland and were first brought into service in 1993. They were commissioned into the Royal Navy in 2003 and have served as part of RNGS ever since.
Whilst Scimitar was in maintenance, her sister ship HMS Sabre and the three RNGS PAC 24 RHIBs have ensured there was no drop in the operational tempo, patrolling British Gibraltar territorial waters and conducting force protection for visiting ships.