SeaKing Group supports Cammell Laird in RFA Fort Victoria refit


(UK/ Merseyside/ Birkenhead) marine firm SeaKing Group has supported Cammell Laird in a major refit involving one of the Ministry of Defence’s largest vessels – The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Fort Victoria.

The 30,000 tonne Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ship entered a one-year re-fit period in September 2017 to extend its operational lifespan to the late 2020’s.

Wide-ranging work was carried out to ensure full compatibility with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) MARPOL regulations. Improvements to the Replenishment at Sea (RAS) equipment will now enable the vessel to replenish the new Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers. Meanwhile, an upgrade to the Bridge section will ensure a modern approach to naval navigation.

SeaKing Group Managing Director Dave Gillam said the firm was initially tasked by Cammell Laird and the MoD to provide a feasibility study which would later form the basis of the Bridge design.

“After carrying out a full inspection of the Bridge area we submitted a series of options to the MoD ranging from minimal work to a complete overhaul of the layout with significant changes to the ship structure,” he said. “The decision was then made to strip the entire interior of the Bridge back to its shell and replace it with a more efficient layout.

“The new design was based around previous installations on RFA vessels which SeaKing had delivered in close partnership with Cammell Laird. It involved the installation of four separate consoles. SeaKing was responsible for the overhaul and reconfiguration of legacy equipment and the installation of new equipment. This included the new RADAR’s, Warship Electronic Charting Display & Information System (WECDIS) and the Navigation Distribution & Conning System (NDACS).”

Alongside other nominated sub-contractors, SeaKing was also tasked with full system integration within the Bridge section. This included the set up and synchronisation of key equipment such as steering gear, signals and controls, wind speed and direction, gyro inputs, ships speed log, pitch and roll, ships AIS, voyage data recordings, main engine and propulsion signals, new NVG compatible navigation lighting and associated controls, and numerous other naval communications systems.

Additional work involved the design, manufacture and installation of a new deck lighting control system. This was achieved with an HMI Touchscreen providing automated control.

On completion of the project SeaKing received commendations from both RFA Superintendents and OEM Directors on the level of diligence, workmanship and effort to complete a specification which was not fully developed at the outset.

Mr Gillam said the project added to the firm’s world class military marine portfolio further and further strengthened its long-term partnership with Cammell Laird.

“SeaKing is proud to have supported Cammell Laird over the last decade with its RFA cluster contract delivering ‘through-life support’ to a catalogue of MoD vessels,” he said. “As we plan for the future we were particularly pleased to see Cammell Laird securing two further 10-year contracts to support the RFA, worth an estimated £619million. These contracts will run until 2028 and come a major boost to Merseyside’s maritime sector and supply chain as a whole.”

For further details on SeaKing Groups services contact its business development Manager Neil Mellenchip:  T: +44 (0)151 652 4821 E:

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