Duqm Naval Dockyard (DND), the Joint Venture between Babcock International and the Oman Drydock Company (ODC), has successfully completed a four week fleet time support programme (FTSP) for the UK Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose, Babcock announced. The maintenance period enabled the DND team to complete essential repairs and performance improvements, ensuring an on time on cost turnaround of HMS Montrose back to operational duties in the Gulf and Indian Ocean.
This contract underpins Babcock’s response to the Royal Navy’s commitment to forward-deployed Task Groups. Putting greater emphasis on global partnerships and digitally enabled support solutions, Babcock’s investment with ODC to develop the DND for international navies ensures it is well placed to provide sustainable support to customers. Its regional capability in the Gulf is a key component and the success of the FTSP at Duqm demonstrates Babcock’s global support to customers.
The programme incorporated repair and maintenance activities throughout the ship, with more than 250 critical elements in the scope. Extensive surveys determined a schedule of ship-wide pressure testing and maintenance, including air weapons handling systems, fire systems and ventilation. Activities extended to the hangar, flight deck and bridge, as well as throughout living quarter areas. All had to be undertaken under strict COVID regulations applying at the dockyard.
Alastair Stangroom, Managing Director for Babcock Oman, said: “DND’s presence in the Middle East positions us well to support critical missions and assets, enabling us to service our customers’ need for fast, effective turnarounds with global reach-back to our extensive network of expertise. Despite the obvious constraints of strict COVID restrictions, the Joint Venture team delivered HMS Montrose back to sea on time, ensuring maximum benefit in terms of cost and quality.”
Strategically located outside the Gulf of Arabia, DND offers customers a competitive, comprehensive facility with a full suite of modern waterside infrastructure. Its 2,800 metres of quayside, complete with new-build workshops and specialist-manufacturing facilities, operate alongside two 480m graving docks capable of supporting Ultra Large Crude Carriers and large Warships, allowing the most complex of programmes to be efficiently delivered.
Established as an Omani company in 2017, DND combines the ship repair skills and dockyard infrastructure of ODC with the naval design, engineering and programming expertise of Babcock, firmly putting our customers’ requirements at the heart of our operations.
Over the past decade Duqm, which sits on the Gulf of Oman about 270 miles south of Muscat, has been turned into a major port.
Britain signed a deal with Oman to develop facilities at Duqm to support RN operations in the region, including carrier deployments (the new port has the second largest dry dock in the Middle East), developing a joint logistics support base.
Naval vessels have been making use of Duqm for the past five years – the port was the hub for the major Saif Sareea amphibious exercise with the Omanis in 2018.