MLF - Military Logistics

Dry dock reopens at Portsmouth

20th December 2017 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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The arrival of a new caisson at the Royal Navy’s Portsmouth Naval Base has enabled the reopening of a former dry dock for the first time since 2002, the navy announced on 15 December.

A caisson is like a tailor made plug which fits into the end of the dry dock, forming a seal so that the dock itself can then be pumped empty of water, giving access to the underside of the ship that is in for maintenance

Reopening the dock takes the base capability up to 11 dry docks which can support ships up to the size of a Type 45 destroyer.

The new caisson is intended to remain in service for 25 years without the need for servicing. It features an operating system involving electric pumps to pump out the ballast water rather than it being blown out by compressed air. Routine maintenance and inspections can also be undertaken without the need to remove the caisson from service.

The caisson has already been put to the test with a full drain-down of the dry dock for maintenance crews to assess how much cleaning is required to be done in the dry dock before the first ship will be brought in for works.

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