UMC International was contracted to carry out an extensive repair and maintenance program of work on HMS Gloucester. Due to the vessel having recently completed a Fleet Time Support Period (FTSP), the program did not allow for dry docking , so work had to be undertaken afloat within a very challenging timescale.
UMC Engineers and dedicated dive teams worked to a short deadline of five weeks before the HMS Gloucester was due to be deployed for an extended period at sea.
The first task was to complete three insert repairs to the port and starboard bilge rails, which meant removal and replacement of both hull plating and the bilge rail tips. Specially fabricated man-entry cofferdams had to be purpose-designed and manufactured at UMC's facilities in Southampton. These modular-constructed cofferdam systems provide a dry environment and access to any area of the hull by specially designed interface sections.
The five week program also included a rudder packing replacement, inspections of the stabilizer and propellers and an MPI inspection of bilge keels. UMC performed a propeller polish using their own purpose-designed super polishing two-pass system of coarse and fine abrasive pads that can polish a propeller to better than new finish that outperforms other methods in use.
As a result of their success BAE Systems have invested in UMC's modular cofferdams for repairs in the future.