VT Reaches Milestone With New RN Survey Ships

Construction of two new 295 ft. (90 m) hydrographic and oceanographic survey ships for the Royal Navy, under the prime contractorship of Vosper Thornycroft (VT), has taken another step forward with the initial blocks being moved to the berth in the covered Building Dock at Appledore Shipbuilders in Devon.

Appledore is constructing the vessels through a sub-contract from VT with the first vessel. HMS Echo, due for float out in early 2002; in-service will commence in Autumn 2002.

The initial production process commenced with a 102-ton steel block from the ship's central hull being moved into the construction dock at Appledore.

Ultimately, both HMS Echo and its sistership HMS Enterprise will be constructed alongside each other in the large dock facility.

The prime contract, which was placed with VT in June 2000, is worth more than $185 million, and includes the support of the ships throughout their 25- year service life. Both Echo and Enterprise will work with the Royal Navy fleet in worldwide frontline operational roles, including support of mine warfare and amphibious operations as well as the undertaking of specialist surveying tasks necessary for long-term effectiveness of the Royal Navy.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 20,  Jun 2001 Atlantic

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