The new technology that will be used to power the UKs most advanced and up to date frigates is to be tested on HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden deployment which is planned to happen in 2021.
The new technology, the Power Generation Machinery Upgrade (PGMU) propulsion system, has already been put to the test on HMS Richmond and is the first vessel to receive the new system. HMS Richmond is to be put through her paces to test the new propulsion system to make sure that it works as it should and the crew can have confidence in it. She has her sea trials later this year so that she is ready to escort the Queen Elizabeth next year.
HMS Richmond is to be used as a ‘test bed for her successors’ as she is the first ship to have the new PGMU propulsion technology fitted to her.
The PGMU propulsion system is the next generation of diesel generator sets which will be used to generate power to cover the current short falls in generating capacity whilst also ensuring that the onboard generation capacity can meet the power demand of the new sensor equipment’s and weapons which will be introduced to the ships. Updating the system will also eradicate any risks that are associated with the increasingly obsolescence of the existing MCAS propulsion system.
The new generation of diesel generators will be accompanied by a fully modernised control and surveillance system. The new control and surveillance system will make it easier to monitor and control the system as a whole, therefore making it easier to diagnose and solve any problems which may arise.
The new system which has been fitted on HMS Richmond has now made it the most advanced frigate in the Royal Navy’s fleet and has given her the capacity to expand in other areas such as weaponry and sensor equipment because of the extra power generating capacity now on board.
The current testing phase is to ensure that HMS Richmond is ready to use in 2021 when she is used to escort HMS Queen Elizabeth. The submarine hunting specialist’s main priority will be as an anti-submarine escort. This will be for the maiden deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Not only has the power generation system seen an upgrade but another one of the big upgrades on the HMS Richmond is the upgrade of the air defence missile system. The older Sea Wolf system as now been upgraded to the Sea Ceptor.