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Yard team working hard to repair Astute fire damage

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Yard team working hard to repair Astute fire damage

Postby U-5075 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:46 pm ... h=1.272472

One foto of (of two) of interest:
BLAZE: Smoke and flames seen coming from Astute sub on April 18. Something a bit different........ interesting.

Yard team working hard to repair Astute fire damage
Last updated 13:10, Thursday, 30 April 2009

A DEDICATED team is working round the clock to repair the damage caused by the fire on Astute.

But BAE says it is not yet in a position to estimate the cost or impact of the blaze on April 18, on the first-of-class nuclear submarine’s schedule.

And a shipyard union chief also says the workforce are keeping their fingers crossed that the blaze has not caused any major damage.

Chris Nelson, communications manager for BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, told The Mail an investigation is taking place to determine the cause of the fire.

He said: “The Bridge Fin recovery work stream now has a dedicated team repairing the damage caused by the fire. The team is made up of personnel from BAE Systems, the Royal Navy, the MoD and supply chain partners. The work is being carried out alongside other vital tasks already planned for the first of class submarine.

“An investigation is taking place to determine the cause of the fire and evaluate the full extent of the damage.”

The fire broke out at the top of the fin or conning tower of the boat while it was being worked on in Devonshire Dock.

Twenty people working in the boat had to be evacuated because of the fire, which sent up a big pall of black smoke that was seen around the town.

While BAE is still checking over the £1.2bn sub to assess the damage, the company has said the inside of the boat and the diesel engine and nuclear reactor were not affected.

Azza Samms, union secretary for yard manual workers, said: “The Monday after the company was telling us they hoped it won’t affect the programme and the news on Thursday was that everything was going to plan.

“Nobody was injured thank God. It is not good. It’s unfortunate that these things happen but it is obviously not done deliberately. It’s an accident and accidents do happen unfortunately.

“I think it was the burning tiles that caused all the black smoke. Hopefully it is not as bad as we first thought, but the investigation is still taking place.” The top of the fin includes a series of apertures from which expensive masts and antennae, including the sub’s new-style TV periscope, are deployed.

The fire came as the submarine was commissioning equipment in dockside tests and was due to switch on its nuclear reactor for power range testing.

Some reports, including one on the Defence News website, have claimed the switch-on has been put back until later in the summer. The submarine was scheduled to do sea trials this summer before moving to the Royal Navy base at Faslane for any final rectification work.

BAE confirmed the fire started during trials of the snort induction system which draws in and circulates air for the diesel engines, although the engines were not running at the time.

An MOD spokesman said: “The fire is a matter for BAE Submarine Solutions, however, we continue to work closely with BAE SSS across all aspects of the project, including to determine the impact of this minor incident on the Astute programme.”
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Postby U-5075 » Sun May 03, 2009 9:15 am

JUST A SMALL FIRE ... h=1.238875

North West Evening Mail
Fire on Barrow nuclear submarine
Last updated 08:58, Sunday, 03 May 2009

FIRE crews were called to the BAE Systems Astute nuclear-powered submarine in Barrow yesterday (Saturday) after a report of a small fire.

BAE Systems said the small incident involved a plastic-covered hammer handle inside a welding bag, which was dealt with quickly.

The company followed fire procedures and staff evacuated the £1.2bn sub, which is moored in the dock at Barrow shipyard.

BAE said a yard worker used an extinguisher on the bag and put out the fire.

Barrow fire service attended the incident at 12.30pm and also used their safety equipment.

A spokeswoman for BAE said: “There has been no damage, no costs and no change to the programme.

“It was literally the handle of a hammer in a bag. It is standard practice to evacuate the area.”

The company said there will be an assessment of the incident that was in the back section of the sub.

Two weeks ago Astute suffered a blaze on the top of the fin, or conning tower.

There was also a fire inside the Devonshire Dock Hall on the second of class Ambush on March 30. That fire was caused by welding sparks igniting external tiles but was put out without serious damage.
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Postby U-5075 » Tue May 05, 2009 9:30 am

Astute's problems continue
Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Problems continue to develop with the HMS Astute, leading to predictions that the sub could be delayed from entering service by one to two years.

After a severe fire on 21 April, all work on the submarine was stopped while engineers and inspectors determined what exactly went wrong. The fire occurred in the bridge fin and is believed to have damaged numerous communication cables, antennas and the periscope. Repairs are expected to be expensive and time consuming.

It could take weeks for BAE officials to determine what repairs need to be made and how long they will take. There are also concerns about how the fire was started.

The switch on of the nuclear reactor and the sea trials for the sub have been delayed until late summer or early autumn according to sources close to the programme.

Adding to the fire woes, BAE officials have confirmed that problems with the propulsion system have once again emerged. Last year HMS Astute was delayed by three months due to problems with the system. Engineers were baffled by what had gone wrong but later claimed to have fixed the problem.

BAE's annual report has predicted that the submarine would be delivered to the Royal Navy by the end of the year.

Three more Astutes are in the process of being built and a further three are expected to be ordered by the Royal Navy at some point in the future.
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