Autumn 2014

Corvettes set sail for Indonesia

A six month contract extends to a seven year partnership for the Corvette warships of Barrow.

When James Fisher Marine Services signed a six-month contract to look after three corvette warships at Barrow docks and prepare them for sale, no one expected the ships to still be under JFMS care in Barrow seven years later.
But with some fanfare, local and international dignitaries came out in force in August when the three 95-metre warships set sail for Indonesia to serve in the country’s navy.

Originally built by BAE Systems, the corvettes arrived at JFMS’s Barrow base in 2007 for a short stay while their original owner, the Royal Brunei Navy, marketed them for sale. Throughout their seven-year stay JFMS has maintained the warships in a state of “hot lay-up” (leaving a reduced crew in place to keep all systems running on minimum power), and taken them on demonstration sea voyages for potential buyers.

Since 2007 the partnership has grown and the warships have become a fixed and familiar part of the Barrow sky line. The town has grown accustomed to the sight of the three warships as well as, more recently, to the 126-unit accommodation and training facility JFMS built in just weeks to cater for the influx of Indonesian Navy visitors during the transfer process, prior to the ships’ departure. 

Reflecting on the end of an era, Arthur Todd, corvette project director, says:

“We’re very proud to have been involved in a project of this scale and of how we’ve been able to extend our expertise into so many diverse areas, from caring for state-of-the-art defence technology to the wellbeing of 160 overseas personnel.”

Twenty-three JFMS staff sailed with the corvettes to continue training during the voyage, shoring up the excellent working relationship between Indonesian Navy personnel and the company – so marking the end of one chapter for JFMS and the beginning of another.

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