Leading flow control and instrumentation solutions company Rotork has assisted BAE systems with upgrades to a series of A-range actuators to IQ3 actuators at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth (HMNB Portsmouth).

Two thirds of the Royal Navy’s surface ships are based at HMNB Portsmouth, in addition to the base being the location of strategic logistic and support facilities that provide ship maintenance, repair and upgrades.

Electric actuators operate penstocks that allow for ships to move between the sea to the transitional locks and dry docks, where maintenance activities are carried out.

As the series of A-range actuators expired after years of service, BAE Systems chose IQ3 actuators as a replacement. As per the needs of the client, Rotork adapted the devices with a solution that allowed manual operation of the actuator and gearbox without entering a confined space. The company also designed special hand auto levers and through drive mechanisms in order to limit the need for confined space access.

The upgrade allowed BAE Systems to use the Rotork Remote Hand Station (RHS). Live position feedback and diagnostics were made available, in addition to the ability to remotely reconfigure the actuators.

Commenting on the upgrade, Simon Taylor, BAE Systems, said, “This transit lock and dry dock facility is vitally important to the defence output of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom.”

“Rotork’s equipment is pivotal to the reinstatement of this facility. We have been really impressed by the teams that have been on site; the engineers have been brilliant through the challenge we set, overcoming issues and even drilling in the rain to get the job done.”

With a proven history of reliability in the relationship, BAE Systems and Rotork were keen to continue their work together including the planned service support with the Rotork Site Services team.