HMS Bulwark has emerged from an 11-month upgrade and maintenance period carried out at HM Naval Base Devonport, Plymouth. The £30 million refit took place during the ship’s first major docking period since being commissioned in April 2005. The amphibious assault ship returns to the fleet with improved aviation facilities, with a flight deck capable of operating two heavy-lift Chinook helicopters simultaneously, and upgrades to her floodable dock, providing full tactical night-vision capability for her landing craft and aircraft.
There were also extensive upgrades to communications equipment, high pressure salt water, drainage and sewage systems and improvements made to her main propulsion system. There were further enhancements to machinery and magazine spaces and IT network capability, as well as defensive weapons upgrades. The ship’s outer hull was also treated with 8,000 litres of Intersleek anti-fouling coating to improve fuel efficiency and her speed through the water.