MoD implements Hale Hamilton’s AUTOCHARGE system

7 Mar 2012


A successful trial between 2006 and 2007 has since seen Hale Hamilton’s AUTOCHARGE system fitted to a number of UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) vessels. 

Originally part of a scheme to prove the system as a method of delivering breathing air charging arrangements onboard HMS Ocean, AUTOCHARGE has delivered a number of benefits to the MoD.

Thanks to its innovative design, the panel has introduced a change to legacy equipment, with the equipment being installed on the Royal Navy’s latest Type 45 Destroyers. As a result, ships’ fire fighting capabilities have been improved, and workload on staff has been reduced.

As with the minor trial fit to HMS Ocean, the units fitted onboard the Type 45 Destroyers have proven useful to the ship’s company. Ease of operation has reduced workload when charging bottles, particularly when multiple breathing air bottles are required. The automated system ensures bottles are fully charged, increasing confidence in the ship’s company that breathing air sets throughout the ship are at full capacity.

Mean bottle charging-time following a major incident or exercise has been considerably reduced, allowing the ship to return to full readiness more quickly. These claims are evidenced by the Royal Navy’s sea training staff, who comment that the introduction of the AUTOCHARGE panels as fitted to Type 45 “have had a positive effect on posture recovery times across a range of environments”.

Hale Hamilton worked in association with gas sensor manufacturer Analox Limited when designing the AUTOCHARGE system, using Analox’s ACG monitor. The device offers real-time continuous monitoring of contaminants in compressed breathing air, protecting users. Using the latest innovations in technology, the ACG utilises Analox’s miniaturised range of sensors. 

With over 25 years of experience, Analox has established its reputation as a developer of innovative solutions to gas monitoring in extreme environments. 

Bill Dormer, Defence Sales Director at Hale Hamilton said: “The development by Analox of the ACG monitor to work with our AUTOCHARGE automated breathing air charging system means we can now offer the MoD and other customers the benefit of real time monitoring of their breathing air quality while it’s charging. This does away with the need for periodic samples to be taken and sent away for laboratory analysis, which is both time consuming and expensive, with potential system downtime.  

“HMS Daring recently saw the first T45 operational deployment, with five sets of AUTOCHARGE Systems fitted. BAE Systems Surface Ship Solutions has procured six sets for each of the two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers now in build. Our AUTOCHARGE Systems have recently been fitted on board RFA Fort Victoria, RFA Fort George and RFA Argus. Each Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel has two AUTOCHARGE fitted,” he added.

The AUTOCHARGE System has also been specified by the Indian Navy to be fitted on their latest ASW corvettes currently in build at Garden Reach Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited, in Kolkata.

For more information regarding Hale Hamilton's AUTOCHARGE system click here