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UK MOD Multi million pound refit begins on 'hospital ship'

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: 22 January, 2009  (Technical Article)
Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus is to be upgraded with state of the art medical equipment in an extensive refit worth over £23M, that will see the ship renovated for her crucial role in providing hospital facilities to troops in war zones.
Work began at A&P Group's Falmouth facility this week on the first major refit under a contract awarded by the MOD to A&P Group last year to support five RFA vessels.

New medical equipment to be installed includes the latest advances in CT scanning equipment, used to assess casualties by 3D X-ray imagery, as well as new sterilising kit. As a Primary Casualty Receiving Facility, Argus can accommodate 100 casualties at any time ensuring wounded service personnel of all nationalities can receive swift primary care.

MOD Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Director of Afloat Support, Commodore Dave Preston said:

'The medical support Argus can provide troops on operations is a crucial capability that can make all the difference when time is of the essence in the treatment of casualties.'

The ship's environmental credentials will get a boost with a state of the art bioreactor that uses microbial action to process sewage, while new refrigeration and air conditioning plants that use more environmentally friendly refrigerant gases will be installed. The accommodation and mess facilities will also be modernised, to improve living standards for both crew and patients.

A&P Managing Director Peter Child said:

'A&P has a long history of working with the RFA and this experience has proved invaluable in the planning of this package which we have worked closely with DE&S to draw up. Working through the through-life support package, which we expect to secure nearly 100 jobs over the next five years, will expand this experience even further helping us to deliver real value while giving us stability in our order book.'
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