The Royal Navy’s Mine-Hunting “Mother Ship” Reaches Plymouth
Once deployed, the platform is expected to boost the safeguarding of the UK waters from unforeseen threats of mines while at sea, operating uncrewed systems that’ll help keep the personnel at an adequate safe distance.
Based at His Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) in Clyde, the 96.8-meter vessel – equals the length of two Olympic pools – will work with advanced, autonomous mine-hunting systems operated by the Royal Navy out of Faslane under Project Wilton.
Purchased from Island Offshore, the vessel – currently titled MV Island Crown, but it is expected to be renamed as it becomes a part of the fleet – reached HMNB Devonport to undergo conversion work, primarily for supporting systems dedicated to military communication installations as well as Royal Fleet Auxiliary operations, before getting delivered to the RFA later in 2022.
Delivered at pace, the capability will assure freedom of access for the UK vessels and submarines (including the Continuous At Sea Deterrent) while reducing potential risks to personnel.
Operated by onboard specialist teams, the innovative systems will permit the Royal Navy to safeguard the UK waters, providing support to the European and North Atlantic waters if need be.
Commodore Steve Prest, Director of Navy Acquisition, mentioned that the delivery of this vessel is a crucial step in the Navy’s evolution to enforcing mine countermeasures by using distributed off-board systems of systems.
The uncrewed systems will include the Combined Influence Sweep system, the French-UK Maritime Mine Counter Measures system, and the Medium Underwater Autonomous Vehicles.
References: Gov.uk, Naval News