UK’s naval academy Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) has taken delivery of the first of eight new boats, which will revolutionise training at BRNC.
According to the British Royal Navy, the new ‘Sea Class 15’ workboats will replace the picket boats currently in use by the officer cadets for exercising purposes on the River Dart.
UK Navy Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) Mike Garner said: “These boats will be a game-changer in the way we conduct our training. The picket boats are largely riverine craft, operated within the confines of the River Dart.
“The new boats are much better suited to operating in open waters, allowing them to break away from the confines of the River Dart providing us with new and exciting ways of developing training.
“The equipment on board, and the new range capabilities that are now available to us, will allow the college to use them much more like small ships oppose to just riverboats.”
Since the end of 2019, BRNC staff were in the process of getting in terms with an 11m version of the boat.
The new boats will support diving and survey operations, as well as to conduct general duties as part of the project ‘Vahana’.
Some vessels, such as the inshore survey vessel HMS Magpie, were already delivered under the £48m ($64m) contract with German defence company Atlas Elektronik.
The new boats will be operational at the Naval College by next Autumn.
Lt Cdr Garner added: “Our river team are now qualified to drive the boats and our attention is now turning to the larger task of qualifying the wider training staff at BRNC.”
In September, more than 1,000 sailors and Royal Marines sailed for a three-month deployment to the Mediterranean, Black Sea and North Africa to test the Future Commando Force (FCF) and Littoral Strike Group (LRG) concepts.