The British Royal Navy’s Bay-class landing ship Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Lyme Bay (L3007) has returned to the fleet after completing its refit and sea trials.

RFA Lyme Bay carried out various safety and readiness evaluations for aviation, machinery breakdown drills, damage control and firefighting as part of the refit and sea trial programme, as well as various administrative checks.

The amphibious support ship demonstrated its aviation capability by embarking an 815 NAS Wildcat aircraft, which was used to test the bridge and the aviation team’s ability to safely operate helicopters.

“Following our drydocking and refit in 2017, together with the hard work and preparations by the ship’s company, Lyme Bay is ready for OST.”

The exercise was carried out prior to the Royal Navy vessel’s forthcoming Operational Sea Training (OST).

RFA Lyme Bay sailed to Browndown near Gosport to be integrated with Mexeflote powered rafts following the completion of the aviation capability tests.

These platforms are used for a variety of different applications worldwide, including transporting aid into hurricane-affected communities in the Caribbean.

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RFA Lyme Bay’s newly upgraded capabilities are scheduled to be tested for the first time during the vessel’s OST, which is slated to be carried out over a four-week period and will be completed at the end of this month.

The OST programme will be followed by Exercise Joint Warrior 2018, which is expected to be conducted off the west coast of Scotland in April.

RFA commanding officer captain Jed MacAnley said: “Following our drydocking and refit in 2017, together with the hard work and preparations by the ship’s company, Lyme Bay is ready for OST.

“On successful completion, we will resume our duties delivering global maritime operational support to the Royal Navy and our coalition partners, wherever and whenever required.”

The navy’s RFA Lyme Bay is capable of transporting troops, vehicles, stores and ammunition worldwide in order to support amphibious assault missions.