HMS Raleigh has provided training to crew members from the British Royal Navy’s newly commissioned Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, to enable them to operate the vessel’s latest workboats.
HMS Raleigh is the major Royal Navy School for Seamanship training exercises.
The two-week course saw four seaman specialists from HMS Queen Elizabeth undergo a training programme that focused on manoeuvring the boat on the rivers Lynher and Tamar, as well as out in the Plymouth Sound.
HMS Raleigh is also currently using a boat from the British Army for twin-jet training purposes.
The new workboats are powered by two water-jets and have been designed for use as passenger transfer boats (PTBs) on-board HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The course’s lead instructor, petty officer ‘Smudge’ Smith, noted that the new boats react differently in the water compared to the Pacific 24 Ribs, which are powered by a single jet.
Smith added: “One of the main differences is the way the boat is brought alongside.
“These need far less space as we can use a manoeuvre called crabbing, which is basically moving the boat sideways through the water, so there is a lot more scope for going into smaller areas.”
The UK Ministry of Defence awarded a contract to Atlas Elecktronik UK in 2016 for the construction of almost 38 boats, ranging in length from 11m to 18m.
Each of the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carriers will carry four PTBs onboard.
The workboats will have the capacity to accommodate up to 36 passengers.
A new class of workboat is set to be handed over to HMS Raleigh later this year.