HMS Middlton

The UK Royal Navy’s Type 2 Hunt-class minehunter HMS Middleton (M34) has received an upgrade to its engines, as part of a major overhaul programme.

With the installation of new Caterpillar engines, the Portsmouth-based warship can sail faster and stay at sea longer. Its operational life has also been extended to 2030 and beyond.

Portsmouth Flotilla commander commodore Paddy McAlpine said: "The ship’s company should be justifiably proud of their achievements. The refit threw up some serious challenges, which could have impacted on the ship’s ability to deploy later this year.

HMS Middleton marine engineering officer warrant officer Alan Evans said: "It’s not over yet but I am confident the department will continue to work together to deliver success on all fronts."

"The ship’s company should be justifiably proud of their achievements."

HMS Middleton’s crew, following completion of the refit programme, sailed to the west coast of Scotland to undergo an intensive period of sea safety training, and to exercise required skills to manage at-sea emergencies.

The 750t warship is scheduled to undergo a seven-month deployment to the Gulf, where the ship’s crew will join an international naval task force helping to keep the sea lanes open for merchant ships from all nations.

Capable of accommodating a crew of 45 with five officers, the 60m-long Hunt-class vessel can carry out minesweeping and minehunting, and can support patrol missions.

Featuring Kelvin Hughes Type-1007 naval radar operating at the I-band, the Hunt-class vessels are integrated with two Eca PAP 104 Mk3 remotely controlled mine disposal vehicles for the identification and disposal of mines.

Image: HMS Middleton conducting a mission at sea. Photo: courtesy of the Royal Navy.

Defence Technology