The UK Royal Navy’s (RN) second future Multi-Role Oceanographic Survey (MROS) ship has arrived at His Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport in Plymouth, England.
Following its arrival on 29 January, the ship will now undergo a modification period to receive minimal conversion that will prepare the vessel to support the installation of various military communication systems.
The ship, currently known as MV Island Crown, will then be renamed, before it officially enters service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).
The new 96.8m-long future HMNB Clyde-based specialist vessel will be deployed to support autonomous mine-hunting operations.
It will be used as a ‘mothership’ to launch a wide range of uncrewed autonomous vehicles (UAVs), including medium-UAVs, French-UK maritime mine countermeasure and combined influence sweep systems, to locate and destroy undersea threats.
The drones will be operated by RN specialists, deployed onboard new vessel, to enhance the country’s maritime security missions, and if required to support North Atlantic and European waters.
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UK Defence Procurement Minister Alex Chalk KC said: “This vessel will play a crucial role in the detection of undersea threats, keeping our personnel out of harm’s way while they conduct vital operations.”
This is the second vessel purchased by the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) procurement arm Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S).
The first vessel, currently named MV Topaz Tangaroa, had already arrived in Birkenhead, UK, earlier this month.
DE&S MROS programme manager Gareth Morris said: “It’s a proud moment to see both vessels arrive safely in their destinations.
“The success of both projects is testament to the desire of all stakeholders to work collaboratively to ensure key capabilities for the RN and RFA can be delivered as quickly as possible.”