The Warnowwerft Naval Arsenal in Rostock, Germany, refurbished two patrol boats of the UK Royal Navy in May, in preparation for the vessels’ participation in Exercise Baltops 2023, which took place in June.
The two Archer-class P2000 patrol vessels, HMS Charger and HMS Trumpeter, docked in Rostock on 10 May following a “last-minute request”, according to the German Bundeswehr, where maintenance work was carried out on their hulls. The maintenance period was completed over the course of one week.
Operated by the Royal Navy, the Archer-class fast patrol boats are ostensibly used for naval training purposes in skill such as navigation and tactics. In addition, the type is one element of a wider force tasked with the protections of the UK’s nuclear deterrent as it enters to departs from the submarine base in Rosyth, Scotland.
For exercises such as Baltops, the P2000s, with their shallow draft, are able to access harbours and coastal waters, and also likely play the role of opposing forces, where necessary.
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The shipyard, which was officially taken over by the German Government on 11 January this year, is owned by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support, as does the entire naval arsenal with sites in Wilhelmshaven, Kiel and Rostock.
The arsenal is responsible for the technical readiness of the German Navy, with the German Bundeswehr stating that options for maintenance and repair by the German Armed Forces have “improved considerably” with the acquisition of the Rostock site.
The 52nd iteration of Exercise Baltic Operations, Baltops 2023 is described by Nato is the Allaince’s main maritime-focused exercise in the Baltic region. The latest iteration began from Tallinn, Estonia, on 4 June.
In total, over 50 naval vessels, 45 aircraft, and 6,000 military personnel from 20 nations participated in the exercise, which also incorporated forces from newly joined Nato member state Finland, as well as Sweden, which joined as a partner and is also seeking alliance membership.