The UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organisation has successfully delivered a former specialist offshore support vessel, the RFA Stirling Castle, to the Royal Navy.
This 6,000-tonne vessel has been equipped with cutting-edge autonomous minehunting systems that will play a crucial role in locating, identifying, and neutralizing mines and underwater explosive devices, particularly in UK waters.
Additionally, it will gather essential data for further analysis. The technology onboard includes the joint French-UK Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) system, the Combined Influence Sweep (SWEEP) system, and Medium Underwater Autonomous Vehicles (MAUVs).
RFA Stirling Castle has undergone military conversion and will be operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), with trained Royal Navy personnel managing the state-of-the-art systems onboard.
The procurement of this vessel was made possible through DE&S’ Mine Hunting Capability (MHC) program, which utilized innovative strategies and efficient working methods to ensure timely delivery.
The official delivery of the RFA Stirling Castle follows closely after the delivery of RFA Proteus, another vessel equipped with specialist autonomous systems designed to protect vital seabed telecommunications cables and oil and gas pipelines from potential threats posed by hostile states.