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Royal Navy’s HMS Hurworth Ready for NATO Mine-Hunting Operations

The British Royal Navy’s Hunt-class minehunter vessel HMS Hurworth has completed preparations to support NATO’s minehunting operations across Europe.

The ship, which joined NATO Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1, performed complex equipment tests, firing drills, and emergency scenarios.

During the NATO deployment, the vessel “will support on historic ordnance clearance and other minehunting exercises.”

HMS Hurworth Drills and Assessments

To test the vessel’s capabilities, its crew participated in Fleet Operational Sea Training. Following this rehearsal, Hurworth underwent intense weather and strong tides along the Pentland Firth’s Orcadian Strait en route to Lamlasg Harbour on the isle of Arran.

In the harbor, the crew tested the Seafox remote-controlled underwater vessel to simulate mine detection. The Officers of the Watch also practiced maneuvering the ship at the location.

The ship then docked at Royal Navy’s HM Naval Base Clyde for two weeks to assess the navigation tools without the help of GPS. It also practiced live firing of the ship’s gunnery, firefighting simulations, and damage control skills.

On the base, HMS Hurworth joined the Coast Guard in winching exercises and attack operations against fast boats, with the P2000 HMS Raider patrol vessel serving as the practice adversary.

The Seafox was also deployed along with a separate autonomous underwater vehicle, the Remus, for additional mine laying, recovery, and emergency diving drills.’

The Royal Navy testing  its remotely-piloted underwater vessel Seafox to locate mines
The Royal Navy tests its remotely-piloted underwater vessel Seafox to locate mines. Photo: Royal Navy

Raising the NATO Flag

After completing a series of assessments and simulations, the HMS Hurworth sailed through the Irish Sea and into Portsmouth, where the crew raised the NATO flag, marking the accomplishment of its preparation.

“We stand united with NATO delivering security and prosperity to our area of operations, by ensuring trade routes remain open and removing historical ordnance from the ocean seabed,” Commanding Officer Lieut. Cdr. Simon Reeves said.

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