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Winching exercise
HMS Hurworth
From the Merlin
Winching to HMS Hurworth
HMS Hurworth


Published: 11 Jul 2016

A submarine hunting helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been supporting mine warfare training in the English Channel.


The airborne anti-submarine Merlin from 824 Naval Air Squadron teamed up with its surface counter-part for a series exercises to familiarise HMS Hurworth, a Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessel (MCMV) based at Devonport Naval Base, with aviation procedures and practice winching techniques.


Overall the MCMV Fleet provide state of the art mine warfare expertise to the Royal Navy and its NATO allies, playing a vital part in the worldwide MCMV operations from the Middle East to the North Atlantic.


But before the ship and her crew can deploy, the ships company must be tested. HMS Hurworth is currently undergoing Operational Sea Training (OST) with Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST). They are based at Devonport, Plymouth as well as the Clyde Naval Base in Scotland. FOST has the responsibility for OST of all Royal Navy warships, submarines and Royal Fleet Auxiliaries vessels and is staffed by a dedicated team of experts, headed by a rear Admiral.


Together with Royal Marines and air assets as well as an increasing numbers of NATO and foreign participants conducting training under its guidance, FOST has established a worldwide reputation for excellence.


HMS Hurworth is one of eight dedicated Mine Counter Warfare Vessels in the Royal Navy. As built, they uniquely combine the traditional separate roles of minesweeper and minehunter in one hull. Introduced in the early 1980s they are the largest Glass re-enforced warships ever built and are the last to operate using the Napier Deltic diesel engine.


The capabilities of the Hunt class have been significantly enhanced by the installation of Type 2193 sonar and the NAUTIS 3 command system. The performance of Sonar 2193 exceeds that of any other mine hunting sonar in service across the world today and is capable of detecting and classifying an object the size of a football at a distance of up to 1,000 metre.


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