HMS Cumberland F85 is currently making preparations for her forthcoming deployment with a Fleet Time Support Period in Devonport (FTSP). During this time she will regenerate and rejuvenate, the Ship will conduct maintenance and receive additional equipment whilst the Ship’s Company prepare for the demands of the forthcoming period of Operational Sea Training and the subsequent deployment to the Arabian Gulf.
The latest additions to the Ship are two of the Royal Navy’s Pacific 24 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs). These supersede the Pacific 22s previously used in Cumberland during Counter-Piracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden. Cumberland is the first Type 22 to receive this new capability.
The Pacific 24s boast improved speed and load bearing capacity. They are able to proceed at over 40 knots whilst carrying over a tonne of personnel and equipment. This enhanced capability gives Cumberland’s Royal Navy and Royal Marines boarding teams the ability to transfer more personnel more quickly. This will be invaluable when on operations as Cumberland works in support of Iraqi maritime security in the North Arabian Gulf.
Workers from BVT (BAE Systems/Vosper Thornycroft) have welded large sponsons on both sides of Cumberland in order to house the Pacific 24s and davits which lower the boats into the water. The work to fit the new equipment should take three weeks to complete. It forms part of the ongoing programme to maintain the versatility and capability of Royal Navy warships for both now and for the future.
The new davits will allow for rapid deployment and recovery of the Pacific 24s. Before they were fitted, the Pacifics could only be launched from the port side with minimal crew. The new boats and davits gives the Ship the ability to launch a fully manned seaboat from either side. (royalnavy)
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