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British navy receives first undersea surveillance ship

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The Royal Navy’s first dedicated undersea surveillance ship has arrived.

The Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance (MROS) vessel was welcomed at Cammell Laird’s Birkenhead shipyard on Thursday and will be prepared for its official handover to the service.

According to the UK Ministry of Defence, the vessel will undergo modifications before its operational deployment this year.

It will be repainted and fitted with critical military equipment to improve the Royal Navy’s intelligence and surveillance capabilities.

“DE&S [Defence Equipment & Support] worked at pace to successfully accelerate the purchase and delivery of the first ship under the critical MROS program,” DE&S director general Paul Marshall said.

“We continue to work with agility to support the UK MOD in addressing both the current and future threats posed by an ever-changing world.”

‘Safeguarding Seabed Infrastructure’

Weighing 6,000 tons, the vessel was built over four years, taking Royal Navy seabed surveillance operations into consideration.

It will be dedicated to safeguarding seabed telecommunications cables and oil and gas pipelines.

The ship will also be used to operate remote and autonomous offboard systems for seabed warfare.

With a length of 98 meters (321 feet), the MROS has a helipad, crane, and expansive working deck.

It also features a so-called “moon pool” as a large access point where submersible vessels can be launched.

The vessel will be crewed by over 20 sailors and will house up to 60 undersea surveillance systems specialists from the Royal Navy.

“It is paramount at a time when we face Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, that we prioritize capabilities that will protect our critical national infrastructure,” UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace stated.

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