RFA Stirling Castle a new ship designed to help safeguard Britain’s waters on mine-hunting operations was spotted passing Plymouth Hoe this morning on sea trials.

RFA Stirling Castle, formerly the MV Island Crown, will act as an offshore forward operating base, deploying Mine Countermeasures Maritime Autonomous Systems (MCM MAS), drones and other crewless systems to find and neutralise sea mines and other seabed threats.

She will boost the Royal Navy’s mine hunting capability and offer a safer alternative to legacy systems.

The vessel was purchased from Island Offshore by the British Government, and was at Devonport undergoing minimal conversion work, primarily to support installation of military communication systems.

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