Royal Navy mimics London buses – as the saying goes, you wait months for one turn up and then two turn up together!!
This has been the case regarding Royal Navy visitors to the Thames in London as up until now there haven’t been any RN craft on the Thames this year – not even an Archer-class patrol boat – but all that changed this week when firstly HMS Defender made a nocturnal arrival and now today HMS Middleton has arrived.
HMS Middleton had also been due to arrive during darkness but due to a meteorological induced low-visibility hazard (fog) her arrival was delayed by 12 hours. Both of the RN ships are in London to help mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign.
HMS Middleton is one of 8 operational Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessels (MCV) that are operated by the Royal Navy and is still going strong after over 30 years of service.
The Hunt-class MCV are mine hunting ships that use sonar and other sensors to detect mines that are then neutralised either using divers or robots. The role of these ships is to help ensure that shipping lanes and harbour entrances are kept clear of mines.