The UK Acquires a New Heavy Duty Maritime Defender

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The United Kingdom recently unveiled Proteus- a state-of-the-art ship designed to spearhead underwater surveillance, and represents a pivotal step forward in safeguarding the UK’s maritime interests.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Proteus will serve as a testbed for advancing science and technological development, positioning the United Kingdom at the forefront of maritime security and surveillance capabilities. RFA Proteus is part of the Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance (MROS) program. It initially served as an oil rig-support vessel, but after undergoing extensive conversion and alterations, the 6,000-tonne ship has been transformed into a highly specialized maritime powerhouse.

According to Interesting Engineering, the ship is now fully equipped to serve as a launchpad for remotely operated vehicles, offering a suite of specialist capabilities like those found in the oil and gas industries. It is crewed by 26 RFA officers and sailors who are supported by 60 Royal Navy specialists who’ll be responsible for undersea surveillance, survey, and warfare systems.

RFA Proteus is well-equipped for its unique mission, with a flight deck, a 1,000-square-meter cargo deck, and a heavy-duty crane for lifting and lowering operations.

The ship left Merseyside last month to undergo trials and training off the coast of Portland before making its way to the capital for its service of dedication. Commanding Officer Captain Martin Jones RFA said he was honored to bring the RFA Proteus to London for its official naming ceremony, stating: “To be berthed at such an auspicious location alongside HMS Belfast on the River Thames, is a unique opportunity to present the RFA to the public eye and allow the ship’s company to enjoy the sights and sounds of London.”