Portsmouth-based warship HMS Middleton has raced into pole position as the Royal Navy’s fastest minehunter following a major upgrade of her engines.
HMS Middleton has become the second ship of her class to have new and improved Caterpillar engines fitted as part of a major overhaul.
The new engines mean that HMS Middleton can sail faster, stay at sea longer, and will extend the ship’s life to 2030 and beyond.
Commander of the Portsmouth Flotilla, Commodore Paddy McAlpine, was so impressed with the work of HMS Middleton’s engineering department during the refit that he awarded the ship a commendation in recognition of their work.
Commodore McAlpine said: “The ship’s company should be justifiably proud of their achievements. The refit threw up some serious challenges which could have impacted on the ship’s ability to deploy later this year.
“However, the crew, particularly the marine engineers, met the challenges with professionalism, expertise, and good humour.
“All in all, a job very well done.”
Warrant Officer Alan Evans, the marine engineering officer onboard HMS Middleton, received the commendation on behalf of his team.
He said: “The whole team is overjoyed to receive recognition of their hard work. It’s not over yet but I am confident the department will continue to work together to deliver success on all fronts.”
After successfully completing the refit, Middleton’s crew sailed from Portsmouth to the west coast of Scotland to conduct an intensive period of sea safety training, practising all the skills needed to deal with emergencies at sea.
The crew of HMS Middleton are now preparing for a seven month deployment to the Gulf where they will join an international naval task force helping to keep the sea lanes open for merchant ships from all nations.