SAILORS on board minehunter HMS Atherstone have flown home after seven months operating the ship in the Gulf.
The 45 sailors have now switched to Portsmouth-based sister ship HMS Cattistock which has just been fitted with a new propulsion system.
During their time on board HMS Atherstone, the crew conducted route surveys along strategically-important sea lanes, took part in major exercises with international partners and visited ports in Bahrain and the UAE.
Lieutenant Commander Simon Pressdee, the new commanding officer of HMS Cattistock, said: ‘We’re looking forward to bringing HMS Cattistock back to the front line.
‘The ship has undergone a major refit including the installation of new, more efficient engines and an overhaul of the onboard accommodation.
‘This will ensure the ship remains ready and capable for operations well into the future.’
The crew will spend the rest of the year putting the new-look ship through its paces in UK waters.