Portsmouth minehunter set for the frontline after upgrade

Detail from an exact replica of Lord Nelson's diamond Chelengk jewels. Picture:Andrew Matthews/Press Association

Replica of Nelson’s stolen jewel on display

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PORTSMOUTH will be welcoming back HMS Cattistock to front-line service on Monday after an extensive refit at the city’s naval base.

The upgrade, carried out by BAE Systems, includes new engines and means the minehunter can sail faster, stay at sea longer, and will extend her life to 2030 and beyond.

Current commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Simon Cox, said: ‘This day will mark the end of HMS Cattistock’s refit, but more importantly her return to the fleet and operational service.’

Guest of honour will be head of the Royal Navy, First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, with his wife, Lady Amanda Zambellas.

After becoming Cattistock’s sixth commanding officer in 1991, the First Sea Lord has a keen interest in the ship.

Having discovered her original commissioning photo from 1982, the 45 present-day crew will pose for a replica photo, to include the First Sea Lord, before the rededication begins.

The 30-minute ceremony will take place on the ship with guests including almost half of Cattistock’s 35 previous commanding officers.

Next up for the ship is an operational sea training off the coast of Scotland before being deployed to the Gulf next year.