Royal Navy: Portsmouth ship HMS Tamar tests latest "astonishing" undersea technology with allies in Australia
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Crew aboard the Portsmouth-based warship HMS Tamar have spent the past four weeks operating in the Sydney area. They have been testing new equipment which would would be used to protect critical underwater infrastructure – carrying out operations alongside the Royal Australian Navy and American allies.
Under the banner of the AUKUS partnership between the three countries, the exercise showcased the Royal Navy’s new Persistent Operational Deployment Systems “PODS” programme. Each POD is roughly the size of a shipping container and contains equipment and support for a dedicated operation a warship would not normally perform.
This could include minehunting or launching surveillance drones. It’s planned that these systems will be used by the ne Type 26 and 31 frigates when they become operational. HMS Tamar’s Commanding Officer, Commander Teilo Elliot-Smith, said the exercise was eye-opening for multiple reasons – describing the rate of technological progress in underwater warfare as “astonishing”.
He said: “The most satisfying part for me was watching the team from Tamar working alongside UK, US and Australian experts so effectively. This is important – really important – and I’m proud that Tamar has played a significant role in facilitating this most recent step forward.”
This exercise was the first time HMS Tamar visited Sydney, despite working in the Australian sub-continent for nearly two years. The patrol ship hosted a string of civilian and military VIPs, led by the head of the Royal Navy, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key, who thanked the ship’s company for their persistent efforts and they provided him with an update on their exploits.
Sub Lieutenant Justine Lambert, Tamar’s Correspondence Officer, said: “From surfing at Bondi Beach and hiking in the Blue Mountains, to attending performances at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney has been an experience never to be forgotten. A ‘bucket list’ for most and the pinnacle of ‘Join the Royal Navy and See the World’ for others. It certainly has been an excellent backdrop to the start of my time onboard HMS Tamar.”
The ship has now sailed from Sydney and will be going into a scheduled maintenance period, before going further afield across the Southern Hemisphere.