HAVING taken over as the in-service helicopter carrier HMS Ocean’s busy month continues with successful weapon engineering trials.

These test all of the sensors, weapons and communications systems needed for operations.

Following the upgrade, during her recent refit, of many key systems such as the computers at the heart of the combat system, HMS Ocean has been busy, in the South West Approaches, testing and calibrating her equipment, including radars.

Leading Engineering Technician Mat Starkey (25) said: “Having worked mostly on ordnance for the first six years of my career, it has been really good to go on the maintainers’ training course for this brand new sensor system at the manufacturer’s factory on the Isle of Wight. It’s convinced me that this is the specialisation that I want to be streamed into within the weapon engineering department.”

Commander David Goldsmith, is the senior Weapon Engineer onboard HMS Ocean. He said: ‘Operating in close proximity to land is a challenging environment for a ship of any size, but it is key to HMS Ocean’s role in delivering Royal Marines ashore. The Type 997 Radar is far more resilient and versatile than its predecessors and will enable us to build a far better picture of what is operating around us, both on and over the sea as well as the airspace over land.”

HMS Ocean’s intensive period of trials and training takes a break at the end of the month when the crew proceed on summer leave. The ship and her crew will then return to continue their preparations for operations – ready to protect our nation’s interests, worldwide.