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UK Royal Navy receives sixth and final Vahana diving support boat

The final of six new boats to improve support to Royal Navy divers has been delivered. (Royal Navy/Crown Copyright)

The UK Royal Navy (RN) has taken delivery of its sixth and final Sea-class dive support boat on order from Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK).

The 15 m boats, which will be operated by the RN's Diving and Threat Exploitation Group, are intended to replace ageing vessels that have been in service since the early 1990s and are reaching the end of their service lives. According to the RN, the new boats feature significantly improved speed, operational range, and navigation equipment.

Two of the new boats will be based at the Defence Diving School in Portsmouth and one in Gibraltar. The rest will be operated by the Fleet Diving Units in Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Scotland.

The dive support vessels were procured as part of the RN's wider Vahana Workboat programme, under which AEUK is delivering 35 Sea-class workboats of various sizes to the RN under a GBP51 million (USD61.38 million) contract signed in 2017.

AEUK's Sea-class range is based on a common platform with interchangeable capability modules that enable the boats to be rapidly reconfigured for a range of operational roles, including officer and diver training, Antarctic exploration and explosive ordnance disposal survey, dive support, and personnel transfer. The flexible, modular design along with common systems will help to rationalise training, spares, and support across the flotilla.

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