Rare Reunion For Royal Navy Patrol Vessels In Portsmouth

The exercise is a rare chance for the ships to work together and practice their manoeuvres in formation. 

All 14 of the Royal Navy’s P2000 ships have left Portsmouth harbour together.

The exercise is a rare chance for the patrol vessels to work together and practice their manoeuvres in formation. 

The Navy’s smallest warships only come together like this once a year and it was watched by locals and family members of the crew.

The exercise is traditionally used by the Royal Navy to train university students and junior Royal Navy crews.

It’s also an opportunity for the young officers onboard to practice their seamanship skills. 

Able Seaman Sean Evans, a Seaman Specialist said:

"What we enjoy about it is that we all get together - so you get to know who's new on other ships.

"It's great training - you get to put your skills to the test." 

14 P2000 in Portsmouth 270918 v2 CREDIT BFBS

Each P2000 weighs about 55 tonnes, is roughly 21 metres long and has a range of 550 nautical miles. They’ve got five permanent crew each but can take up to 20 junior officers or university cadets.  

Captain Ken Houlberg, Captain Mine Warfare, Patrol Boats added:

"They're the training ground for the Royal Navy, - not just for junior officers to practice their leadership skills and their ability to command at a very early stage.

"But also for the crews themselves.

"It's a really good proving ground and testing ground to sift out the best in the Royal Navy."

There are two further P2000s, but they work in a different role, protecting the base. 

Together the crews practice a series of tactical manoeuvres in close quarters.

They’ve got nicknames like 'Champagne' or 'Flying Fish' but they also have a practical role.

They’re designed to protect these ships and allow them to fight effectively, particularly important for the Royal Navy’s future plans. 

these manoeuvres will also prepare the crew if they ever need them for real.