Royal Navy commissions new survey ship HMS Magpie

The Royal Navy’s newest survey ship has been formally welcomed into the naval family in her home of Devonport.

The commissioning ceremony for the new ship, named HMS Magpie, was held on June 28, 2018.

Among the attendees was the Duke of Edinburgh, who was in charge of the previous Magpie between 1950 and 1952 in the Mediterranean.

“Having had the honour of commanding the Anti-Submarine frigate HMS Magpie, based in Malta soon after the War, I am delighted to know that the name ‘Magpie’ has been revived for a new Royal Navy Survey Ship,” he said.

The new Magpie is the newest addition to the Royal Navy’s Hydrographic squadron, replacing veteran survey ship HMS Gleaner, which paid off earlier this year in Plymouth after 35 years’ service.

“The ship’s primary role will be in maintaining the integrity of coastal waters, ensuring safety of navigation and the resilience of key national infrastructure in UK ports. With an enduring presence around the UK, she will also contribute to national security at sea,” Lieutenant Commander William Alexander, HMS Magpie’s first Commanding Officer and Gleaner’s last, explained.

HMS Magpie is an 18-meter catamaran and will soon begin providing an essential survey and underwater survey capability. She is the first vessel to be delivered under a contract negotiated by Defence Equipment and support with Atlas Elektronik UK Ltd.

Being the only ship of her type in the RN, HMS Magpie has on board the latest high-resolution, shallow-water multi-beam echo sounder and side-scan sonar. In addition, she has the ability to launch remote-controlled underwater devices to search wide areas of the sea bed for obstructions and mines.

Photo: Photo: Royal Navy