Atlas Elektronik delivers final Vahana boat to Royal Navy’s divers

Dorset-company Atlas Elektronik has delivered the final of six new Vahana boats to the Royal Navy’s divers.

Royal Navy

Replacing outdated vessels, the 15-meter Vahana boats provide improved speed, operational range and navigation equipment.

Credit: Royal Navy

The £51 million project has seen the boats delivered over five years and the sixth and final one has now been handed over.

Two of the vessels are based at the Defence Dive School in Portsmouth, with the others operated by the Fleet Diving Units in Portsmouth, Plymouth and Scotland. One of the boats is also working in Gibraltar.

“These boats are replacing models we have had since the 1990s and will be used by the unit across the UK,” Commander Sean Heaton, commanding officer of the Diving and Threat Exploitation Group, said.

Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the procurement arm for the Ministry of Defence, awarded a £51m contract to Dorset-company Atlas Elektronik in 2017 to deliver the Vahana workboat programme over a five-year period, which includes these six vessels.

James Melia, project manager for DE&S Boats Team, said: “It is great news to see the six dive support boats delivered to the Royal navy and reach full operating capability.

“The vessels offer a significantly updated and upgraded maritime platform from which Royal Navy personnel can conduct their duties. They enable movement from analogue to digital capability with a major update to the command, control and navigation system.”

The new vessels are replacing boats which were originally introduced into service in the early 1990s, and are therefore reaching the end of their service despite upgrades.

Their introduction is part of the wider Vahana Workboat programme, which is delivering 35 vessels to the Royal Navy.