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NAVY NEWS, OCTOBER 2009 7
Lusty fl y past Montrose’s
over Mersey refi t over
HMS Illustrious will take centre
HMS Montrose is back at sea
stage as the curtain comes down
after nine months in the hands
on Fly Navy 100 celebrations this
of Babcock in Rosyth dockyard.
month on the Mersey.
More than seven miles of
The nation’s flagship visits
cable have been installed, as
Liverpool from Thursday October
well as two 30mm automatic
22 to Tuesday October 27 and
guns to improve close-in
will serve as the launchpad for
defence against surface
some of the aircraft taking part
threats, a transom flap (a
in the final ‘Balbo’ fly past of this
‘spoiler’ on the stern to make
centennial year of naval aviation.
the ship travel more quickly),
Around 40 current and historic
New York times
some 180 new underwater
helicopters, jets (including two
valves, the latest MOD
Harriers from the Naval Strike
computer network, and a new
Wing) and prop-driven aircraft
command system (DNA(2)),
are due to take part in the
while environmentally-friendly
Balbo formation – named for
paint has been applied to the
the pioneering Italian inter-war
SMALL ship, Big Apple.
“It is a great privilege and an honour to bring a Royal Navy warship to
hull during the Type 23’s £15m
aviator who flew co-ordinated
refit.
large groups of aircraft. Royal Navy warships are infrequent visitors to the city that never
New York, especially during such a signifi cant and poignant period such
The frigate is currently
The formation, tiered at sleeps. Visits by British minehunters are even rarer, so make the most
as the anniversary of 9/11.”
undergoing sea trials off the
different heights, will fly along of it.
The ship also hosted New T York dignitaries and representatives
east coast before formally
the Mersey from south to north, Which the crew of HMS Quorn did, although their time in New ew
of the militarof t y and emergency services to commemorate the 2001
rejoining the Fleet and returning
passing over the carrier, moored York came at the most poignant moment for the city: September ber
tragedytrag .
home to Devonport later in the
at the Cruise Liner Berth, at 2pm 11 commemorations.
It wasn’t all sombre in the Big Apple, thankfully. There were also
year.
on Friday October 23. The Hunt-class warship is Britain’s current representative on
celebrations to mark 400 years of ties between the city (which
The RN Balbo has been a NATO’s Standing Mine Countermeasures Group 1.
was once known as New Amsterdam) and the Netherlands.
regular sight at airshows over The entire force – the Danish HDMS Thetis, Norway’s
And there was an obligatory rig run, taking in the ‘crossroads
Sensor ships
the summer (scooping the ‘best HNoMS Rauma, HNLMS Urk from the Netherlands,
of the world’ – Times Square – and climbing (well, catching
in show’ award at the Royal Belgium’s BNS Lobelia, Estonia’s ENS Sakala and HMCS
the lift) to the top of the Empire State Building.
International Air Tattoo at Goose Bay and Shawinigan from Canada – visited New York
The NATO force typically confi nes its duties to European
in Pompey
Fairford). and their ship’s companies took part in ceremonies at the site of
waters but has braved the Atlantic crossing to enhance its
If you miss that, you can catch the World Trade Center.
knok wledge of minehunting in different environmental and
FIVE warships gathered in
the Black Cats Lynx helicopter “It is only right that we should stand shoulder to shoulder with
oceanographic conditions.
Portsmouth to join HMS St
display team performing that our NATO colleagues to remember those who were lost,” said Quorn’s
The ships are also due to take part in an exercise with a US Navy
Albans for electronic warfare
same afternoon at 4pm at the CO Lt Cdr Tim Neild, who laid a wreath at the Twin Towers’ site on
carrier battlegroup as well as working with US and Canadian warships
trials.
Albert Dock. behalf of his ship and the Senior Service.
off the Eastern Seaboard.
Turkey’s TCG Orucreis,
There will also be air displays France’s FS Latouche Treville,
at the same location on Saturday Norway’s HNoMS Otto
(2.30-3.30pm) and Sunday Sverdrup, the Dutch HNLMS
(11.30am-12.30pm). De Zeven Provincien and Spain’s
And there’ll be a static display SPS Alvaro De Bazan will work
of Naval aircraft between the with The Saint to test the various
Mersey ferry terminal and sensors and systems of an
the Liver Building open daily international force.
between 10am and 4pm. After a briefing by the warfare
Illustrious will be open to the and weapons experts from
public on Sunday (1pm-5pm) HMS Collingwood, the ships
and on Monday (10am-4pm) headed out into the Channel to
and she’s also hosting a charity fend off a series of air attacks,
concert by the Band of HM including some by Harrier GR9s,
Royal Marines on the Saturday and simulated anti-ship missile
evening. threats.
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