RFA Mounts Bay is ready to respond to hurricanes and tropical storms in the Caribbean, say the Royal Navy.
The ship was used extensively during the 2017 when a series of storms battered British territories in the region, such as the Virgin and Turks and Caicos Islands.
According to the Royal Navy:
“With the five-month-long Atlantic hurricane season beginning on Saturday, the ship is once again primed to intervene after focusing on drug-busting operations during the winter.
Once again a Wildcat helicopter – 211 Flight from 815 Naval Air Squadron in Yeovilton – and a dedicated Humanitarian and Disaster Relief troop (a combination of 24 Commando Royal Engineers and 17 Port and Maritime Regiment) are embarked.”
The Bay class are operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and are officially designated as ‘Landing Ship Docks’. Each Bay class vessel is capable of carrying up to 24 Challenger tanks or 150 military trucks in 1,150 linear metres of space. The UK operates three Bay class vessels after selling the fourth to Australia.
Under normal conditions, a Bay class ship can carry 350 soldiers, but this can be doubled to 700 in overload conditions. The flight deck is capable of handling helicopters up to the size of Chinooks, as well as Merlin helicopters however while the class have no hangar, a temporary shelter can be set up to house a single helicopter. The well dock can carry one LCU Mark 10 or two LCVPs, and two Mexeflotes can be suspended from the ship’s flanks.