Navy ship open to the public
A Royal Navy ship, HMS Middleton, is in Lerwick for five days for a number of commemorative events.
The 52.5m long Hunt class mine hunter arrived in harbour on Thursday morning and berthed at Victoria Pier where she will be open to the public today from 10am to 5pm.
Her crew of 45 will stage a reception and “capability demonstration” from 1pm to 4pm tomorrow with a short display from the Royal Marine Band Corps of Drums at Fort Charlotte, a multimedia presentation and a tour of the ship itself. Events will conclude with drinks and a finger buffet followed by ceremonial sunset at 4pm.
The commemorative events will include Voe Bakery’s 100th anniversary celebrations and a wreath laying and service of remembrance at the Commonwealth war graves at the old Voe graveyard.
HMS Middleton dates from the 1980s and has a glass-reinforced plastic hull to conceal her from sea-mines and is one of a number of mine countermeasures ships in the Navy. She detects, investigates, and destroys sea-bed threats with the use of high powered sonar, remote underwater vehicles and divers.
The Seafox Mine Disposal System is her main anti-mine system. The remotely operated submersible identifies underwater explosives and is controlled via fibre optic cables from the parent ship. Once a mine has been found the unit is guided to the target which it will destroy with a shaped charge.
The ship carries a single 30mm gun designed for Royal Navy frigates to shoot down short range missiles and rockets. The gun is controlled from a remote operator console elsewhere on the ship.