Faslane based HMS Pembroke recently became the Royal Navy’s most modern Mine Counter-Measures Vessel (MCMV) after being equipped with a new state-of-the-art mine counter-measures Command System.
ORCA or Oceanographic Reconnaissance Combat Architecture, to use its full title, was commissioned to replace the existing NAUTIS Command System, allowing the Royal Navy to maintain its position at the tip of the global minehunting spear.
After emerging from an eight-month refit, Pembroke was chosen to be the first MCMV in the Royal Navy to receive the brand-new ORCA Command System.
Engineers and contracting staff fitted the new system in a maintenance period alongside HM Naval Base Clyde in February and March, conducting Harbour Acceptance Trials prior to Sea Acceptance Trials which concluded on 17 Apr 20.
The upgrade involved a complete overhaul of the Operations (Ops) Room, installing new consoles throughout the compartment, and the replacement of the console on the Bridge as well as interfacing the new system with the myriad sensors available onboard.
Petty Officer (Mine Warfare) Matthew Routliffe, Ops Room Supervisor said:
“After a busy integration of a new Command System on HMS Pembroke and successful Acceptance Trials, ORCA is a step forward for the Mine Warfare cadre, ensuring the Royal Navy continues to be a global leader within the Mine Counter Measures community.”
ORCA allows the Mine Warfare Officer in the Ops Room to have increased situational awareness in comparison with the previous NAUTIS system, with a radar picture and navigation charts being integrated into the display.
In addition, a more user-friendly interface allows training to be conducted at a lower level, leading to a skilled junior crew.
MCM1 Crew 5 have worked tirelessly to ensure that targets were met and there were no delays to the operational readiness of the unit.
The ORCA Command System has been proven and the Crew will deploy to the Gulf in the summer leaving HMS Pembroke ready for any and all Mine Counter- Measure operations to come her way.