Vosper Thornycroft (VT) has added to its portfolio of vessels built for the Royal Navy following the naming of HMS Echo, the first of two advanced oceanographic and hydrographic survey ships.VT was appointed prime contractor to build the survey ships in June 2000 and sub-contracted the construction to Appledore Shipbuilders in Devon. HMS Echo is due to arrive on the South Coast in June for final work and will be handed over in Autumn this year. The second new ship, HMS Enterprise, will be handed over in Spring 2003.
Once in service, the ships will be among the most advanced survey vessels in operation. They will work with the Fleet in worldwide frontline operational roles, including supporting mine warfare and amphibious operations as well as undertaking specialist surveying tasks necessary for the long-term effectiveness of the Royal Navy. The 3,500 tonne ships will be equipped with the latest survey systems, including multi-beam echo sounders and modern side scan sonars, as well as advanced navigation and communication systems. The sophisticated survey suite will enable them to collect highly accurate data between the surface and the seabed. Survey motor boats and RIBs for the ships are being supplied by VT subsidiary Halmatic.