RFA Mounts Bay (L3008)

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RFA Mounts Bay
Career RFA Ensign
Name: Mounts Bay
Ordered: 19 November 2001
Builder: BAE Systems, Govan, Glasgow
Laid down: 14 January 2002
Launched: 19 April 2004
Commissioned: 15 September 2006
Identification: IMO number: 9240770
Status: in active service, as of 2023
General characteristics
Class and type: Bay class landing ship dock
Displacement: 16,160 t (15,905 long tons) full load
Length: 176.6 m (579 ft 5 in)
Beam: 26.4 m (86 ft 7 in)
Draught: 5.1 m (16 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: 2 × Wartsila 8L26 engines
2 × Wartsila 12V26 engines
Speed: 18 knots (21 mph; 33 km/h)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km) at 15 kn (17 mph; 28 km/h)
Capacity: 356 troops; 1,200 Linear metres of vehicles (e.g. 32 Challenger 2 MBT's or 150 light trucks); 12 × 40 FEU or 24 × 20 TEU containers, 2 Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVP) Mk.5 and 1 Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Mk 10; two Mexeflote powered rafts
Complement: 59
Armament: • 2 × 7.62mm Mk.44 Miniguns
• 6 × 7.62mm L7 GPMGs
Aircraft carried: Twin spot flight deck with limited facilities to transport and operate Merlin or Chinook helicopters, and V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft

RFA Mounts Bay (L3008) is a Bay class auxiliary landing ship dock (LSD(A)) of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. She is named for Mount's Bay in Cornwall.

She was launched at the BAE Systems Naval Ships yard in Govan, Glasgow on 9 April 2004. It took more than one attempt to christen the ship, in addition to which she suffered slight damage at her launching after becoming entangled in chains and 25 ton weights.[1][2]

Mounts Bay took part in the 2006 Vela Deployment. The deployment lasted from 11 September until 22 November 2006. In total approximately 3,000 British personnel and eleven ships of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary were involved. This deployment saw for the first time, an Albion-class vessel, HMS Albion taking part in amphibious operations with a Bay class vessel. The deployment was divided into two phases, the first in local waters and the second in waters off the coast of Sierra Leone. For this deployment she was fitted with the Bowman communications system.

Mounts Bay demonstrated her lifting capability by transporting in excess of 130 vehicles, for the passage from the UK via Lisbon to Sierra Leone. After completing the Vela Deployment, she returned to the UK to load vehicles and equipment for Exercise Clockwork in northern Norway. She reached Sørreisa on 9 December. Sørreisa is within the Arctic Circle and is the furthest north any Bay Class vessel has been so far. After discharging her cargo Mounts Bay returned to the UK, successfully completing operations from the Equator to the Arctic Circle in the last three months of 2006. She attended the Dover Maritime Careers Festival on 23-24 March 2007, mooring at the Dover Western Docks. She was also in Fowey on 22 August 2008 for the regatta week. Mounts Bay was involved in Exercise Joint Warrior 2008, along with HMS Bulwark which acted as the Fleets Amphibious Flagship. HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious also took part in the two week exercise off Scotland. More recently,she attended The Tall Ships' Races event in Belfast Northern Ireland between 14 - 17 August 2009 which was the finishing line for the competition.


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