• Global Military Communications

Visiting ships and waterborne demos announced for DSEI 2021

Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) will host five Royal Navy and international visiting ships when it takes place 14-17 September at London ExCeL. The vessels will provide an exclusive showcase of maritime technology and capability for visitors to explore.

The visiting ships are:

  • HMS ARGYLL

  • HMS BITER

  • HMS RANGER

  • HMS MAGPIE

  • BNS Pollux

HMS ARGYLL will be returning to DSEI after two years of new operations. ARGYLL was deployed to the Arabian Gulf in 2020 and recently conducted duties as the UK’s Fleet Ready Escort where she remained at very high readiness. Trialling several the Royal Navy’s newest capabilities, ARGYLL is the oldest ship of her Type-23 Frigate class but also one of the most advanced.


HMS ARGYLL Commander, Charlie Wheen said: “I am delighted that HMS ARGYLL can once again support DSEI. We are the oldest serving Frigate in the Royal Navy, and yet through constant capability upgrades we remain one of the most technologically advanced Ships in the Fleet. Our last visit to DSEI in 2019 showcased the Sea Ceptor Missile System following an Indo Pacific deployment; the first such deployment on operations with the new system. Since then the Ship has deployed to the Middle East, operated at reach through the Pandemic in 2020, and more recently trialled Sea Ceptor and the Artisan Radar 997 to develop new capabilities against complex threats during Ex FORMIDABLE SHIELD. There is much to talk about and we are very much looking forward to showing off the Ship and the team.”

HMS BITER and RANGER, both new to DSEI, are inshore patrol vessels and part of the Coastal Forces Squadron which operates across the UK and as far as the Baltic Sea and Gibraltar. As P2000 Archer Class patrol crafts, they are unique in their ability to operate in ports and confined waters that are not accessible to warships and can be used to support roles from safeguarding Britain’s nuclear fleet and maritime security to participating in NATO overseas operations and training the next generation of naval officers. HMS BITER recently conducted training with the London Marine Policing Unit and participated in Exercise Strike Warrior 21 to simulate fast inshore attack boats and test the responses of all Task Group platforms including aircraft, ships and submarines. HMS RANGER recently supported security operations for the G7 Summit and officer training in Portsmouth.


Lt Rebecca Higgins, HMS BITER Commanding Officer said: “In order to train the best we need to be the best. HMS BITER, built in 1985, a P2000, one of the smallest vessels in the Royal Navy’s arsenal, would not be able to support the Maritime Security Operations, FOST serials and multi-national exercises, amongst other tasking we routinely do, were it not for the modern and creative thought of technological companies. After a year of tasking hampered by COVID-19 I am thankful that DSEI is able to go ahead and for the opportunity to be a part of it assisting with waterborne capability demonstrations or through enabling people the best view from the water.”

Also new to DSEI, HMS MAGPIE is the Royal Navy’s only commissioned Inshore Survey Vessel. With a complement of nine, her primary role is to conduct detailed surveys of UK strategic ports and approaches. To enable this she is exceptionally manoeuvrable, equipped with modern survey systems, and able to deploy and recover uncrewed underwater vehicles.


Visiting a foreign port for the first time in more than 18 months, BNS Pollux will attend DSEI for a second time. BNS Pollux and her sister ship BNS Castor are part of the Belgian Navy contribution to the Belgian Coastguard structure. Both Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV) are active in support of Coastal Security in the Belgian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and territorial waters (TTW), often in close cooperation with other authorities. BNS Pollux takes on roles in fisheries and customs inspections, MARPOL inspections, escort of non-NATO units, search and rescue operations at sea, COLREG patrols, protection of critical infrastructure, anti-pollution operations, sparring partner for both national and NATO vessels training at MOST (Mine countermeasures vessels Operational Sea Training).


Waterborne Demonstrations

DSEI will also host a range of daily waterborne demonstrations at the Royal Dock alongside ExCeL. These will take place from Tuesday to Thursday, AM 10:30 – 11:15 and PM 14:30 – 15:15, and Friday from AM 10:00 – 10:45 and PM 13:30 – 14:15.


Allsalt Maritime in partnership with Simrad and Ambex, will demonstrate the Very Slender Vessel (VSV) 50, a 16m carbon fibre interceptor, fitted out with shock mitigation seating from Allsalt and a full suite of Simrad navigation and comms equipment, ideal for high speed chases or a test platform.

Atlas Elektronik will showcase its Officer Training Boats, designed to provide self-contained training facilities and accommodation for up to nine Officer Cadets and four instructors. As a SEA Class boat, the OTB is also designed to be Modular and offer a re-role capability to meet new user and operational requirements. The first of the Officer Training Boats (OTBs) was delivered to British Royal Navy Collage (BRNC)last year, with a total of eight now formally handed over to the MoD.


Berthon Boat Company will demonstrate the British built Gemini Waverider, an 8.80m RIB powered by the Cox Powertrain 300hp diesel engine.


Visitors can also see SAAB’s new multi-mission combat boat, the Docksta CB 90HSM. A smart and flexible craft that can be used for intelligence gathering and ops coordination. The platform is based on evolutionary design from CB90 with over 250 units in operation world-wide.


Survitec will demonstrate the GPM 530 inflatable boat which can be deployed from air, land, sea and subsurface. In service within NATO, Americas and APAC region the GPM 530 is designed around operators and their operational experiences. The boat can be configured to support multiple mission profiles including covert insertion/extraction, rapid response, surveillance, search and rescue and law enforcement.


Volve Penta will showcase the Marell M15 Patrol vessel, designed for anti-piracy operations, border control, intelligence gathering, maritime security, boarding and patrol/police mission. The helmsman's central position, inherited from racing and piloting operations, gives full and optimal control during boarding and advanced manoeuvres.

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