The Royal Navy’s experimental ship, XV Patrick Blackett arrived in Falmouth Docks this week on her inaugural port visit to Cornwall.

The vessel was on passage to Portugal for NATO Robotic Experimentation and Prototyping using Maritime Uncrewed Systems - REPMUS 2023 exercise.

Met by Matt Weetch, A&P Group Director of Defence in Falmouth the ship arrived for a short stay to take on stores and prepare herself for her onward passage.

XV Patrick Blackett (X01) is an experimental ship used by the Royal Navy as a testbed for new technologies, including underwater vehicle, unmanned surface craft and quantum navigation.

Her namesake is Patrick Blackett a Royal Navy veteran and Nobel Prize-winning British physicist.

Patrick Blackett was procured for use by NavyX, the Royal Navy’s Autonomy, Lethality and Innovation accelerator to support experiments that will accelerate new equipment into the Royal Navy and develop innovative technologies and autonomous systems.

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Matt Weetch said: “It is great to welcome the XV Patrick Blackett and her crew to A&P Falmouth and see first-hand the unique capability that the vessel offers the Royal Navy.”

Commander Michael Hutchinson, XV Patrick Blackett’s commanding officer, who is familiar with Falmouth and Cornwall from his time as the first CO of HMS Tamar, one of Cornwall’s affiliated ships, said: “It was a pleasure to bring another new ship to Cornwall.

“Falmouth is such an important port for the Royal Navy and is the gateway to the Atlantic; more importantly it is full of great people who welcome us so warmly. It is one of my favourite places to visit – so I am very glad to be back.”