Royal Navy Engineering Challenge 2019

On Wednesday 27 March, HMS Sultan, Gosport will welcome youngsters from across England to take part in the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge – Exercise Downbird Recovery.

Held in partnership with University Technical Colleges (UTCs), Eaton Ltd, Babcock and BAE Systems, the challenge encourages young people to use Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Over 70 teams will compete in the Challenge, with several of the teams enjoying 24 hours of naval life, including a night onboard HMS Bristol.

Themed around the Royal Navy’s integrated systems, the students have been tasked with building two remote-controlled vehicles, a land-based recovery vehicle capable of carrying a stranded helicopter, and a ship that can transport it to safety.

This competition will give the competitors aged 14 to 24 the opportunity to learn how leading scientific and defence organisations are responding to technological change and real-world challenges.


The Challenge

  • The Royal Navy is on exercise in the Pacific Ocean. A volcano near the island of Volcania has erupted and the inhabitants have started to evacuate.

  • Royal Navy helicopters are assisting in the rescue and people are being moved to safety.

  • A distress message has been received that one of the helicopters has suffered engine failure and has made a heavy emergency landing on a nearby beach. It needs to be recovered by the safest means possible.

  • The task is to use the team’s vessel and associated land-based recovery vehicle (RV) to recover the helicopter to the nearest dockyard facilities.