Magpie will help lead the way in modernising the Royal Navy’s survey and underwater surveillance capabilities

Lieutenant Commander William Alexander, the new Commanding Officer for HMS Magpie

Magpie – named after the Duke of Edinburgh’s only command – is bigger than Gleaner, can stay at sea much longer (she has two messes/accommodation compartments for up to 12 crew and a galley which can meet the sailors’ needs for up to seven days), and is much more resilient in rough seas.

The Royal Navy expects Magpie to be able to maintain 20 knots in a Sea State Four with waves up to 2½ metres high.

She’s due to make the journey from Cork to Portland in Dorset for military/hydrographic equipment fitting out, equipment which is a marked improvement on what was installed on Gleaner, such as the latest high-resolution shallow-water multi-beam echo sounder and side-scan sonar. Magpie will also be able to launch remote-controlled underwater devices to search wide areas of seabed for obstructions or mines.

Otherwise, Magpie’s role is largely the same as Gleaners ensuring the approaches to the UK’s ports are safe by scanning the seabed, updating charts and generally acting as another pair of eyes and ears into events in home waters.

HMNB Devonport

Learn more

Hydrography and Meteorology Officer

Join us