It’s been really interesting to see the different styles of engineering and technology. Ultimately I’d like to be a mechanical engineer in the Royal Navy

Kirsty Parsons, UTC Portsmouth student

Under the expert supervision and training of Petty Officer (PO) Alan 'Bash' Bates, they also experienced the power of the Automated Small Calibre Gun (ASCG) which is fitted to Type 23 frigates and used primarily to defend against fast inshore attack craft.

Complex engineering and gyro-stabilisation ensure accuracy despite the movement of the ship and the students were eager to experience what firing this gun would feel like as they sat at the controls.

This inspired many questions ranging from how to become a Royal Navy Weapons Engineer to whether female students could work and operate the guns, to which Bash gave many examples of successful women working in this area.

Student Jamie Himlin-Ladd was the first to volunteer to experience the ASCG and said afterwards, “It was very exciting and it made me feel very powerful!”

A visit to the Base’s impressive 4.5 inch Mark 8 gun rounded off the student’s practical demonstrations, where they learned about the mechanics of the gun and how the 37 kilogramme rounds are delivered to and fired from it.

Kirsty Parsons reflected on her visit to the two Bases and said, “It’s been really interesting to see the different styles of engineering and technology. Ultimately I’d like to be a mechanical engineer in the Royal Navy.”

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Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering)

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