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The UHC vessel is a vital tool to support the regular EO testing at JPEU Port Wakefield. If this UHC vessel is unavailable due to unavailability of maintenance support or spare parts, this will cause severe interruption to the tight testing schedule at Port Wakefield.
The current UHC vessel, a Hornet MX-S 400 hovercraft, has reached the end of the capability life cycle after multiple modifications and life of type extensions. This hovercraft was first introduced into service in approximately 1988 with an original life of type of 15 years. This hovercraft is no longer able to provide a capability to safely support the full spectrum of JPEU trial requirements in support of certain ADF test and evaluation activities.