Aggressive-class minesweeper

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USS Constant (AM-427).jpg
USS Constant (MSO-427)
Class overview
Operators:  United States Navy
 Republic of China Navy
 Belgian Navy
 Royal Norwegian Navy
 Philippine Navy
In commission: 1953–1994
Completed: 53
General characteristics
Displacement: 853 tons (full load)
Length: 172 ft (52 m)
Beam: 35 ft (11 m)
Draft: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion: 4 × aluminum block Waukesha diesels, 2,400 bhp (1,800 kW)
2 × shafts
2 × controllable pitch propellers
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)
Complement: 7 officers, 70 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SQQ-14 mine hunting sonar
Armament: 1 × twin 20 mm gun
2 × .50 cal (12.7 mm) twin machine guns

The Aggressive-class minesweepers are a class of US-built minesweepers. They are designated as MSO (Mine Sweeper Ocean), distinguishing them from the smaller coastal MSCs and inshore MSIs. Besides the US Navy, this class of vessels has also been used by the Belgian Navy and the Norwegian Navy, among others.

Background[edit]

Minesweeping, or the disposal of naval mines, by these vessels is performed in different ways:

  • Sweeping proper, with an underwater cable cutting the mooring cables of floating mines. The mines then come to the surface and are destroyed by gunfire.
  • Acoustic sweeping, with a towed device producing noise to trigger acoustic mines.
  • Magnetic sweeping, with a towed device producing a magnetic field to trigger magnetic mines. To protect the minesweeper itself against magnetic mines, the hull of the ship is made of wood.

Construction and disposition[edit]

Of the 53 constructed for the United States Navy, 10 were built at Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana, 9 at J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington, 8 at Wilmington Boat Works Inc., Wilmington, California, 6 at Luders Marine Construction Co. of Stamford, Connecticut, 4 at Broward Marine Inc, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 4 at Martinolich Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, California, 3 at Burger Boat Company, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, 3 at Colberg Boat Works, Stockton, California, 2 at Fulton Shipyard, Antioch, California, 2 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and 2 at Seattle Shipbuilding and Drydocking Co., Seattle, Washington.

33 of the class were decommissioned before the mid-1970s. Four ex-USN ships were sold to the Republic of China Navy 1994 and re-classed as Yung Yang-class minesweepers. They were still in active service in 2012. USS Implicit was decommissioned 30 September 1994 in Tacoma, Washington and was the last Aggressive class minesweeper in US Navy active service.

General development of minesweeping[edit]

Minesweepers have been in operation since World War I and originally involved a simple metal detector, which sailors used to locate mines. This practice was dangerous not only from the risk of missing and detonating a mine, but also because the enemy would be making the task harder for the sweepers by keeping them under constant, heavy fire. Minesweepers were greatly admired by their peers because of their bravery.

Aggressive class minesweepers used AN/SQQ-14 mine hunting sonar to locate moored or bottom mines. They used electromagnetic cables to set off mines or other cables to cut their mooring lines, and various magnetic and acoustical devices to set off mines. Toward the end of their use, the class also employed remote submersibles like Super Sea Rover to locate mines.

Today, active minesweepers or minehunters are frequently used. The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom uses small submarines that are controlled by wireless operators on board the several minesweeping frigates that it possesses. Sweden produced a robotic Self-propelled Acoustic/Magnetic Minesweeper (SAM), which proved its worth during Operation Desert Storm, when it was successfully used for minesweeping by the US Navy. SAMs are currently in service with the Swedish Navy, the Japanese Navy, the Royal Navy and the US Navy, though not necessarily aboard Aggressive class minesweepers.


Units[edit]

Ship Name Hull No. Builder Commission–
Decommission
Fate Link
Aggressive 422 Luders Marine Construction Co. of Stamford, Connecticut 1953–1971 Sold for scrap 1980 [1]
Avenge 423 Luders Marine Construction Co. of Stamford, Connecticut 1954-1970 Destroyed by fire, sold for scrapping 1969 [2]
Bold 424 Norfolk Naval Shipyard 1953-1971 Sold for scrap 1981 [3]
Bulwark 425 Norfolk Naval Shipyard 1953-1971 Sold for scrap 1980 [4]
Conflict 426 Fulton Shipyard, Antioch, California 1954-1973 Sold for scrap 1973 [5]
Constant 427 Fulton Shipyard, Antioch, California 1954-1992 Sold for scrap 2001 [6]
428 - 431 were US Dash class minesweepers
Dynamic 432 Colberg Boat Works, Stockton, California 1953-1971 Sold or loaned to Spain as Guadalete M41, 1971. [7]
Engage 433 Colberg Boat Works, Stockton, California 1953-1991 Scrapped 2002 [8]
Embattle 434 Colberg Boat Works, Stockton, California 1954-1972 Sold to be scrapped 1976, privately held until scrapped by USACE in 1993. [9]
Endurance 435 J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington 1954-1972 Sold for scrap 1973 [10]
Energy 436 J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington 1954-1972 Loaned to Philippines 1972
Sold for scrap 1977
[11]
Enhance 437 Martinolich Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, California 1955-1970
1971-1991
Sold for scrap 2000 [12]
Esteem 438 Martinolich Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, California 1955-1970
1971-1991
Sold for scrap 2000 [13]
Excel 439 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1955-1992 Sold for scrap 2000 [14]
Exploit 440 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1954-1993 Sold for scrap 2002 [15]
Exultant 441 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1954-1993 Sold for scrap 2002 [16]
Fearless 442 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1954-1990 Sold for scrap 1992 [17]
Fidelity 443 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1955-1989 Sold for scrap 1990 [18]
Firm 444 J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington 1954-1972 Loaned to Philippines 1972
Scrapped 1977
[19]
Force 445 J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington 1955-1973 Sunk after a fire [20]
Fortify 446 Seattle Shipbuilding and Drydocking Co., Seattle, Washington 1954-1992 Scrapped 2002 [21]
Guide 447 Seattle Shipbuilding and Drydocking Co., Seattle, Washington 1955-1972 Sold for scrap 1973 [22]
Illusive 448 Martinolich Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, California 1953-1990 Sold for scrap 1993 [23]
Impervious 449 Martinolich Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, California 1954-1991 Scrapped 2002 [24]
450 - 454 built at Bellingham Shipyards Co., Bellingham, Washington for France, not necessarily Aggressive class ships.
Implicit 455 Wilmington Boat Works Inc., Wilmington, California 1954-1994 Sold to Taiwan 1994 [25]
Inflict 456 Wilmington Boat Works Inc., Wilmington, California 1954-1990 Sold for scrap 1992 [26]
Loyalty 457 Wilmington Boat Works Inc., Wilmington, California 1954-1972 Sold for scrap 1973 [27]
Lucid 458 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1955-1970 Sold for scrap 1976
Currently being restored by the Stockton Historical Maritime Museum as a museum ship
[28]
Nimble 459 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1955-1970 Sold for scrap 1981 [29]
Notable 460 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1955-1970 Sold for scrap 1971 [30]
Observer 461 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1955-1972 Sold for scrap 1979 [31]
Pinnacle 462 Higgins Corp., New Orleans, Louisiana 1955-1970 Sold for scrap 1978 [32]
Pivot 463 Wilmington Boat Works Inc., Wilmington, California 1954-1971 Initially loaned then sold to Spain as Guadalmedina M42, 1974 [33]
Pluck 464 Wilmington Boat Works Inc., Wilmington, California 1954-1990 Sold for scrap 1992 [34]
Prestige 465 Wilmington Boat Works Inc., Wilmington, California 1954-1958 Grounded and sunk, 1958 in the Naruto Strait [35]
Prime 466 Wilmington Boat Works Inc., Wilmington, California 1954-1970 Sold for scrap 1976 [36]
Reaper 467 Wilmington Boat Works Inc., Wilmington, California 1954-1972 Sold for scrap 1976 [37]
Rival 468 Luders Marine Construction Co. of Stamford, Connecticut 1954-1970 Sold for scrap 1971 [38]
Sagacity 469 Luders Marine Construction Co. of Stamford, Connecticut 1955-1970 Grounded at Charleston Harbor then sold for scrap 1970. [39]
Salute 470 Luders Marine Construction Co. of Stamford, Connecticut 1955-1970 Sold for scrap 1971 [40]
Skill 471 Luders Marine Construction Co. of Stamford, Connecticut 1950-1970 Sold for scrap 1979, scrapped 1983.[41][dead link] [42]
Valor 472 Burger Boat Company, Manitowoc, Wisconsin 1954-1970 Sold for scrap 1971 [43]
Vigor 473 Burger Boat Company, Manitowoc, Wisconsin 1954-1972 Sold to Spain as Guadiana M44, 1972. Scrapped by Spain after 1999. [44]
Vital 474 Burger Boat Company, Manitowoc, Wisconsin 1955-1972 Sold for scrap 1979 [45]
475 - 487 built for France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, not necessarily Aggressive class ships.
Conquest 488 J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington 1955-1970
1971-1994
Sold to Taiwan 1994 [46]
Gallant 489 J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington 1955-1994 Sold to Taiwan 1994 [47]
Leader 490 J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington 1955-1970
1971-1991/92
Sold for scrap 1994 [48]
Persistent 491 J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington 1956-1971 Initially loaned in 1971 then sold to Spain as Guadalquivir M43 [49]
Pledge 492 J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Washington 1956-1994 Sold to Taiwan 1994 [50]
Stalwart 493 Broward Marine Inc, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 1956-1966 Caught fire pier side at San Juan, Puerto Rico, sunk 1966. Later raised and sunk as an artificial reef. [51]
Sturdy 494 Broward Marine Inc, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 1957-1971 Sold for scrap 1978 [52]
Swerve 495 Broward Marine Inc, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 1957-1971 Sold for scrap 1978 [53]
Venture 496 Broward Marine Inc, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 1958-1971 Sold for scrap 1978 [54]
MSO-497 497 Cancelled, never built

References[edit]

External links[edit]