HMS Inverness (M102)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Inverness.
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Inverness
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Vosper Thornycroft
Launched: 27 February 1990
Commissioned: 24 May 1991
Decommissioned: 2005
Out of service: Paid off 15 November 2004
Fate: Sold to Estonia
Career (Estonia)
Name: EML Sakala
Operator: Estonian Navy
Acquired: Scheduled for March 2008
General characteristics
Class and type: Sandown-class minehunter
Displacement: 484 tons full
Length: 52.5 m
Beam: 10.9 m
Draught: 2.3 m
Propulsion: 2 shafts Voith-Schneider propulsors
diesel-electric drive
Paxman Valenta diesels, 1,500 shp
Speed: 13 knots diesel, 6.5 knots electric
Complement: 34 (7 officers, 27 ratings)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Type 1007 navigation radar
Type 2093 variable-depth mine hunting sonar
Armament: 1 × Oerlikon 30 mm KCB gun on DS-30B mount
2 × 7.62 mm L7 GPMG machine guns
Wallop Defence Systems Barricade Mk. III countermeasure launchers
Irvin Aerospace Replica Decoy launchers
Notes: Mine counter measures equipment:
SeaFox Mine Disposal System
Clearance divers

HMS Inverness was a Sandown-class minehunter of the Royal Navy. She was decommissioned in 2005.


Inverness was built by Vosper Thornycroft and launched on 27 February 1990 as one of the 12 ship class of Sandown-class minehunters.

Inverness took part in the major joint service Exercise Saif Sareea II in Oman throughout October 2001, and also trained on her way back from the Gulf as part of the overarching Exercise Argonaut 2001 maritime task group. During Exercise Saif Sareea II, Inverness formed part of a minehunter group with her sisters Walney, and the Hunt-class mine countermeasure vessels Quorn and Cattistock, supported by RFA Diligence.[1]

In 2003, Inverness was one of a number of Royal Navy warships taking part in a multi-national exercises off Scotland, which involved ships and aircraft from a number of the world's navies, including French, German and American units.[2] HMS Inverness was awarded the Freedom of the City of Inverness in 2004.[3]

In July 2004, the UK Ministry of Defence announced that as part of the restructuring of the Navy, the three oldest Sandown-class minehunters would be retired by April 2005. Inverness was decommissioned in 2005 and was then laid up awaiting a buyer or disposal. In September 2006, Estonia signed a contract to acquire the three vessels.

After refitting in Rosyth Inverness was formally handed over to the Estonian Navy in April 2007, and renamed Sakala.