EML Admiral Cowan (M313)

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Admiral Cowan, 2010.jpg
EML Admiral Cowan M313
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Sandown (M101)
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Vosper Thornycroft
Launched: 16 April 1988
Commissioned: 9 June 1989
Decommissioned: 2005
Fate: Sold to Estonia
Name: EML Admiral Cowan (M313)
Namesake: Admiral Sir Walter Henry Cowan
Operator: Estonian Navy
Acquired: April 2007
Motto: Ad Omnia Paratus
Badge: ENS Cowan vapp.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type: Sandown class minehunter
Displacement: 450 tons full
Length: 52.6 m
Beam: 10.5 m
Draught: 2.4 m
Speed: 13 knots diesel, 6.5 knots electric
Complement: 7 officers, 27 sailors
Crew: 34
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Type 1007 navigation radar
  • Thales 2093 variable-depth mine hunting sonar
Armament: 3 × Browning 12.7 mm MG gun[1]
Armour: fibreglass
  • Mine counter measures equipment:
  • Atlas Elektronik Seafox MIDS

EML Admiral Cowan (M313) is a Sandown-class minehunter. Formerly HMS Sandown, lead ship of her class of the Royal Navy, she is now an Estonian Navy ship. Renamed EML Admiral Cowan, she is the flagship of the Estonian Navy and part of the Estonian Navy's mine sweeping flotilla. The commanding officer of the vessel is (LCDR) kaptenmajor Tanel Leetna. Admiral Cowan is the lead vessel of the Estonian Navy Mineships Division and also the first of the three modernised Sandown class minehunters received.


HMS Sandown was built by Vosper Thornycroft and launched on 16 April 1988 by the Duchess of Gloucester, as the lead ship of the 12 ship class of Sandown class minehunters, and entered service a year later on 9 June 1989. She participated in a number of operations in support of the British fleet, including operating as part of a NATO-led operation between 12 June - 26 August 1999, along with the Hunt class Mine countermeasure vessel HMS Atherstone and the survey ship HMS Bulldog. The operation was intended to clear the Adriatic of bombs jettisoned during the Kosovo campaign. Together Sandown and Atherstone accounted for about 20% of the 93 bombs and missiles that were located and destroyed.[2]

On 16 January 2000 Sandown located the wreck of the sunken scallop dredger, the Solway Harvester.[3] Sandown spent July 2002 on a Joint Maritime Course, after which she deployed to the Mediterranean to take part in the Argonaut 02 exercises, which lasted until Christmas. Sandown was also deployed as part of Operation Telic, to clear mines in the Persian Gulf, and sweep passages into Iraqi ports.

The Royal Navy decommissioned HMS Sandown and two of her sisters Bridport and Inverness in 2005 and on 9 October 2006 sold the vessels to the Estonian Navy. After refitting in Rosyth Sandown was formally handed over to the Estonian Navy in April 2007. Her new name comes from Admiral Sir Walter Henry Cowan who led the British naval forces in the Baltic in their intervention in the Russian Civil War, providing naval support to Estonia during the Estonian War of Independence.

Coat of arms[edit]

The vessel's coat of arms was presented by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 2006 in Tallinn.[4][5] The coat of arms is a red saltire cross on a silver shield and above, a red fleur de lys (lily). The shield is placed into a blue ring which is surrounded by a golden ship's rope. The ship's coat of arms is based on Walter Cowan's family arms. The ship's motto in Latin is: Ad Omnia Paratus - which in English means: "Prepared for Anything". The coat of arms was designed by Priit Herodes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As Sandown:
    • 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
  2. ^ Kosovo Operations
  3. ^ BBC.co.uk
  4. ^ http://mil.ee/?menu=merevagi&sisu=cowan ENS Admiral Cowan (M313)
  5. ^ http://www.shippingtimes.co.uk/item510_SANDOWN.htm HMS Sandown handed over to Estonian Navy

External links[edit]