Sandown-class minehunter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sandown Class Mine Hunter HMS Ramsey Departs HMNB Clyde for the Middle East MOD 45152718.jpg
HMS Ramsey at HMNB Clyde, 2011
Class overview
NameSandown class
BuildersVosper Thornycroft, Woolston
In service1989
Active11 (5 Royal Navy, 3 each Estonian and Royal Saudi Navies)
Laid up3 (2 to be transferred to Ukraine)
Retired1 (static training vessel)
General characteristics
Displacement600 t (590 long tons; 660 short tons)[1]
Length52.5 m (172 ft 3 in)
Beam10.9 m (35 ft 9 in)
Draught2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)
Speed13 kn (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Complement34 (accommodation for up to 40)
Sensors and
processing systems
  • Radar Type 1007 I-Band/Kelvin Hughes Ltd SharpEye navigation radar[2]
  • Sonar Type 2093
Electronic warfare
& decoys
  • SeaFox mine disposal system
  • Diver-placed explosive charges

The Sandown class is a class of fifteen minehunters built primarily for the Royal Navy by Vosper Thornycroft. The Sandown class also serve with the Royal Saudi Navy and the Estonian Navy. The first vessel was commissioned into Royal Navy service on 9 June 1989 and all the British ships are named after coastal towns and cities. They have a secondary role as offshore patrol vessels.


These small (53 m, 174 ft) fibreglass vessels are single role mine hunters (SRMH) rather than minesweepers. Twelve ships were built for the Royal Navy and three ships were exported to Saudi Arabia. Three Royal Navy vessels were decommissioned following the Strategic Defence Review in 2003; Sandown (January 2005), Inverness (April 2005) and Bridport (July 2004). A further ship, Cromer, was decommissioned and transferred to a training role at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 2001 as Hindostan.

The three decommissioned vessels were sold to Estonia in September 2006. They were re-equipped with TCS (Tactical Control System) and the Atlas Elektronik Seafox ROV for mine disposal. The sonar system was also updated. The first ship (ex-Sandown), delivered in 2007, has been named Admiral Cowan,[3] the second (ex-Inverness), was delivered in 2008 and named Sakala and the last (ex-Bridport) named Ugandi in 2009.


The 2021 defence white paper announced that all mine countermeasures vessels in the Royal Navy would be retired during the 2020s and replaced by automated systems. It was indicated that the remaining Sandown-class ships would be retired first[4] with the entire class to be withdrawn from service by 2025.[5]

In June 2021, during a visit by HMS Defender to Odessa, it was revealed that an agreement had been reached for two Sandown class ships to be transferred to the Ukrainian Navy upon decommissioning.[6] Ramsey and Blyth were decommissioned on 4 August 2021 and following a refit by Babcock, will be transferred to the Ukrainian Navy.[7]

Ships in the class[edit]

Navy Name Pennant number Builder Launched Commissioned Status
 Royal Navy Cromer M103 Vosper Thornycroft 1990 1992 Static training ship at Britannia Royal Naval College (as Hindostan)
Walney M104 Vosper Thornycroft 1991 1992 Decommissioned; awaiting disposal
Penzance M106 Vosper Thornycroft 1997 1998 In active service
Pembroke M107 Vosper Thornycroft 1997 1998 In active service
Grimsby M108 Vosper Thornycroft 1998 1999 In active service
Bangor M109 Vosper Thornycroft 1999 1999 In active service
Ramsey M110 Vosper Thornycroft 1999 2000 Decommissioned; awaiting transfer to Ukrainian Navy
Blyth M111 Vosper Thornycroft 2000 2001 Decommissioned; awaiting transfer to Ukrainian Navy
Shoreham M112 Vosper Thornycroft 2001 2001 In active service
Naval Jack of Saudi Arabia.svg Royal Saudi Navy Al Jawf 420 Vosper Thornycroft 1993 In active service
Shaqra 422 Vosper Thornycroft 1993 In active service
Al Kharj 424 Vosper Thornycroft 1993 In active service
 Estonian Navy Admiral Cowan
M313 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 1989 / 2007 In active service
M314 Vosper Thornycroft 1990 1991 / 2008 In active service
M315 Vosper Thornycroft 1992 1993 / 2009 In active service

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sandown Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels - Specifications". 11 July 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2014.
  2. ^ Ministry of Defence (28 January 2016). "New navigation radar system for Royal Navy". GOV.UK. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Queen Elizabeth II to Hand Ship's Badge to Estonian Navy" (PDF). Estonian Review. 16 (39): 6. 4 October 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Unmanned Systems Set to Replace All Royal Navy Mine Warfare Vessels". 24 March 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Allison, George (22 June 2021). "UK giving two Sandown class mine hunters to Ukraine". UK Defence Journal.
  7. ^ "Thank you Blyth and Ramsey for your service as minehunters pay off". Royal Navy. 4 August 2021. Retrieved 4 August 2021.

External links[edit]