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Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

HMS Quorn is pictured as she departs from Portsmouth. MOD 45139064.jpg
HMS Quorn in 2001
Class overview
Name: Hunt class
Built: 1978–1988
In commission: 1979–present
Completed: 13
Active: 9
Laid up: 3
Lost: 1
General characteristics
Displacement: 750 t (740 long tons; 830 short tons)[1]
Length: 60 m (196 ft 10 in)
Beam: 9.8 m (32 ft 2 in)
Draught: 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)
  • 2 shaft CAT C32 diesel
  • 2,000 shp (1,500 kW)
Speed: 17 kn (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Complement: 45 (6 officers & 39 ratings)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar Type 1007 I band/SharpEye navigation radar[2]
  • Sonar Type 2193
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • SeaFox mine disposal system
  • Diver-placed explosive charges

The Hunt class is a class of thirteen mine countermeasure vessels of the Royal Navy. As built, they combined the separate roles of the traditional minesweeper and that of the active minehunter in one hull, but later modifications saw the removal of mine-sweeping equipment. They have a secondary role as offshore patrol vessels.


Upon introduction in the early 1980s they were the largest warships ever built out of glass-reinforced plastic[3] and were the last in operation to use the Napier Deltic diesel engine. All were built by Vosper Thornycroft in Woolston except Cottesmore and Middleton, which were built by Yarrow Shipbuilders Limited on the River Clyde. Quorn was the last ship of the class launched.

Following the sale of Bicester and Berkeley to the Greek Navy, the sale of Cottesmore and Dulverton to the Lithuanian Navy and the decommissioning of Brecon, a contract to re-engine the remaining eight vessels was signed by BAE Systems in 2008, whereby the existing 30-year old Napier Deltic 9-59K power units were replaced by Caterpillar CAT C32 engines, together with new gearboxes, bow thrusters, propellers and control systems, in a six year refurbishment programme that was completed in 2018.

The capabilities of the remaining eight vessels of the Hunt class have been significantly enhanced by the installation of Sonar Type 2193 and the NAUTIS 3 command system. The performance of Sonar 2193 exceeds that of any other mine hunting sonar in service in the world today and is capable of detecting and classifying an object the size of a football at a distance of up to 1,000 metres (1,100 yd).[4] In late 2007 Chiddingfold used the Seafox drone, the Royal Navy's mine disposal system, during Exercise Neptune Warrior off Scotland. Seafox is described by the MOD as a "state of the art fire and forget system, capable of destroying mines in depths of up to 300 metres".

The 2021 defence white paper announced that all the Hunt-class vessels would be retired from Royal Navy service in the 2020s and replaced by automated systems.[5]

Ships in the class

All 13 ships of this class re-used names from the World War II Hunt-class destroyer. Four of the names had also been used for World War I Hunt-class minesweepers: these were HMS Bicester, Cattistock, Cottesmore and Quorn. HMS Atherstone had been a paddlewheel minesweeper in 1916, and Brocklesby was a coaster taken up from trade in 1916.[citation needed]

Navy Name Pennant number Builder Launched Commissioned Status
 Royal Navy Brecon M29 Vosper Thornycroft 1978 1980 Decommissioned, now training ship at HMS Raleigh
Ledbury M30 Vosper Thornycroft 1979 1981 In active service
Cattistock M31 Vosper Thornycroft 1981 1982 In active service
Brocklesby M33 Vosper Thornycroft 1982 1982 In active service
Middleton M34 Yarrow Shipbuilders 1983 1984 In active service
Chiddingfold M37 Vosper Thornycroft 1983 1984 In active service
Atherstone M38 Vosper Thornycroft 1986 1986 Decommissioned 14 December 2017
Hurworth M39 Vosper Thornycroft 1984 1985 In active service
Quorn M41 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 1989 Decommissioned 14 December 2017
 Hellenic Navy Europa M62 Vosper Thornycroft 1985 1988 / 2001 In active service, former HMS Bicester
Kallisto M63 Vosper Thornycroft 1986 1986 / 2000 Former HMS Berkeley, cut in two in a collision with a container ship on 27 October 2020.[6]
 Lithuanian Naval Force Skalvis M53 Yarrow Shipbuilders 1982 1983 / 2011 In active service, former HMS Cottesmore
Kuršis M54 Vosper Thornycroft 1982 1983 / 2011 In active service, former HMS Dulverton

See also


  1. ^ "Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels - Specifications". 11 July 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  2. ^ "New navigation radar system for Royal Navy". GOV.UK. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  3. ^ Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships. Annapolis: US Naval Institute Press. 1996. p. 542. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
  4. ^ "The Royal Navy's most advanced minehunting sonar has entered service". Thales Group. 26 March 2004. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Unmanned Systems Set to Replace All Royal Navy Mine Warfare Vessels". The Maritime Executive. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  6. ^ Tsiliopoulos, E. "Huge merchant ship cuts minesweeper "Kallisto" in two". New Greek TV. Retrieved 27 October 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 April 2021, at 04:17
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