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RN decommissions minehunters ahead of transfer to Ukraine

5th August 2021 - 10:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


HMS Blyth during its decommissioning ceremony. (Photo: MoD/ Crown Copyright.)

The UK RN has paid off two Sandown-class minehunters, paving the way for their transfer to Ukrainian service.

The RN has decommissioned two Sandown-class mine countermeasures vessels, HMS Blyth and HMS Ramsey, after 51 years of combined service.

Both vessels have seen extensive deployments and were the first to be sent to Bahrain when the UK Government saw a requirement for a permanent minehunter presence in the Gulf.

Following dockyard works, the ships will be transferred to the Ukrainian Navy, serving on the Black Sea.

In June, the UK, Babcock and Ukraine signed a tripartite Memorandum of Implementation (MoI) in Odessa, providing the latter with two minehunters and eight new Babcock-developed missile boats.

The MoI also opened the door for the potential sale of Babcock's Arrowhead 140 frigate design to Ukraine –alluding to it when referring to plans to deliver a 'modern frigate capability'. 

In UK service, the two ships are being replaced through Project Wilton, which aims to introduce an autonomous minehunting capability. Three autonomous boats are already in service at Faslane, Scotland.

Following leave, Blyth's crew will take charge of another Sandown-class minehunter, HMS Grimsby, later this year.

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