HMS Brocklesby (M33)

HMS Brocklesby is a Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel of the British Royal Navy.

HMS Brocklesby in Portsmouth, October 2008.
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Brocklesby
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Vosper Thornycroft
Launched: 12 January 1982
Sponsored by: Viscountess Trenchard, the wife of Viscount Trenchard MC, then Minister of State for Defence Procurement
Completed: 25 October 1982
Commissioned: 3 February 1983
Honours and
Al Faw – 2003
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel
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)
Propulsion: 2 × Caterpillar C32, 2 × FPP – 757 kW (1,015 hp)
Speed: 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
2 × MIB Diving Support Boats
Complement: 45 (6 officers & 39 ratings)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Sonar Type 2193
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • SeaFox mine disposal system
  • Diver-placed explosive charges
  • 1 × 30mm BMARC Cannon Mk1
  • 3 × Miniguns
  • 2 × .50 Cal HMG

Operational history

Cherbourg incident

In 1993 she became involved in the Cherbourg incident, when Brocklesby challenged the French trawler La Calypso in the Channel Islands waters.[2]

2003 Invasion of Iraq

She gained a battle honour when she was among the first coalition ships into Umm Qasr during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. She was part of a group of mine countermeasure vessels that cleared a mined channel into the port, enabling access to it by sea.[3]

2011 Libya operations

In 2011 she took part in surveillance and embargo operations off the coast of Libya alongside HMS Liverpool, as part of Operation Ellamy, the UK's contribution to Operation Unified Protector.[4] In early May 2011, she took part in a mine-clearing operation to secure the waters of Misrata Port, Libya, after mines were dropped by Muammar Gaddafi's forces to prevent aid from being delivered to the besieged city. Brocklesby used her sonar and SeaFox mine disposal system to locate and destroy a mine that was located 1.6 km from the harbour entrance, making the waters safe for aid ships to enter.[5][6]

Brocklesby's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Jim Byron DSC, said:

The Royal Navy has always had a great reputation for mine clearance and it is precisely this type of operation that shows the world just how good we are. We are extremely proud that we could use our skills and knowledge to open that port and allow humanitarian aid back into Libya where it is so desperately needed. Without this capability there could have been hundreds of lives lost through the detonation of that mine.

Captain Byron, Royal Navy interview[6]

Brocklesby returned to Portsmouth on 5 July 2011 flying a special version of the Jolly Roger, indicating the successful destruction of a sea-mine.[6]

Exercise Joint Warrior 2013

In October 2013 she participated in Exercise Joint Warrior.[7]

Op Kipion 2018-2020

During 2018 HMS Brocklesby departed the UK's waters and transited to the Middle East as part of the British commitment to promoting stability in the region. Op Kipion see's four British mine hunters, as well as other warships, spend approximately 2 years forward deployed. HMS Brocklesby's move to the Middle East saw her take responsibility from HMS Middleton, subsequently allowing Middleton to transit back to the UK.


  1. "Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels - Specifications". 11 July 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  2. Arlidge, John (29 March 1993). "French fishermen burn patrol boat's ensign: Minister warns Navy will get tough after two new humiliations in fishing rights dispute". The Independent. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  3. "History of HMS Brocklesby". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  4. "Libya: RAF Tornados destroy seven Libyan tanks". BBC News. 9 April 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  5. Norton-Taylor, Richard (4 May 2011). "Libyan conflict enters psychological stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  6. Ministry of Defence (5 July 2011). "HMS Brocklesby returns from Libya mission". GOV.UK. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  7. "Scotland Set To Host Exercise Joint Warrior". Royal Navy. 2 October 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
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