Sandown-class minehunter

The Sandown class is a class of fifteen minehunters built primarily for the Royal Navy. 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.

HMS Ramsey at HMNB Clyde, 2011
Class overview
Name: Sandown class
Builders: Vosper Thornycroft, Woolston
In service: 1989
Completed: 15
Active: 13
Laid up: 1
Retired: 1
General characteristics
Type: Minehunter
Displacement: 600 t (590 long tons; 660 short tons)[1]
Length: 52.5 m (172 ft 3 in)
Beam: 10.9 m (35 ft 9 in)
Draught: 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)
Speed: 13 kn (24 km/h; 15 mph)
Complement: 34 (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:


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 will also be 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.

Ships in the class

NavyNamePennant numberBuilderLaunchedCommissionedStatus
 Royal Navy Cromer M103 Vosper Thornycroft 1990 1992 Decommissioned, now training ship at Britannia Royal Naval College
Walney M104 Vosper Thornycroft 1991 1992 Decommissioned
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 In active service
Blyth M111 Vosper Thornycroft 2000 2001 In active service
Shoreham M112 Vosper Thornycroft 2001 2001 In active service
Royal Saudi Navy Al Jawf 420 Vosper Thornycroft In active service
Shaqra 422 Vosper Thornycroft In active service
Al Kharj 424 Vosper Thornycroft In active service
 Estonian Navy Admiral Cowan M313 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 1989 / 2007 In active service, former HMS Sandown (M101)
Sakala M314 Vosper Thornycroft 1990 1991 / 2008 In active service, former HMS Inverness (M102)
Ugandi M315 Vosper Thornycroft 1992 1993 / 2009 In active service, former HMS Bridport (M105)

See also


  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.
  • Beaver, Paul (1996). Britain's Modern Royal Navy. Patrick Stephens Limited. ISBN 1-85260-442-5.
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