HMS Penzance

HMS Penzance is a Sandown Class minehunter whose role is to neutralise underwater threats and clear the sea-lanes for shipping. 

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HMS Penzance arrived in Bahrain at the end of July 2014 after a 7,900-mile journey from Scotland.

Since then she has been busy taking part in training, from the world’s biggest mine warfare exercise in the autumn, to joint work-outs with coalition and local navies operating in the Gulf and surveying routes around the region.

The Royal Navy keeps four minehunters in Bahrain, Sandown-class ships to deal with mines in deeper waters (currently Penzance and Shoreham) and Hunt-class for shallower seas (HMS Atherstone and Chiddingfold), to keep the sea lanes clear.


On Deployment

This unit is currently on deployment find out how that might affect you.

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HMS Penzance Forging Partnerships in Bahrain


HMS Penzance Latest News

First Sea Lord visits Bahrain based HMS Penzance

HMS Penzance destroys historic bomb in Gulf

HMS Penzance destroys historic bomb in Gulf

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Current operation Kipion MCMV

In support of wider British efforts in the region, minehunters are providing the capability to conduct route survey, sea-bed clearance, and mine clearance operations all over the Gulf. The operation also aims to provide a visible naval presence in a region where stability and good relations with local nations is vital. Much of the UK’s oil and gas, as well as other products, come from the Gulf region and as such these efforts are of vital importance to our economy and lifestyle.

Protecting our economy

Maritime trade is the lifeblood of the UK economy and industry. 95% of Britain’s economic activity depends on the oceans. And every year Britain imports goods worth £524 billion.

The UK is so dependent on the seas for its prosperity, that without the Royal Navy acting as deterrent the effect on the economy would be overwhelming.

Providing security at sea

The UK has a responsibility to its citizens and its allies to endeavour to safeguard the high seas. This is why the Royal Navy protects home and international waters – making sure the global trade that Britain and the world depend on can proceed without a hitch.

Location middle east

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Unit History

The First Two Penzances1665

The first two ships to bear the name Penzance were small frigates commissioned in 1665 and 1747 respectively.

The Third Penzance1930

The third was a Bridgewater-class sloop launched from Devonport in 1930.


Employed on convoy duties the ship left Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on 15 August 1940 as the sole escort to another convoy of ships bound for Great Britain.


She was later intercepted by a U37, torpedoed, and subsequently sunk resulting in the loss of her Captain and 89 of her crew.

The Current Penzance1997

Launched by Princess Michael of Kent on 11 March 1997, the current HMS Penzance was commissioned on 14 May 1998 and is the fourth to bear the name.

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Commanding Officer William King

William King

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

After reading Politics and International Relations at Southampton University as an RN Bursar, Will joined BRNC in 1999. In July 2015, Lieutenant Commander King took command of the Sandown-class minehunter HMS Penzance.

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