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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The overhaul will see the Sandown-class minehunter emerge refreshed, with among other upgrades the addition of an enhanced 30mm cannon. Once checked over and fully trialled, the small ship is expected to return to duties for the second half of 2013.


On Deployment

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British and US navies carry out counter piracy training


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Royal Navy medics in action in the Middle East

Medics in action in Middle East exercise


HMS Bulwark leads ten-ship task group on Gulf exercise

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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.

  • Joint Warrior

    Europe's largest military exercise - a tri-Service, multinational exercise involving over 35 warships, 25 aircraft, marines and troops.

  • Alongside - Clyde

    Alongside in her home port Clyde Naval base

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 Nicholas Unwin

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Lt Cdr Nick Unwin joined the Royal Navy in 2000. He assumed command of HMS Penzance in April 2013.

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Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering)

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