Minehunters Sandown-class

sandown class

The seven Sandown-class Mine Counter Measure Vessels are based in Scotland. The staff and ships of Mine Counter Measures 1 (MCM1) Squadron deploy in the Northern Gulf, conduct NATO exercises with other nations and work around the British Coastline, protecting our shores and clearing the old ordnance that remains as a legacy of previous wars.

At a glance

600 tonnes

Total displacement

52.5 metres

Total length

2,500 nautical miles

Total range

40 crew

On board

Eliminating hidden danger

The small but extremely effective Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMV) boast glass-reinforced plastic hulls to conceal their presence from the threat of sea-mines. These ships clear the way of mines to allow safe passage for larger forces, swiftly detecting and destroying any hidden dangers.

Weapons and capabilities

DS30B 30mm Gun

Remote fully automated mount

A single mounting carrying an Oerlikon 30mm gun, it was designed as a ship-protection system to defend Royal Navy frigates from various short-range missiles, rockets, grenades and explosives. 

The gun is controlled from a remote operator console elsewhere on the ship.

SeaFox Mine Disposal System

Guided mine disposal

The SeaFox Mine Disposal System is the remotely operated submersible used to identify the threat of underwater explosives via fibre optic cables from the parent ship.

Once a mine has been found the unit is guided to the target and will detonate a shape charge. Four independent reversible motors provide high manoeuvrability, allowing for exact placement prior to detonation.

Being a part of the Surface Fleet

Lt Jenkins, 25

Warfare officer

The job may be intense, but it’s incredibly rewarding. I also get to work on some of the most advanced warships on the planet.

Click on a location to explore our operations

Middle East

Kipion

Units of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have been on patrol in the Gulf since October 1980, after the Iran/Iraq conflict of that year, and more recently operations have extended further south with the increase in piracy off the Somalia coast. 

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Bay of Biscay

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 is a multinational, integrated maritime force - made up of vessels from various allied nations, training and operating together as a single team - that is permanently available to NATO to perform a wide range of tasks, from participating in exercises to crisis response and real world operational missions.

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Middle East

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.

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Arctic

Nato MCMV Force

The RN has always supplied an MCMV to one of the two NATO Mine Counter-Measures Squadrons. These are six-month deployments as part of the NATO Standing MCM Groups and will generally be around the coasts of Northern Europe or the Mediterranean depending upon the squadron in which the RN ship is working. 

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The North Sea and Bay of Biscay

Standing Nato Maritime Group 1

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 is a multinational, integrated maritime force - made up of vessels from various allied nations, training and operating together as a single team - that is permanently available to NATO to perform a wide range of tasks, from participating in exercises to crisis response and real world operational missions.

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United Kingdom

University Royal Naval Unit

To provide high-quality sea training experiences to undergraduates from universities.

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Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel

Patrolling the waters around the Falkland Islands and South Georgia to reassure the people of UK overseas territories.

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United Kingdom

Fishery Protection Squadron

Protecting the British fishing industry and safeguarding the nation's fishing stocks. 

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Gibraltar

Gibraltar Squadron

Conducting security patrols within British Gibraltar territorial waters, and providing protection to warships.

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Antarctic

Antarctic patrol

To provide a UK sovereign presence in the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and their surrounding maritime areas, to underpin their security and good governance; and meet the UK treaty obligations and exercise rights under the Antarctic Treaty System through inspections, hydrographic charting and support to scientific research.

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Mediterranean

Operation Sophia

A European Union Naval Force operation to counter arms bound for Libya, in support of the UN arms embargo. 

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