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Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel
HMS Ledbury (M30) - Portsmouth 2007 - BB.jpg
HMS Ledbury in Portsmouth 2007
Class overview
Builders: Vosper Thornycroft
Yarrow Shipbuilders Limited
Operators:  Royal Navy
 Hellenic Navy
 Lithuanian Naval Force
Built: 1978–1988
In commission: 1979–
Completed: 13
Laid up: 2
General characteristics
Displacement: 750 long tons (762 t)
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 shaft Napier Deltic diesel, 3,540 shp
Speed: 17 knots (20 mph; 31 km/h)
Complement: 45 (6 officers & 39 ratings)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Sonar Type 2193

As built:

  • 1 × 40 mm Bofors Mark 9
  • 3 × 7.62mm general purpose machine guns
  • 2 × PAP remotely controlled vehicles
  • MS 14 magnetic loop
  • Sperry MSSA acoustic generator
  • K8 Oropesa sweeps
  • Diver-placed explosive charges

Final configuration:

  • 1 × 30 mm MSI DS-30B gun
  • 2 × Mk44 minigun
  • 3 × 7.62mm general purpose machine guns
  • SeaFox mine disposal system
  • Diver-placed explosive charges

The Hunt class is a class of thirteen mine countermeasure vessels of the Royal Navy. As built, they combined the separate roles of the traditional minesweeper and that of the active minehunter in one hull, but later modifications saw the removal of mine-sweeping equipment. They have a secondary role as fisheries patrol vessels.

Upon introduction in the early 1980s they were the largest warships ever built out of glass-reinforced plastic[1] and are the last in operation to use the Napier Deltic diesel engine. All were built by Vosper Thornycroft in Woolston except Cottesmore and Middleton, which were built by Yarrow Shipbuilders Limited on the River Clyde. Quorn was the last ship of the class launched.

The capabilities of the remaining eight vessels of the Hunt class have been significantly enhanced by the installation of Sonar Type 2193 and the NAUTIS 3 command system. The performance of Sonar 2193 exceeds that of any other mine hunting sonar in service in the world today and is capable of detecting and classifying an object the size of a football at a distance of up to 1,000 metres.[2] In late 2007 Chiddingfold used the Seafox drone, the Royal Navy's mine disposal system, during Exercise Neptune Warrior off Scotland. Seafox is described by the MOD as a "state of the art fire and forget system, capable of destroying mines in depths of up to 300 metres".


Navy Name Pennant Builder Launched Commissioned Home port Status
Royal Navy Brecon M29 Vosper Thornycroft 1978 1980 HMS Raleigh Decommissioned, 2005
Ledbury M30 Vosper Thornycroft 1979 1981 Portsmouth Active
Cattistock M31 Vosper Thornycroft 1981 1982 Portsmouth Active
Cottesmore M32 Yarrow Shipbuilders 1982 1983 Portsmouth Decommissioned, 2005; Sold to Lithuania as the Skalvis; arrived 9 December 2010
Brocklesby M33 Vosper Thornycroft 1982 1982 Portsmouth Active
Middleton M34 Yarrow Shipbuilders 1983 1984 Portsmouth Active
Dulverton M35 Vosper Thornycroft 1982 1983 Portsmouth Decommissioned, 2005; Sold to Lithuania as the Kursis; arrived 20 May 2011
Bicester M36 Vosper Thornycroft 1985 1988 Portsmouth Sold to Greece as Europa
Chiddingfold M37 Vosper Thornycroft 1983 1984 Portsmouth Active
Atherstone M38 Vosper Thornycroft 1986 1986 Portsmouth Active
Hurworth M39 Vosper Thornycroft 1984 1985 Portsmouth Active
Berkeley M40 Vosper Thornycroft 1986 1986 Portsmouth Sold to Greece as Kallisto
Quorn M41 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 1989 Portsmouth Active
Hellenic Navy Europa M62 2001 Salamis Active
Kallisto M63 2000 Salamis Active
Lithuanian Naval Force Skalvis M53 2011 Klaipėda Active
Kuršis M51 2011 Klaipėda Active


  1. p.542, Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships, US Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 1996, ISBN 1-55750-132-7
  2. Thales Group press release on minehunting sonar

External links