Ukraine will buy two Sandown-class mine hunter’s from Great Britain, an Odessa newspaper Dumskaya reports, citing sources. According to the newspaper, the ships will be purchased this year, after the signing of an agreement on their supply on June 21.
As per Dumskaya, the matter concerns the purchase of British minesweepers of the Sandown type, which were built in the early 1990s. A total of 15 minesweepers of this type was inducted into the Royal Navy. In the 2000s, three ships were transferred to Estonia, and three more to Saudi Arabia. The Royal Navy now has nine ships of this type, two of which will be transferred to the Ukrainian Navy.
The minesweepers are 53 meters long, 11 meters wide, and 2.3 meters deep. A pair of 1523 HP diesels accelerate the ship to 13 knots. There is also an electric motor for quiet running. The minesweepers are armed with a DS30B rapid-fire cannon which is a 30mm Oerlikon stabilized ship-protection system. The DS30B, the predecessor to the 30mm DS30M Mark 2 Automated Small Calibre Gun, mounts a 30mm Mark 44 Bushmaster II. It also has three six-barreled 7.62mm Minigun machine guns and a pair of general-purpose machine guns. These mines hunters search and destroy sea mines using the SeaFox Mine Disposal System, a remotely operated submersible used to identify the threat of underwater explosives via fiber optic cables from the parent ship. They do not have equipment for minesweeping.
Also, the ships are equipped with radars and mine detection systems, including a powerful sonar. The ships may be upgraded with more modern mine detection systems.
In October last year, the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that the memorandum signed by Zelensky with the UK Export Credit Agency refers to the supply of modern military equipment and the latest high-precision weapons to Kiev, the establishment of production of certain types of military products in Ukraine, as well as construction bases of the Ukrainian Navy.
The office of the President of Ukraine clarified that the UK for $ 1.4 billion will help re-equip the Ukrainian Navy with modern missile boats that are compatible with NATO standards.