Mine Warfare Vessels
Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMV) – combine mine hunting with mine disposal using sophisticated sonar, divers and remotely operated submersibles. The RN has 2 very successful classes of ‘plastic’ MCMV – the Hunt and Sandown classes. These ships and RN mine warfare expertise is considered amongst best in the world but the number of MCMV ships is just 15. The Hunt class is receiving new engines and upgrades but these many of these ships are over 30 years old and in need of replacement in the next decade. The next generating of mine-hunting ship are likely to rely more on Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUAVs) aiming to remove the man (or even the minehunting ‘mother ship’) from the minefield. The Mine Countermeasure, Hydrographic, Patrol Craft (MHPC) project is supposed to provide replacement vessels but is moving slowly.