Following an international competition, Thales has been awarded the role of prime contractor in the upgrade of three Sandown Class Single Role Minehunters for the Estonian Ministry of Defence. Thales will be the Prime Contractor on behalf of the Estonian MoD, with responsibility for the revised vessel design, equipment/system specification and procurement, platform and system integration, shipyard management and all test, trial and acceptance events.
Thales will also supply the ships’ mission package which will be delivered with full operational capability in 2019. The upgrade mission package includes new navigation systems, the Sonar 2193 wideband hull mounted sonar, the MCUBE command and control system (C2) and a fleet mine warfare data centre.
Commander of the Estonian Navy, CPT (N) Sepper stated “Background activities to upgrade the Naval Mine Counter Measure (NMCM) capability of the Sandown class commenced during the initial procurement phase of the vessels. I am delighted to see that we are now moving on to the execution phase.” He went on to say “The current upgrade programme provides the Navy with the opportunity to extend its conventional NMCM capability, based on proven technological solutions and tactics into the next decade. This upgrade programme also provides a valuable and much needed extended timeframe to analyse the future capability requirements and readiness of possible technological solutions that would eventually replace the legacy systems”.
This upgrade builds on the naval architecture and engineering expertise already established through the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier and the Lithuania Hunt Regeneration contract. The work has been led from Thales’s facilities in Cheadle and Templecombe, supported by Babcock Marine Systems in Rosyth.