The two minehunters were decommissioned in Rosyth this week.

According to a Royal Navy news release:

“Both Sandown-class mine countermeasures vessels have served extensively during careers spanning 21 years and 175,000 miles for Ramsey, 185,000 miles over 20 years for Blyth, supporting operations in the Middle East, around the UK or on NATO duties in northern European and Mediterranean waters. Dozens of affiliates and friends joined the crews, RN leaders and Deputy Chaplain of the Fleet Reverend Martin Evans, with music provided by the Band of HM Royal Marines Plymouth.

HMS Ramsey left her home port at Faslane for the final time in August last year, sailing to Rosyth where she has undergone work to prepare her for formal decommissioning. Blyth passed down Gareloch for the last time a month ago. The two ships were the first sent to Bahrain when the government decided a permanent minehunter presence was required in the Gulf – a presence which continues to this day.”

Ramsey’s final Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Joel Roberts was quoted as saying:

“HMS Ramsey has given 21 years of operational service to the Royal Navy and throughout her life it has been the members of her ship’s company, the people, who have made her what she is. It is time to say farewell to a ship that has been both a home and a way of life to so many. She will undoubtedly be missed, but rather than being sad, today is about remembering her duty and celebrating her 21 years of distinguished service.”

You can read more from the Royal Navy here.

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David Steeper
David Steeper
8 days ago

We’re certainly poking the Bear with a stick ! I like it. Does anyone know where the Ukrainians are going to be trained. Is it going to be there or over here.

Oliver Gilkes
Oliver Gilkes
8 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

You can poke, but one better have something big to hit him with when he bites.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
8 days ago

Good ships, they have served us well. Hopefully a satisfying replacement can be found. E.g. Motherships for the UUV’s

Julian
Julian
8 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Hmmm. I fear that a sleight of hand is going to go on there. When MCM transitions to mothership + UAV I fear that the motherships might well end up being some of these “extra” (not really extra) T31s/T32s that are being planned and as such will essentially end up being double counted since a single ship will be seen as both an extra frigate and a replacement for some of the previous Hunt/Sandown capability leading to further pressures on ship numbers. That might not happen, maybe a whole new class of MCM mothership is in the works or maybe… Read more »

Challenger
Challenger
8 days ago
Reply to  Julian

A dedicated mother-ship doesn’t look likely as there have been no announcements or even rumours of something in the pipeline. The Hunts & Sandowns are meant to be out of service by around 2030 and the T32’s have been touted as focusing on off-board ASW / mine-hunting systems. I completely agree that whilst it’s great to have flexible, remote systems that can be deployed on any surface vessels a few motherships would allow for situations where we need persistent mine-hunting or the ability to have an asset focus solely on securing an area without distracting the T32’s from other tasks.… Read more »

Julian
Julian
8 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Venari 85 is something that definitely piqued my interest. I’d really like to see that concept fleshed out further by BMT, or if it already has been then to have more details revealed. I wonder what the cost penalty is for the signature reduction that it talks about hence the likely overall build cost. I know it’s water under the bridge now, and I understand that the delays on the T26 meant that a ready-to-go design was needed to get something into build quickly enough to fulfil the contract commitments hence the River Batch 2s, but a part of me… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
8 days ago

First thing to do will be a refit to remove the UK kit and to no doubt fit the Ukrainian spec’d kit that they want onboard . That will also give the new crew some time to train on the systems before they take the ships over.

As the unmanned MCM systems come into service and the other Sandown’s pay off there is going to be a lucrative market in selling them on to new users. Hull and structurally wise they can pretty much go on indefinitely with only the internal machinery requiring renewal and upgrades.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
8 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Any fitout of Ukrainian kit would happen in a Ukrainian yard, there are several in Odessa.

It will be interesting to see if they keep their DSM30 MK2, they are a valuable piece of UK Government furnished kit that could come back into the pool and totally alien to the Ukrainians ammunition wise. Their Gyurza M class patrol boats are fitted with the domestic Katran-M system that incorporates a 30mm ZTM-1 autocannon, I can see that being fitted in its stead.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
8 days ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

I don’t think there is any shortage of DSM30?

There are new units for QEC that have not been fitted yet.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
8 days ago

The issue is more logistic based for the Ukraine, maybe they want to bring STANAG 4624 30x173mm into service certainly they want to align with NATO but they must have warehouses full of 30x165mm.

Andy réeves
Andy réeves
8 days ago

Like Cato at and defence missile systems

Propellermn
Propellermn
8 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The ones we gave to Lithuania were re-engined with Caterpillar units, new pops and shaft bearings, everything else was in excellent condition – i dont know what was done topside, its too bright up there for me to look around too much

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago

Which units are going to operate the UMCMS systems? Anyone know please?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago

Interesting, thanks. I’m still trying to get my head round the autonomous stuff.

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

Tell you what though mate… I’m surprised that nobody has had the bright idea of actually commissioning Hebe/Harrier/Hornet. By that, I mean on the HMG side of things. It would be an easy way to claim the vessels have been replaced! I can even see it: “The Royal Navy has commissioned its first autonomous vessels. HM ships Hebe, Harrier and Hornet join the fleet as replacements for ____, offering a game-changing capability upgrade.”

You get my drift.  😂 

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

They might yet.
And they are an upgrade.
But cannot self deploy, that’s my concern.

So those first 3, am i right in saying they are for Faslane only.

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

It seems like it at the moment.

Personally, I would take 5 x T32 plus 8 x MCM motherships or so, but that’s just me. I would still argue that we should see T32 as a replacement for historical cuts to T22/23, but those numbers would keep the fleet as is.

Faslane is interesting, though. The base (under current plans) will eventually lose 7 of its commissioned ships. We all know what a certain political group thinks (often erroneously claiming that there are no ships in Scotland), so I wonder if there will be a sweetener somewhere?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Good point. As it is its an open goal.

Andy réeves
Andy réeves
8 days ago

Eev no ships let’s give away four to Greece and the Ukraine

Karl
Karl
8 days ago

A bribe, is a bribe, is a bribe.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Karl

Perfidious Albion. We have history at being good at that. Long may it continue.

Dave12
Dave12
8 days ago
Reply to  Karl

Well bribe ‘s and corruption is the backbone of dictatorship like russia, this is hardly a bribe karlski

Karl
Karl
7 days ago
Reply to  Dave12

Ukraine is run by a mafia, has a flourishing fascist movement and jailed a president. Yeah, good guys all.

Dave12
Dave12
7 days ago
Reply to  Karl

Nope ,but Russia really is a mafia state, the Ukraine going the right way not your desalit nation , keep trying karlski lol.

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 days ago
Reply to  Karl

Supporting a democracy against aggressive authoritarians, is Supporting a democracy against aggressive authoritarians, is supporting a democracy against aggressive authoritarians……

I like saying things three times, clearly it makes me right.

Last edited 8 days ago by Jonathan
Watcherzero
Watcherzero
8 days ago
Reply to  Karl

NATO is rushing to rebuild the Ukranian navy which was effectively wiped out when Russia annexed Crimea, several countries have been donating ships.

David
David
8 days ago

No doubt I will be criticised by those who believe Bozo is doing well by the forces, but we seem to be in a situation where the platforms that matter (warships, front line aircraft, AFVs) are constantly being reduced in number on budgetary grounds, whilst there seems to be plenty of money for vanity projects (or should that be big boy’s toys for the incompetent overgrown schoolboy in no 10?).

andy a
andy a
8 days ago
Reply to  David

I dont like guy but he is trying within the commons and economic restraints of huge pandemic and recession. He has given forces Billions extra. Theresa May, Cameron and Blair had no interest at all.
Its not the cold war, he cant justify billions more cash as Commons wont wear it.
Also public believe we are safe, even though we know very different

David
David
8 days ago
Reply to  andy a

Not the point: money is being wasted on vanity projects which could better be spent on the basics – e.g. buying a few second hand offshore support vessels to use as motherships for the new remote control MCM boats…..

Andy a
Andy a
8 days ago
Reply to  David

We don’t want second hand anything, we are trying to get rid of costly old platforms and kit

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
8 days ago
Reply to  Andy a

Spot on

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
8 days ago
Reply to  David

Vanity projects like new sonar for T23, Ceptor for T45, BII T26, T31 missile integration for Mk41 VLS and F35B?

Airborne
Airborne
7 days ago
Reply to  David

It’s only vanity if that’s your opinion on it, led by the political nose! Your thought process as I’ve mentioned prior is coloured by your political view of BJ and the Tories. What about the other extremely important upgrades and projects you have neglected to mention? Some posters have mentioned them in their replies to you. Comments and thoughts on these projects please? Thanks. And as someone has already stated why by old, used second hand shite?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
7 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Well said mate 🇬🇧👍

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
8 days ago
Reply to  David

Do you think the 500M upgrade to the T45 fleet is a vanity project? fitting an additional 24 Sea Captors. Or the CSG21 with the largest fleet of 5th gen F35’s to take to sea? Or T26? Or Typhoon upgrades or the new medium lift helicopter, or loyal wingman project’s. The list could go on……

Meirion x
Meirion x
7 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I was going to say the same, yes a lot of new investment in the RN.

James H
James H
8 days ago

Any news on the motherships for the new system, they might be an improvement and good to protect Faslane but they are not independently deployable, unlike these.
For all the apparently new money, we sure are losing a lot before their replacements are meant to come online.

Dave12
Dave12
8 days ago

Just curious what is the benefits of separating the royal navy and the RFA ?

Last edited 8 days ago by Dave12
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 days ago
Reply to  Dave12

The cost…
Civvy manned ships are cheaper to operate and can still do a lot and in some cases more than a front line RN vessel can.
Bay class is a great example.

dave12
dave12
7 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Cheers GB

Rob
Rob
8 days ago

Russia will confiscate these just like the others they grabbed. And we are too afraid to stop them – fact.

Meirion x
Meirion x
7 days ago
Reply to  Rob

If Russia grabbs these vessels, paid for with British finance, we will have a bone to pick with them. We could grab one of theirs though the EC!

Peter S
Peter S
8 days ago

I presume that both Sandown and Hunt classes are too small to host the new autonomous systems. Both Belgium and Netherlands have ordered 6 new vessels each to operate them. They are slightly larger than River 2. As others have said, whilst it is an advantage to be able to operate offboard systems from frigates when circumstances require, to provide persistent mine hunting, we really need dedicated platforms. We are seriously short of escort vessels. Using any of them routinely as mine hunting motherships will only exacerbate that shortage. River 2s are to be forward deployed so they cannot be… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
8 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Ok well how about there is limited crew and funds so if it’s between building 5 mine hunters or a frigate because we can’t afford and can’t crew both which do you buy? You will complain either way.
Or due to tech you can buy a frigate and have cheap drone solution when u need it with same ship and crew. It’s better than having to choose between them because there ain’t the public will to pay for more!

Peter S
Peter S
7 days ago
Reply to  Andy a

Having a cheap drone solution when you need it is the upside of an autonomous system. But if you need persistent operation, tying up a frigate ( which as you note costs many times more than an MCM vessel) only weakens your overall force. You’re probably right about public unwillingness to fund more. The ill judged, costly and ultimately failed interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq have made it harder to argue the case. Nor is the current plan to base a larger part of our forces overseas likely to convince many. Only if the public can see a clear link… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
7 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Hunts where looked at for operating the boats from. The stability issues where the killer. A small ish MCMV offloading and recovering 10tons of boat and associated kit did not work out well on the stability curve.

Peter S
Peter S
7 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks for confirming what I was just guessing. The new Dutch/Belgian mothership is I think @ 2800 and will carry 2 USV that will deploy the minehunting kit. Isn’t this just what we need to maintain our overall minehunting capability, an area in which we have ” punched above our weight”?

Mark B
Mark B
8 days ago

Is it just me or are other people wondering where their posts have disappeared to?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Yes. Wanted to reply to Lusty re a RFA convo we were having.

Mark B
Mark B
8 days ago

I suspect the filters George is using to remove undesirable comments might need a little tweaking. From past experience I can confirm it takes a while to get right and can be frustrating for those commenting in the mean time. Hopefully George will pick this up a give us some feeback  😀 

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Well our conversation involved RFA numbers and types as they’ve declined.
Lusty and I must have offended plenty with that!

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

Hah! I certainly hope we didn’t. Did you see I managed to find your 22?

It might be a little off-topic, but the RFA will play a crucial role as this technology matures. The Bays (and their future replacements) will be invaluable.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

I got to read it via email alert. Couldn’t reply as it vanished.

I knew you would.

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

Ah, jolly good.

You know me!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Yep. You’re the man anything RN. Respect.

Lusty
Lusty
8 days ago

You’re too kind, mate.

I know who to go to for RAF/Army numbers, though!  😉 

Lusty
Lusty
6 days ago

Hey mate, I hope this pings an email to you as well. After the RFA figure we chatted about, I did some digging. Taking 2003 as the same date, the RN fleet comprised of the following: Major surface assets 3 x Invincible 1 x Ocean 1 x Albion 11 x T42 16 x T23 4 x T22 B3 Submarines 5 x Swiftsure 7 x Trafalgar 4 x Vanguard Survey Vessels 1 x Endurance 1 x Roebuck 2 x Echo 1 x Scott 1 x Gleaner Patrol 3 x River B1 2 x Island 2 x Castle 2 x Scimitar/Sabre 16… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

It did indeed mate.

31 escorts. As I knew it was.

Don’t look up the helis, it’s too depressing!

Lusty
Lusty
6 days ago

I’m glad!

Oh yes, my poor, poor helicopters.

Dern
Dern
8 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I don’t think it has much to do with George or a filter tbh, from what I’ve seen with a bit of experimenting if comments get flagged multiple times they go into a “sin bin” until George or one of the other mods restores them.

Sadly you don’t even need to be a poster here to flag comments so… happens really easily, and if a comment you responded to gets flagged a few times, then the entire thread goes.

Mark B
Mark B
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Well whatever the cause I am assuming George doesn’t want threads disappearing and the overhead of re-instating them. If that is the case I am sure there is a method of switching it off should he so wish.

TomB
TomB
8 days ago

Ah great! More of our navy being given away for nothing.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
8 days ago

Don’t surprised if most if not all the Sandown class are gifted off to other countries it solves the rather thorny issue of scrapping GRP hulls for the MOD. For that matter the Hunt class will also probably find new homes as well.

dan
dan
8 days ago

Meanwhile Biden halts 100million dollar military aid package to Ukraine. Ugh

Dave12
Dave12
8 days ago
Reply to  dan

Yaaaaawn

Rob
Rob
8 days ago

The MCMVs were always going to be mothballed or cut because of their age. Best way to do so is give them to friends who need them. What I don’t get is what is replacing them. So these autonomous MCMVs are great but unless you are sweeping the mouth of the Clyde or the Solent will need mother ships to operate successfully. Now if those mother ships end up being the T32 then the T32 isn’t really a frigate is it. What the RN actually need is a new class of Bay class like ships, as many as 10 or… Read more »

Dern
Dern
8 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Would you count the Absalons as Frigates?

Rob
Rob
7 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Absalons are frigates when they are operating as frigates. Absalons are not frigates when operating in other roles. The thing here is that T32 can’t be both at once and that doesn’t expand the fleet, as promised.

Dern
Dern
7 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Oh so they loose their ASuW and SAM’s if they operate in other roles? I don’t think so.
Does a Frigate stop being a Frigate when it’s along side and it’s crew is on leave? No? Does a Type 23 stop being a Frigate when it’s doing Humanitarian Aid? No.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
7 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Motherships might be commercial vessels such as oil platform support vessels. They could be STUFT, leased and/or purchased; operated by the RFA with RN MCM teams. These would be fine for operating off a friendly shore. For operating off a hostile shore you’d want a T31/32 type vessel because of the possible shore-launched air threats and/or FIAC threat. Perhaps an additional option is your new class of vessels. The RN needs to consider how they would land vehicles and stores during a future hot war where Albion and Bay-class type vessels using slow off-loading systems are increasingly vulnerable and where… Read more »

simon
simon
5 days ago

May be a design like SD Victoria would be suitable ?

Mike
Mike
7 days ago

A yet smaller RN , disgraceful

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago

When most of us are concerned at the small size of our forces to deliver the ‘Global Britain’ concept, it seems strange that we are giving away two frigates to Greece and 2 MCMVs to Ukraine.

Richard B
Richard B
7 days ago

When I joined the RNR in 1984, it was essentially devoted to providing the 10-11 vessels of the 10th MCM Squadron – a modest emergency supplement to the c.40 mine counter vessels that the regular RN had in commission at the time. Fast forward nearly 40 years and RN is down to about 11 ships, whilst the RNR has none. This force level seems to be sized based on keeping 4 operational units in the Arabian Gulf for several more years, and a similar number at Faslane for SSBN protection. We can but hope that the new autonomous mine countermeasures… Read more »

geoff
geoff
7 days ago

Strange thing that has happened here before-a whole lot of comments including mine and replies from amongst others, Lusty, have disappeared from below ????

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
7 days ago

Giving platforms away is nearly as good as a sale because the new owners will have to pay for support.

Cripes
Cripes
7 days ago

I thought the RN was pushing ahead with the MHC programme, a new class that would do both mcmv and hydrographic (survey), to replace Hunt, Sandown and Echo. It is referred to from time to time in various reports and the impression I got was that it is an ongoing development.. I assume this is what was referred to as the T32, which is an odd designation for a minor warship class ,but that doesn’t matter unduly if it ends up delivering a suitable replacement for these older classes. The T32 tag does suggests a larger ship then the mcmvs,… Read more »

steve
steve
3 days ago

Well looks like the numbers of ship won,t increase that much by the time T31s/ T 26 s come into service they saved a lot of money by using a R F A ship as a littoral ship What about the next mine sweeper we will still need some built or a mother ship for the automated minesweepers etc, still a lot can happen between now and then