HMS Pembroke recently became the Royal Navy’s most modern Mine Countermeasures Vessel (MCMV) after being equipped with a new state-of-the-art mine countermeasures Command System, say Thales in a news release.

The firm say that the new generation of command and control system they are deploying across the entire fleet of Royal Navy Minehunters under ORCA is known as M-cube.

The contract also includes training for Royal Navy personnel, a five-year in-service support plan and, for the first time a land-based test site to enable the development of future technologies and algorithms ashore.

Stephen Rowe, Underwater Systems Director – Mine Countermeasures, praised his team for its continued dedication during these testing times:

“Our colleagues have shown outstanding determination to provide the Royal Navy with a world class capability. Working in extremely challenging circumstances, the team played a critical role in supporting the successful sea trials with the customer recognising the ‘massive accomplishment’ of everyone involved.”

Jo Osburn, Head of Maritime Combat Systems at Defence Equipment and Support, said:

“ORCA has been a great achievement made possible through working as an enterprise and is a key landmark in delivering increased agility to the frontline Warfighter by taking a more open systems approach. With Initial Operating Capability now achieved, I look forward to the Hunt fits and Full Operating Capability across the mine countermeasures fleet.”

HMS Pembroke has now been approved for operational use and has re-joined the fleet of vessels carrying out vital minehunting operations, say Thales.

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Cam (@guest_510892)
10 months ago

Is there a better class Sandown or Hunt?. And it’s crazy to think hunt class HMS Ledbury is over 40 years old! And still going strong patrolling the gulf, amazing stuff!, and they sure don’t look big enough to sleep 46 crew! Must be tight in there. Have they reversed the cut from 13 to 12 MCMVs anyone know?

AndyCee (@guest_510906)
10 months ago
Reply to  Cam

They are all Single Role Mine Hunters now, I think. The Hunt class had their sweep gear deactivated several years back. The GRP hulls mean they’ll last far longer than a steel hull, which is just as well, as there isn’t any replacement on the horizon any time soon.
Suspect it’ll be MH Mission Modules on T31s/26s perhaps?

Paul C
Paul C (@guest_510912)
10 months ago
Reply to  Cam

I’m sure I read in an article years ago that the potential hull life of the Hunt class is 60 years.

Gunbuster (@guest_510951)
10 months ago

The Hunt hulls where hand lay up grp into the moulds. The GRP mat was layed up by hand with the resin applied by rollers and brushes. This means the hulls are quite thick. As long as you use a low abrasive Blasting medium to remove the paint and then get a decent paint job on the GRP to avoid osmosis the Hull is pretty much going to last forever. Sandown hulls are thinner as they where layed up using SCRIM which involved a vacuum bag system to ensure the resin gets through all of the GRP fibres. This means… Read more »

Cam (@guest_511028)
10 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Is there any armour protection? Kevlar or similar on the MCMVs fleet?

Gunbuster (@guest_511108)
10 months ago
Reply to  Cam

There is around the mini gun/50cal/GPMG gun positions on the upper deck.

r cummings
r cummings (@guest_511213)
10 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I assume they are still working on the MCMV version of the MHC (Mine counter-measures and hydrographic capability ) ship that is intended to replace Sandown, Hunt, Echo and probably Scott?

It sounds like the idea is a larger mothership with a shoal of UUVS, therefore most likely a big cut in the number of minehunters . If they are upgrading systems on Hunt and Sandown, sounds like the MHC is a long way away…

ChariotRider (@guest_511270)
10 months ago

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that this system is a derivative of the system Thales are fitting to the T31’s.

Matt (@guest_511398)
10 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

It’s Thales UK’s MCUBE product which went to Estonia and Latvia ported to work on Thales NL’s TACTICOS CMS.