A decommissioned mine-hunter will have a new lease of life serving the Lithuanian Navy.
HMS Quorn, which patrolled the seas as part of the Royal Navy fleet of Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMVs) until 2017, has been sold to one of the UK’s allies.
As well as creating a return and savings of £2.5 million for Navy Command, a need for upgrades could see a British-based shipbuilding company win a large contract to carry out the work.
Clive Walker, the Head of the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), said: “I am very pleased to see HMS Quorn move on to a new lease of life, in particular supporting the excellent working relationship that we have with Lithuania as our NATO ally, and potentially supporting British Defence with the regeneration package once the competition for the refurbishment is launched.”
The Hunt Class vessels specialise in active mine-hunting. They use high-definition sonar to scour the world’s seabeds for mines and lost explosives, which are then destroyed by the ship’s clearance diving teams or mine disposal system.
Four of the Navy’s mine-hunters are permanently stationed in the Gulf to demonstrate the UK’s continued commitment to enduring peace and to safeguard the flow of international trade.
They also work closely with regional and coalition partners to maintain the security of the sea lanes of communications, which are crucial to international shipping and the global economy.
HMS Quorn is the third MCMV DESA has sold to Lithuania, following in the wake of HMS Dulverton and HMS Cottesmore in 2008. They became operational as the ‘Skalvis’ class in 2011.
The sale will bring in £1m and there will be income from a levy following the sale of the sonar system on HMS Quorn. The £750,000 cost of disposing of the ship has been avoided.
Lithuania wants the vessel to deliver the same capability as the Skalvis class, which it will operate alongside, meaning a significant upgrade programme will be required.
There will be a competition launched for the contract, which could lead to two years of work for a company which has prior experience of the Hunt Class; most likely a British firm. It is hoped the vessel will be operational for Lithuania in 2023.