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Prystaiko: It is up to Ukraine when two minesweepers acquired from Britain are to deploy in the Black Sea

Prystaiko: It is up to Ukraine when two minesweepers acquired from Britain are to deploy in the Black Sea

Europe Fleet Great Britain Minesweeper Ukrainian Navy World

The Ukrainian Navy must decide when two Sandown-class minesweepers purchased in the UK should deploy in the Black Sea.

This was announced in an interview with LIGA.net by Vadym Prystaiko, Ambassador of Ukraine to the UK.

The ships have been named “Chernihiv” and “Cherkasy.”

The intention of Great Britain to transfer two ships of this project to the Ukrainian Fleet became known in the summer of 2021. This is part of the agreement between Ukraine and the United Kingdom on the development of the Ukrainian Navy.

These are former Royal Navy Ramsey and Blyth minesweepers that the UK is transferring to Ukraine.

“It was our idea on a way to strengthen our Armed Forces. A plastic-hulled minesweeper (made of reinforced fiberglass to reduce magnetality – ed.) is not a warship in the sense of breaking through or defending the coast. She has weapons, and the plastic hull does not allow her to resist a missile or cannon attack. And that’s her weakness, but also her strength. She is made of plastic, as she must pass unnoticed to the mines and approach the mine clearance zone,” said Prystaiko.

Today, Ukrainian flags fly over these ships. They received official names, under which they will enter the Ukrainian Navy.

“The Head of the Ukrainian Navy Neizhpapa must decide when these ships should appear to us. For Britain, they are already ours and can go to the Black Sea as early as tomorrow,” Vadym Prystaiko emphasizes.

Тральщики "Чернігів" та "Черкаси" вийшли в море під українським прапором, січень 2023 Фото: Dave Cullen

In January of this year, photos appeared of the exit of these ships into the sea with a Ukrainian flag hoisted over one of the Ukrainian minesweepers-seekers of the Sandown-class. Now, Ukrainian crews are trained on ships formerly belonging to the Royal Navy of Great Britain.

The Sandown-class minesweeper hull is made of reinforced fiberglass. Ships do not have equipment for mine.The only function is to search and destroy mines using remotely controlled search vehicles. A secondary function of these ships is patrolling.

Specifications:

Displacement: 450 tons (full)
Length: 52.6 meters
Width: 10.5 meters
Draft: 2.4 meters
Speed:
• up to 13 knots on diesel power plant
• up to 6.5 knots on electric
Crew: 34
Armament: 30mm autocannon combat module and three 12.7mm machine guns
Special equipment: Atlas Elektronik IMCMS automated control system

Europe Fleet Great Britain Minesweeper Ukrainian Navy World