Up to Ukraine to decide when Sandown minesweepers should be deployed in Black Sea – Prystaiko


Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, Oleksiy Neizhpapa, has to decide when the two Sandown-type minesweeping vessels purchased in Britain should be deployed in the Black Sea.

This was stated by Ukraine’s Ambassador to Great Britain, Vadym Prystaiko, in an interview with LIGA.net, Ukrinform reports.

The diplomat recalled that the memorandum on the purchase of the two Sandown-type ships had been signed even before the large-scale war, in June 2021.

“It was our idea how to strengthen our armed forces. A trawler with a plastic hull (made of fiberglass to reduce magnetism – ed.) is not a combat ship in the sense of breaching operations or coastal defense. She carries weapons, but the plastic body doesn’t allow her to resist missile or artillery attack. And this is her both weakness and strength. She is made of plastic, as she must go ‘unnoticed’ by mines and come close to the demining zone,” said Prystaiko.

Read also: EUR 25M tranche from partners will be used for purchase of demining equipment

According to him, today these ships fly Ukrainian flags, they have received official names, under which they will become part of Ukraine’s Navy.

“Navy Commander Neizhpapa is to decide when these ships should be deployed. For Britain, they are already our ships and they can be deployed in the Black Sea as early as tomorrow. The task of our military is to assess the risks for these specialized ships. They have to decide whether they should be deployed now, risking a confrontation with the Russian Black Sea fleet’s warships, or later because we will have plenty of tasks to clear the water area for years to come,” said the ambassador.

As reported, on September 29, 2022, a ceremonial handover of the two Sandown-type minesweepers took place at the Clyde (Faslane) naval base in Scotland.

Sandown-type ships are designed to seek and destroy sea mines. They are in service with Great Britain, Saudi Arabia, and Estonia.

In total, 15 such ships were built in Britain. Two of them, Ramsey and Blyth, were decommissioned from Her Majesty’s Royal Navy in August 2021 to be transferred to Ukraine.

The ships are armed with a 30mm DS30M Mark 2 automatic cannon, three 7.62mm six-barreled M134 miniguns, and two Belgian 7.62mm FN MAG machine guns. Specialized equipment includes the Atlas Elektronik IMCMS automated mine action management system.

Source: Up to Ukraine to decide when Sandown minesweepers should be deployed in Black Sea - Prystaiko

You May Also Like