Royal Navy Ships HMS Blyth, HMS Ledbury Arrives in Doha, Qatar

The British Royal Navy ships, HMS Blyth (M111) and HMS Ledbury (M30) arrived at the Port of Doha in Qatar, the Directorate of Defense Communication at the Qatari Ministry of Defence announced.

The warships are visiting Qatar to participate in joint exercise with the Qatar Emiri Navy Forces and they were welcomed by the officers of the Qatari Navy. These exercises come within the framework of military co-operation between Qatar and the UK to combat terrorism and violent extremism.

In support of wider British efforts in the region, minehunters are providing the capability to conduct route survey, sea-bed clearance, and mine clearance operations all over the Gulf.

HMS Blyth (M111)

HMS Blyth is a Sandown-class minehunter of the British Royal Navy. She is the second vessel to bear the name. The first being a Bangor-class minesweeper of the Second World War, pennant number J15.

She was launched in 4 July 2000 and commissioned on 28 February 2001, the eighth ship of her class. The vessel is based at Royal Navy base, HMNB Clyde located in Faslane, Scotland.

Sandown-class ships are small (53 m (174 ft)) fibreglass vessels and single role mine hunters (SRMH) rather than minesweepers. Twelve ships were built for the Royal Navy and three ships were exported to Saudi Arabia. Three Royal Navy vessels were decommissioned following the Strategic Defence Review in 2003.

HMS Blyth (M111)
PERSIAN GULF (March 1, 2008) HMS Blyth (M111), a Sandown-class minehunter of the British Royal Navy, participates in a combined maritime forces mine countermeasure exercise in the Persian Gulf. U.S. Navy Photo by MC2 Nathan Schaeffer.

HMS Ledbury (M30)

HMS Ledbury, the third ship of the name, is a Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel of the Royal Navy.

She was launched in December 1979 and commissioned on 11 June 1981, the second ship of her class. Ledbury is attached to the Second Mine Countermeasures Squadron, based at Royal Navy base, HMNB Portsmouth.

She cost £65 million at time of building, which was at the time the most expensive cost-per-metre for any class of ship built by the Royal Navy. Most of this cost went into the research and development of Ledbury’s glass reinforced plastic hull.

The Hunt class is a class of thirteen mine countermeasure vessels of the Royal Navy. As built, they combined the separate roles of the traditional minesweeper and that of the active minehunter in one hull, but later modifications saw the removal of mine-sweeping equipment. They have a secondary role as offshore patrol vessels (OPV).

HMS Ledbury (M30)
HMS Ledbury (M30), a Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel (MCMV) of the Royal Navy, maintains position in the Bay of Cagliari [Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

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