Sandown Class Mine Sweeper HMS Bangor (M109) sails into Riga, Latvia

The Sandown class is a class of minehunter originally built for the British Royal Navy (RN). Sandown-class vessels also serve with the Royal Saudi Navy and the Estonian Navy (Merevägi).


The first vessel commissioned into RN service on June 9, 1989 and all the British ships are named after coastal towns and cities.

These small (53 m) fibreglass vessels are single role mine hunters (SRMH) rather than minesweepers.


Twelve ships were built for the RN and three ships were exported to Saudi Arabia. Three RN vessels were decommissioned following the Strategic Defence Review in 2003; HMS Sandown (January 2005), Inverness (April 2005) and Bridport (July 2004). A further ship, HMS Cromer, was decommissioned and transferred to a training role at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, England in 2001 as Hindostan.

The three decommissioned vessels were sold to Estonia in September 2006. They will be re-equipped with TCS (Tactical Control System) and the Atlas Elektronik Seafox ROV for mine disposal. The sonar system will be also be updated. The first ship, delivered in 2007, has been named the Admiral Cowan, the second was delivered in March 2008 and the last in March 2009.

SANDOWN CLASS Specifications
Country of Manufacture United Kingdom
Number in Service 8
Crew 7 officers and 27 other rates
Armament 1 x 30mm gun
Length 52.2m
Beam 10.9m
Draught 2.3m
Displacement 484 tonnes
Powerplant 1 x Voith-Schneider propulsors, diesel-electric drive and 1 x Paxman Valenta diesel
Performance 13 knots (diesel)
First of Class 1989