HMS SANDOWN handed over to
Babcock delivers the ENS ADMIRAL COWAN at Rosyth
Babcock Engineering Services joined forces with the MoD yesterday
(Thursday) to hand over HMS SANDOWN, a Royal Navy mine single role
counter measures vessel, to the Estonian Navy.
At a ceremony in Rosyth, the ship was officially received by the
Estonian Ministry of Defence's Deputy Under-Secretary for Defence
Investments, Mr Martin Hunt. The ship is the first of three Sandown
Class Minehunters which have been sold by to Estonia under an
agreement signed on 14 September 2006.
Sandown was regenerated for Estonian military use by Babcock
Engineering Services, and renamed ENS ADMIRAL COWAN. The multi million
pound programme took 6 months and involved 100 workers at the Rosyth
yard. Babcock Engineering Services will also do the work on HMS
Inverness, due to commerce in Rosyth in July. HMS Bridport (the third
ship) will be regenerated by FSL (Fleet Support Ltd) early 2008.
The ships are Estonia's most significant defence purchase since
joining NATO, and will enhance Estonia's naval capabilities - to
reduce the number of mines and other ordnance left during both World
War off the coast of Estonia, and also improve Estonia's contribution
to NATO exercises and operations. The name Admiral Cowan was chosen in
honour of Admiral Walter 'Tich' Cowan, who commanded the British
cruiser squadron which fought alongside Estonian forces in the Battle
for independence 1919.
Managing Director of Babcock Engineering Services, Archie Bethel said:
"Once again, Babcock Engineering Services has performed well. I pay
tribute to the dedication and professionalism of all those who have
worked on the project, and ensured the ship is ready in time.
"Babcock is proud to play its part in helping the MoD, Estonia and
other NATO countries develop their capabilities for global
Martin Hunt, Deputy Under-Secretary added: "It is an honour to receive
ENS ADMIRAL COWAN in Scotland today, and Estonia welcomes the
continuing partnership with the UK, as a close NATO friend. All three
ships represent a significant purchase for the Estonian Navy and we
look forward to using them to improve our military capabilities and
mine clearance operations.
"ENS ADMIRAL COWAN's crew have enjoyed their time in Scotland, and
will have fond memories of the Fife hospitality."
HMS SANDOWN's regeneration package includes the refurbishment of all
main systems and equipment including sonar and the ship's main
propulsion equipment. The ship has also received some capability
updates to assist her future mine clearance operations in Estonia. The
ship's accommodation and galley has been refurbished and the whole
ship has been painted in the Estonian naval colours. The Flagship are
providing training for the Estonian Crew in conjunction with Royal
Navy. The ship will arrive back in Estonia in July 2007.