HMS Quorn, which patrolled the seas as part of the Royal Navy fleet of Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMVs) until 2017, has been sold to the Lithuanian Navy. As well as creating a return and savings of £2.5 million (€2,8 million) for Navy Command, a need for upgrades could see a British-based shipbuilding company win a large contract to carry out the work.
Clive Walker, the Head of the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), said: “I am very pleased to see HMS Quorn move on to a new lease of life, in particular supporting the excellent working relationship that we have with Lithuania as our NATO ally, and potentially supporting British Defence with the regeneration package once the competition for the refurbishment is launched.”
The Hunt-class vessels specialise in active mine-hunting. They use high-definition sonar to scour the world’s seabed for mines and lost explosives, which are then destroyed by the ship’s clearance diving teams or mine disposal system.
HMS Quorn is the third MCMV sold to Lithuania, following in the wake of HMS Dulverton and HMS Cottesmore in 2008. They became operational as the Skalvis-class in 2011.
The sale will bring in £1m (€1,1 million) and there will be income from a levy following the sale of the sonar system on HMS Quorn. The £750,000 (€858,000) cost of disposing of the ship has been avoided.
Lithuania wants the vessel to deliver the same capability as the Skalvis-class, which it will operate alongside, meaning a significant upgrade programme will be required.
There will be a competition launched for the contract, which could lead to two years of work for a company which has prior experience of the Hunt-class, most likely a British firm. It is hoped the vessel will be operational for Lithuania in 2023.
Based on a press release from Defence Equipment Sales Authority