Thales UK, Estonian Defence Forces Sign MCMV Contract

Thales UK, Estonian Defence Forces Sign MCMV Contract

Thales UK has signed a contract with the Estonian Defence Forces to provide an additional four years of technical support and maintenance to two former Royal Navy (RN) mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) now serving with the Estonian fleet.

The contract provides a framework to achieve cost savings while accessing a wider range of support activities than previously provided. Thales offers a complete range of services and support packages to suit specific operational and maintenance requirements.

The two former RN Sandown-class vessels – HMS Sandown and HMS Inverness – were decommissioned and sold to Estonia in 2006. The vessels were re-named ENS Admiral Cowan and ENS Sakala.

As part of a programme to return the two ships to operational service, Thales originally signed a contract in 2006 to provide operational support to the ships in service and upgrades to Thales UK’s highly-successful Sonar 2093 system. This new contract now extends the support programme until December 2016.

Sonar 2093 is a variable-depth sonar system and is designed for the detection and classification of bottom and moored mines. It is optimized for littoral (coastal) and open-ocean waters and is effective against all known mine types.

The system is in service with the RN’s remaining Sandown-class MCMVs, and existing export contracts include Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Italy and the Republic of Korea.

Ed Lowe, head of Thales UK’s naval business, said:

“We greatly value our relationship with the Estonian Navy and the Defence Forces and see this new contract as a key to providing their ships with the best and most cost-effective long term support that will enable them to meet their important national and NATO commitments.”

Neeme Kass, Director of the Procurement Service in Estonia, said:

“This signed agreement is a result of effective cooperation with Thales and is significant for Estonian Defence Forces because our goal is to establish long-term partnerships with professional companies.”

Press Release, July 8, 2013; Image: Thales