Thales has signed a contract with the Estonian Navy to provide an additional 12 months of technical support and maintenance to two former Royal Navy (RN) mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) now serving with the Estonian fleet.
The contract was signed by the Chief of the Estonian Navy, Captain Igor Schvede, at the Estonian Navy Headquarters at Tallinn. During the meeting, discussions were also initiated on how Thales could help the Estonian Navy achieve their ambition of creating an indig¬en¬ous sonar support capability in future years.
The two former RN Sandown-class vessels – HMS Sandown and HMS Inver¬ness – were decommissioned and sold to Estonia in 2006. The vessels were re-named ENS Admiral Cowan and ENS Sakala.
As part of a program 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’s highly successful Sonar 2093 system. This new contract now extends the support program until December 2011.
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.