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British Navy HMS Blyth minehunter ship conducts training to prepare deployment with NATO MARCOM.

| 2021

According to a Tweet published on January 27, 2021, the British Navy HMS Blyth minehunter ship conducts some training in the Firth of Clyde in preparation for her upcoming deployment with the NATO MARCOM, Allied Maritime Command.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 British Navy HMS Blyth conducts some training in the Firth of Clyde. (Picture source Twitter HMS Blyth)

Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) is the central command of all NATO maritime forces and the MARCOM Commander is the primary maritime advisor to the Alliance. Like its land and air counterparts (LANDCOM & AIRCOM), MARCOM answers directly to NATO’s Allied Command Operations (ACO) which is located in Mons, Belgium.

The HMS Blyth is a Sandown-class minehunter in service with the British Royal Navy. The ship is crewed by 41 personnel, including ten mine warfare ratings and eight divers, along with officers, engineers and chefs. She has had 24 Commanding Officers over her 18 years of service.

The first Sandown-class minehunter was commissioned into Royal British Navy service on 9 June 1989. The small but extremely effective Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMV) are designed on a glass-reinforced plastic hull to conceal their presence from the threat of sea-mines. These ships clear the way of mines to allow safe passage for larger forces, swiftly detecting and destroying any hidden dangers.

The HMS Blyth i s equipped with the SeaFox mine disposal system including an anti-mine remotely operated vehicle used to locate and destroy ground and moored mines. There are two versions and a training version. The orange Seafox-I "inspection" variant has sonar and an Inertial navigation system, and the black Seafox-C "combat" round has a 1.4 kg shaped charge warhead.

The HMS Blyth has a length of 52.5 m, a beam of 10.9 m, a draught of 2.3 m and a displacement of 600 tons. She is powered by a Paxman Valenta 6RP200E diesels developing 1,523 shp. The ship can reach a top speed of 13 knots (24 km/h). She is armed with one 30 mm DS30M Mk2 gun, two miniguns, and three general-purpose machine guns.

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