French multinational defence contractor Thales has been contracted by the Estonian Ministry of Defence to upgrade three Estonian Navy’s Sandown-class Single Role Minehunters.
Under the contract, the company will fit its Sonar 2193 system as well as its latest generation M-CUBE command and control system (C2).
Thales will be the prime contractor on behalf of the Estonian MoD, with responsibility for the revised vessel design, equipment/system specification and procurement, platform and system integration, shipyard management and all test, trial and acceptance events.
Commander of the Estonian Navy, CPT (N) Sten Sepper said: “Background activities to upgrade the Naval Mine Counter Measure (NMCM) capability of the Sandown class commenced during the initial procurement phase of the vessels. I am delighted to see that we are now moving on to the execution phase.”
He further said that “the current upgrade programme provides the Navy with the opportunity to extend its conventional NMCM capability, based on proven technological solutions and tactics into the next decade. This upgrade programme also provides a valuable and much needed extended timeframe to analyse the future capability requirements and readiness of possible technological solutions that would eventually replace the legacy systems.”
Phil Jones, Managing Director, Maritime Mission Systems for Thales in the UK, said: “I am very pleased that Thales has been selected by the Estonian MoD for this prestigious and important programme. This is a challenging but exciting project, and these three ships will be upgraded with state of the art minehunting technology that will enable the Estonian Navy to continue to play an important role in NATO mine counter measures group 1 operations.”