Paris. 25 February,2016. Following an international competition, Thales has been awarded the role of prime contractor in the upgrade of three Sandown Class Single Role Minehunters for the Estonian Ministry of Defence.

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.

Thales will also supply the ships’ mission package which will be delivered with full operational capability in 2019. The upgrade mission package includes new navigation systems, the Sonar 2193 wideband hull mounted sonar, the M-CUBE command and control system (C2) and a fleet mine warfare data centre.

Commander of the Estonian Navy, CPT (N) Sepper stated “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 went on to say “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”.

This upgrade builds on the naval architecture and engineering expertise already established through the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier and the Lithuania Hunt Regeneration contract. The work has been led from Thales’s facilities in Cheadle and Templecombe, supported by Babcock Marine Systems in Rosyth.

Thales will be the prime contractor, with responsibility for the revised vessel design, system and platform integration and all acceptance events, it will be fitting its Sonar 2193 system as well as its latest generation M-CUBE command and control system (C2) and the upgrade builds on Thales’s naval architecture and engineering expertise.

“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.” Phil Jones, Managing Director, Maritime Mission Systems for Thales in the UK.