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Introduction

HMS Ledbury
HMS Ledbury

The Hunt Class is unique in the Royal Navy for its dual functions of 'Sweeping' and 'Hunting' on the same platform and can be rolled from one function to the other in minutes.

Sweeping

Sweeping can be done in two ways, the removal of moored mines from an area, or influence sweeping. Moored mines (floating mines moored to the sea bed) can be caught by trailing sweep wires behind the ship which catch and cut the mooring wires of mines making them float to the surface where they can then be blown up. Influence sweeping is to deal with ground mines (mines that sit on the seabed which are actuated by either a ship's noise or magnetic signature) by using influence sweeps which can simulate noise and magnetic signatures of various ships.

Minehunting

As a Minehunter we can 'hunt' for mines with high definition sonar which scans the sea bed for mine like objects. Objects are then further investigated with the Remote controlled vehicles which have a camera on for a visual inspection. There are two such vehicles on board stowed in the PAP well. Contacts can be destroyed by explosives either placed by Remote Controlled Mine Disposal System Vehicles or Mine Clearance Divers (MCD).

In addition, the 1 x 30mm, 2 x 20mm guns and two General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs) enable her to function in her secondary role as a very potent patrol Craft.

Statistics

Hull

A large slice of the cost of HMS ledbury has gone into the research and development of the Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) Hull. Non-magnetic and strong enough to withstand the explosive shocks likely to be encountered in Mine Counter Measures activity, this revolutionary concept has demanded the development of entirely new skills and techniques in both ship building and ship husbandry.

The primary reason for having a GRP Hull is to reduce the ship's magnetic signature to a minimum. Great time and care has been taken to measure and then annul the magnetic effect of all machinery and stores within the ship. The ship's noise signature has also been reduced to a minimum by tuning and matching all the main machinery and by taking great care with all resilient mountings. The ship regularly goes for noise ranging and degaussing to preserve the low levels of noise and magnetic signature.

Propulsion

HMS Ledbury is powered by two Deltic diesel engines driving fixed pitch propellers through ahead/astern clutches and reverse gearboxes and has a top speed of 15 knots. To facilitate the slow running necessary for mine warfare a third Deltic provides power via hydrostatic transmission systems, air clutches and main.

Length 60 Meters
Displacement 675 tonnes
Complement 5 Officers, 9 Senior Rates, 29 Junior Rates