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Babcock receives contract to support Ukrainian Navy's new minehunters

Babcock has been contracted to provide sustainment and support for the two ex-Royal Navy Sandown-class minehunters recently donated by the UK to Ukraine. (UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

Babcock International has been awarded a contract covering the support and maintenance of the Ukrainian Navy's two newly acquired ex-Royal Navy (RN) Sandown-class mine-countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) – Chernihiv (ex-HMS Grimsby) and Cherkasy (ex-HMS Shoreham).

Under the MCMV contract, announced by Babcock on 15 December, the company will provide preventative maintenance and technical support to enhance the vessels' operational capability and sustainability over the next three years. The contract also covers the provision of support at reach, assisting Ukrainian Navy crews with any issues they encounter in real time and providing technical assistance and advice whenever required.

The two vessels, which were commissioned into Ukrainian Navy service in July 2023, were donated by the UK to Ukraine as part of the Ukraine Naval Capabilities Enhancement Programme (UNCEP). Ahead of their transfer from the RN, they were overhauled by Babcock at its facilities in Rosyth, Scotland.

The MCMV support contract is underpinned by the tripartite memorandum of implementation (MOI) signed in Odesa in June 2021 by Babcock, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Ukraine, and the UK government to support the development of Ukraine's naval capabilities under the UNCEP programme, which includes the delivery of new naval platforms and defensive shipborne armaments, as well as the enhancement of capabilities on existing naval platforms, the training of Ukrainian Navy personnel, and the creation of new naval bases.

As the prime industrial partner, Babcock is leading the effort to deliver on these projects, with funding made available by UK Export Finance.

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