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UK MoD flags surplus ships for sale

Three RFA vessels are among the Royal Navy ships being advertised for sale, including ex-RFA Fort Austin (pictured), which is now laid up in Birkenhead with sister ship ex-RFA Fort Rosalie. (NAVYPIX/Richard Scott)

Frigates, mine countermeasures (MCM) vessels, fast craft, hovercraft, and auxiliary ships are among equipment being offered for sale by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

A sales brochure released by the MoD's Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) earlier this month revealed details of over 10 Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels being offered for onward sale and potential further service. DESA is the organisation within the MoD responsible for managing the sale and transfer of surplus British Armed Forces military equipment.

Among the ships being offered for sale are RN Sandown-class minehunters, which will be phased out of service by the end of 2025 as a new generation of autonomous MCM systems begin to enter service. Ex-HMS Blyth and ex-HMS Ramsey, decommissioned at Rosyth in August 2021, are already earmarked for transfer to the Ukrainian Navy, following refits by Babcock.

A further five vessels – HMS Penzance , HMS Pembroke , HMS Grimsby , HMS Bangor, and HMS Shoreham – will become available over the next four years. Janes understands that Bangladesh and Egypt have expressed initial interest. DESA said it was “working with industry to develop opportunities for autonomous enhancements to these platforms”.

The availability of Type 23 frigates is also being advertised by DESA. While specific ships are not identified, ex-HMS Monmouth is now laid up in Portsmouth after being decommissioned in late June 2021, while HMS Montrose is due to retire in 2022.

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