According to a Tweet published on January 27, 2021, the British Navy minehunter ship HMS Blyth is conducting training in the Firth of Clyde in preparation for its upcoming deployment with NATO MARCOM, Allied Maritime Command.
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British Navy HMS Blyth conducts training in the Firth of Clyde. (Image source Twitter HMS Blyth)
Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) is the central command of all NATO maritime forces and the Commander of MARCOM is the Alliance’s principal maritime adviser. Like its land and air counterparts (LANDCOM & AIRCOM), MARCOM reports directly to NATO’s Allied Operations Command (ACO) which is located in Mons, Belgium.
HMS Blyth is a Sandown class mine hunter in service with the British Royal Navy. The ship is made up of 41 people, including ten mine warfare ratings and eight divers, as well as officers, engineers and commanders. She had 24 commanders in her 18 years of service.
The first Sandown-class minehunter entered service with the Royal British Navy on June 9, 1989. The small but extremely efficient Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMVs) are designed on a glass reinforced plastic hull for concealment their presence of the threat of sea mines. . These ships clear the mine path to allow safe passage for larger forces, quickly detecting and destroying any hidden dangers.
HMS Blyth is equipped with the SeaFox Mine Removal System, including an anti-mine remote control vehicle used to locate and destroy ground and moored mines. There are two versions and a training version. The orange “inspection” variant of the Seafox-I has sonar and inertial navigation system, and the black “combat” Seafox-C cartridge has a 1.4 kg shaped charge warhead. .
HMS Blyth has a length of 52.5 m, a width of 10.9 m, a draft of 2.3 m and a displacement of 600 tons. It is powered by a Paxman Valenta 6RP200E diesel developing 1,523 shp. The vessel can reach a top speed of 13 knots (24 km / h). It is armed with a 30 mm DS30M Mk2 cannon, two miniguns and three general-purpose machine guns.