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Osprey-class minehunter

The Osprey class are a series of coastal minehunters designed to find, classify, and destroy moored and bottom naval mines from vital waterways. They use sonar and video systems, cable cutters and a mine detonating device that can be released and detonated by remote control. The Osprey class are the world's second largest minehunters (surpassed by the Royal Navy's 60-meter (200 ft) Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessels) to be constructed entirely of fiberglass and designed to survive the shock of underwater explosions. Their primary mission is reconnaissance, classification, and neutralization of all types of moored and bottom mines in littoral areas, harbors and coastal waterways.[1]

USS Raven MHC 61 Persian Gulf.jpg
USS Raven in the Persian Gulf, 2004
Class overview
Name: Osprey class
Preceded by: Harkness class
Succeeded by: None
Built: 1991–1995
In service: 1993–
In commission: 1993–2007 (US Navy)
Planned: 12
Completed: 12
  • 2 with Hellenic Navy
  • 2 with Egyptian Navy
  • 2 with ROC (Taiwan) Navy
Scrapped: 6
General characteristics
Type: Coastal minehunter
Displacement: 881 long tons (895 t) (full load)
Length: 188 ft (57 m)
Beam: 36 ft (11 m)
Draft: 7 ft (2.1 m)
Installed power:
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h)
Range: 1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km)
Endurance: 15 days
Complement: 5 officers, 4 petty officers, 42 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:


Twelve minehunter ships were built for the U.S. Navy by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (formerly Litton Avondale Industries) of New Orleans and Intermarine of Savannah. The ships were commissioned between 1993 and 1999.[1] The ships of this class were named after various types of birds.[2]

The 12 ships are 187 feet 10 inches (57.3 m) long, 34 feet 7 inches (10.5 m) wide, and 70 feet 0 inches (21.3 m) tall.[1] When carrying a full load they displace 904 tonnes (890 long tons; 996 short tons).[3] They have four decks, and have a complement of five officers, four chief petty officers, and 42 enlisted men. They are armed two .50 caliber machine guns. All of the major equipment is suspended from the main deck in glass-reinforced plastic holders, so that in the event of an undersea explosion, it will not be damaged.[1]

They use an AN/SLQ-53 deep sweep mine countermeasures system. It also uses an AN/SQQ-32 Variable Depth Sonar, which is tethered to the front of the bridge, to detects and identifies mines using multiple ping processing. Two AN/UYK-44 computers are also used to classify and detect mines. For surface radar purposes, an AN/SPS-64(V)9 is used. They also use the AN/SLQ-48 mine neutralization system, which is tethered to the ship by a 1.07-kilometre (0.66 mi) long cable. They have two AN/UYQ-31 operator data terminals, which are identical.[1]

They are propelled by two Isotta Franschini ID 36 SS 8V AM diesel engines which drive two Voith Schneider cycloidal propellers generating 1,600 horsepower (1,200 kW), and have three Isotta Fraschini ID 36 diesel generators.[1] They use a single bow thruster, which generates 180 shaft horsepower (130 kW), in order to run silently. They have a max speed of 12 knots (22 km/h), and a maximum operational range of 1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km).[3]


All of these ships were decommissioned in 2006–07. The Hellenic Navy received two of the Osprey class from the US Navy: Heron, renamed Calypso and Pelican, renamed Euniki. Two more were transferred to the Egyptian Navy: Cardinal, renamed al Sedeeq (MHC-521) and Raven, renamed al Farouk (MHC-524). The sale of Oriole and Falcon to the Republic of China was also authorized.[4]

The U.S. General Services Administration (GS) announced in April 2014 that hull numbers MHC-51, 54, 56, 57, 58, and 62 were up for auction to be sold as an entire lot for "dismantlement purposes only." This contradicted earlier information announcing the sale of some of these vessels to foreign operators.[5] The minehunting role of this class is to be taken over by Littoral Combat Ships equipped with the Mine Counter-Measures Module.[1]


List of Osprey-class ships[1]
Ship Hull No. Builder Commissioned–
Osprey MHC-51 Intermarine USA 1993–2006 MHC51 Sold for scrap 2014.
Heron MHC-52 Intermarine USA 1994–2007 MHC52 Sold to the Hellenic Navy, renamed as HS Kalypso (M 64)
Pelican MHC-53 Avondale Shipyard, Westwego 1995–2007 MHC53 Sold to the Hellenic Navy, renamed as HS Evniki (M 61)
Robin MHC-54 Avondale Shipyard 1996–2006 MHC54 Sold for scrap 2014.
Oriole MHC-55 Intermarine USA 1995–2006 MHC55 Sold to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy
Kingfisher MHC-56 Avondale Shipyard, Gulfport 1996–2007 MHC56 Sold for scrap 2014.
Cormorant MHC-57 Avondale Shipyard, Gulfport 1997–2007 MHC57 Sold for scrap 2014.
Black Hawk MHC-58 Intermarine USA 1996–2007 MHC58 Sold for scrap 2014.
Falcon MHC-59 Intermarine USA 1997–2006 MHC59 Sold to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy
Cardinal MHC-60 Intermarine USA 1997–2007 MHC60 Sold to the Egyptian Navy, renamed as al Sedeeq (MHC-521)
Raven MHC-61 Intermarine USA 1998–2007 MHC61 Sold to the Egyptian Navy, renamed as al Farouk (MHC-524)
Shrike MHC-62 Intermarine USA 1999–2007 MHC62 Sold for scrap 2014.

See alsoEdit




  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Osprey Class". Naval Technology. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  2. ^ Marriott, Leo (2001). The Vital Guide to Modern Warships. Shrewsbury: Airlife. p. 95. ISBN 9781840371772.
  3. ^ a b "USS Osprey (MHC-51) Minehunter". Military Factory. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Osprey Minehunters for ROC Navy". Armed Forces International. August 6, 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  5. ^ "LOT OF MHCS FOR DISMANTLEMENT". 8 April 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2016.

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