Mine Countermeasures Ships - MCM
Description: Ships designed to clear mines from vital
Background: In the early 1980s, the U.S. Navy began development of a new mine countermeasures (MCM) force, which included two new classes of ships and minesweeping helicopters. The vital importance of a state-of-the-art mine countermeasures force was strongly underscored in the Persian Gulf during the eight years of the Iran-Iraq war, and in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991 when the Avenger (MCM 1) and Guardian (MCM 5) ships conducted MCM operations.
Avenger class ships are designed as mine hunter-killers capable of finding, classifying and destroying moored and bottom mines. The last three MCM ships were purchased in 1990, bringing the total to 14 fully deployable, oceangoing Avenger class ships.
These ships use sonar and video systems, cable cutters and
a mine detonating device that can be released and detonated by
remote control. They are also capable of conventional sweeping
measures. The ships are of fiberglass sheathed, wooden hull construction.
They are the first large mine countermeasures ships built in the
United States in nearly 27 years.
Osprey (MHC 51) class ships are also designed as mine hunter-killers. The MHC 51 has a 15-day endurance and depends on a support ship or shore based facilities for resupply.
General Characteristics, Avenger class
Builders: Peterson Shipbuilders, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.; Marinette Marine, Marinette, Wis.
Power Plant: Four diesels (600 horsepower each), two shafts with controllable pitch propellers
Length: 224 feet (68.28 meters)
Beam: 39 feet (11.89 meters)
Displacement: 1,312 tons (1,180.8 metric tons) full load
Speed: 14 knots (16.1 mph, 25.76 kmph)
Units: (All MCM-1 class ships are based in Ingleside, Tex.)
USS Avenger (MCM 1)
USS Defender (MCM 2)
USS Sentry (MCM 3)
USS Champion (MCM 4)
USS Guardian (MCM 5)
USS Devastator (MCM 6)
USS Patriot (MCM 7)
USS Scout (MCM 8)
USS Pioneer (MCM 9)
USS Warrior (MCM 10)
USS Gladiator (MCM 11)
USS Ardent (MCM 12)
USS Dextrous (MCM 13)
USS Chief (MCM 14)
Crew: 8 officers, 76 enlisted
Armament: Mine neutralization system. Two .50 caliber machine guns
Date Deployed: Sept. 12, 1987 (USS Avenger)
30 November 1996