Babcock has completed capability upgrades on Estonian Navy minehunter vessel EML Admiral Cowan at its Rosyth facilities in Fife, Scotland.

The company carried out a series of upgrades on the vessel during a five-month docking period at Rosyth between July and December last year.

EML Admiral Cowan is the flagship of the Estonian Navy and part of its minesweeping flotilla.

It is the first of three Estonian Navy minehunter vessels Babcock has been contracted by Thales UK to upgrade.

Pursuant to the contract, the Sandown-class minehunter received an upgraded mission package.

Babcock fitted the Thales Sonar 2193, an upgraded navigation system, as well as the Thales M-CUBE command and control system, in addition to several other upgrades and defect rectifications.

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The company engaged a team of 20 Babcock employees, including electricians, engineers, designers and glass reinforced plastic specialist shipwrights to deliver the work. Thales and Ship’s Staff offered support during the contract work.

“Admiral Cowan is scheduled to undergo trials in the North Sea in May this year to demonstrate full operational capability.”

Babcock Rosyth site managing director Sean Donaldson said: “We were delighted to upgrade EML Admiral Cowan for the Estonian Navy and look forward to carrying out the same package of work on her fellow minehunters, EML Sakala and EML Ugandi.

“Our common user facility in Rosyth provides first class docking and support facilities to undertake this kind of work and, with a skilled and experienced workforce on-site, we offer the complete package for visiting ships.”

Admiral Cowan is scheduled to undergo trials in the North Sea in May this year to demonstrate full operational capability.

EML Sakala, the second Estonian Navy minehunter vessel set to receive upgrades, arrived at the Babcock Rosyth site last month. Next in line for the upgrade package is EML Ugandi, expected to arrive in late spring this year.

Commissioned in the late 1980s/early 1990s, the three minehunter vessels were previously in service with the British Royal Navy and were later acquired by the Estonian Navy.

Minehunter vessels have the ability to seek, detect and destroy individual sea mines.