The Estonian Defence Force has awarded a contract to Thales to provide an additional four years of technical support and maintenance to support Estonian Navy’s two mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs), ENS Admiral Cowan (M313) and ENS Sakala (M314).
The two vessels serving with the Estonian fleet are former British Royal Navy Vosper Thornycroft-built Sandown-class vessels, which were decommissioned and sold to Estonia in 2006.
Estonian Navy originally signed a contract with Thales in 2006, as part of a programme to return the two ships to operational service, to provide operational support to the ships in-service and install Thales’ Sonar 2093 system.
Under the new modification contract, Thales will provide a framework to achieve cost savings, while accessing a wider range of support activities until December 2016.
The company will also provide a complete range of services and support packages to meet specific operational and maintenance requirements for the Estonian Navy.
Thales UK naval business head Ed Lowe said: "We greatly value our relationship with the Estonian Navy and defence forces and see this new contract as a key to providing their ships with the best and most cost-effective long term support that will enable them to meet their important national and Nato commitments."
Capable of detecting and classifying bottom and moored mines, the Sonar 2093 variable-depth sonar system can be optimised for use in littoral and open-ocean waters.
The system, which is effective against all known mine types, is currently operational aboard UK Royal Navy’s Sandown-class MCMVs and is also a choice for Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Italy and the Republic of Korea.
Image: ENS Admiral Cowan vessel at sea. Photo: courtesy of Thales Group.