Northern Ireland shipyard acquires ex-Royal Navy minesweeper

HMS Atherstone in the Middle East in 2009 (Photo: UK Ministry of Defence/LA(Phot) Jay Allen)

Northern Ireland shipyard Harland and Wolff has acquired the decommissioned Royal Navy Hunt-class mine countermeasures (MCM) vessel HMS Atherstone from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Harland and Wolff said it acquired the vessel with a view to refurbishing it for non-military uses, discussions for which have already commenced with interested parties.

Harland and Wolff is involved in a competition run by the MOD regeneration programme for HMS Quorn, a sister vessel of Atherstone. The shipyard believes that the acquisition of the former Atherstone will significantly de-risk the regeneration programme given that the two vessels share a number of spare parts and components.

Should Harland and Wolff be awarded the regeneration programme, such spare parts and components on Atherstone will be utilised during Quorn‘s regeneration programme.

The company expects negotiations with the MOD on the regeneration programme to be completed in the next few weeks with an announcement to be made thereafter, should an award be made in its favour.

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