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Harland & Wolff gets £55M to refurbish ex Royal Navy minehunter for Lithuania

HMS Quorn
Photo: Royal Navy

British shipbuilder Harland & Wolff has received a £55 million (approx. US$65M) contract to overhaul former Royal Navy mine-hunting vessel HMS Quorn for its delivery to Lithuania.

Awarded on behalf of the Lithuanian government by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA), the contract will see HMS Quorn renovated and restored, ahead of a planned delivery in 2024.

Tailored for the Lithuanian Navy, the work includes upgrades to the ships mission and sonar systems, and an additional search and rescue capability. The contract will also add new main engines, generators and propulsion gear as well as refurbish the accommodation, hull, ancillary systems, electrical systems and painting.

Lithuania and the UK reached an agreement for the sale of former HMS Quorn in 2020, after it was decommissioned from the Royal Navy in 2017.

Quorn is the third vessel in the Hunt-class class to be sold to Lithuania after the first two units, former Dulverton and Cottesmore, changed hands in 2008. They became operational as the Skalvis-class in 2011.

“I’m pleased that this multi-million pound contract will see a former Royal Navy mine-hunting vessel restored and regenerated in a British shipyard, supporting UK jobs and strengthening shipbuilding in the south-west,” UK defense procurement minister Jeremy Quin said.

Lithuania is a key NATO ally and Joint Expeditionary Force partner, and this mine-hunting vessel will bolster NATO maritime capability across Europe, ensuring the Alliance remains ready to respond to evolving global threats.

In Royal Navy service, Hunt-class vessels specialize in active mine-hunting, using high-definition sonar to scour seabeds for mines, which are then destroyed by the ship’s clearance diving teams or mine disposal system.

A key NATO ally and partner in the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), Lithuania will add the restored mine-hunting vessel to its existing fleet, with the addition of this capability boosting NATO capability across Europe.

“This contract award reinforces our excellent working relationship that we have with Lithuania as our NATO ally as well as UK owned Harland & Wolff. We’re really pleased to see HMS Quorn refurbished in Appledore Shipyard and look forward to continuing our work with them supporting the British supply chain,” Cdre Richard Whalley, Head of DESA, said.

Anticipating the contract award for the refurbishment of HMS Quorn, Harland & Wolff revealed it acquired the former HMS Atherstone in June this year, which it will use for spare parts and components as part of efforts to de-risk the restoration of Quorn.