HMS Brecon (M29)

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HMS "Brecon" in the Bann - - 631458.jpg
HMS Brecon
United Kingdom
NameHMS Brecon
BuilderVosper Thornycroft
Commissioned18 December 1979
Decommissioned19 July 2005
IdentificationPennant number: M29
StatusTraining ship[1]
General characteristics
Class and typeHunt-class mine countermeasures vessel
Displacement750 t (740 long tons; 830 short tons)[2]
Length60 m (196 ft 10 in)
Beam9.8 m (32 ft 2 in)
Draught2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)
Propulsion2 shaft Napier Deltic diesel, 3,540 shp (2,640 kW)
Speed17 kn (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Complement45 (6 officers & 39 ratings)
Sensors and
processing systems
Sonar Type 2193
Electronic warfare
& decoys
  • SeaFox mine disposal system
  • Diver-placed explosive charges

HMS Brecon was a Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel that served with the Royal Navy. Her pennant number was M29.


Brecon was built at Vosper Thornycroft, the lead yard for the Hunt class. She was launched by the Duchess of Kent and commissioned on 18 December 1979. She saw service in the aftermath of the Falklands War (1982) and the Gulf War of 1991. In 1998 she was assigned to the Northern Ireland Squadron. She acted as guardship to the tall ships race when it visited Greenock in 1999.

Brecon was the first Royal Navy vessel to be commanded by a woman. Lieutenant Charlotte Atkinson became her commanding officer in January 2004. "Charlie" was the only woman among the 45-strong crew of the ship. Her historic appointment came 14 years after the Royal Navy first began admitting female officers on equal terms with men.[3][4]

Brecon's assignment to the Northern Ireland Squadron required modifications from her traditional minesweeping duties to become a fully capable patrol platform. This included the addition of rigid-hulled inflatable boats and embarkation of a 10-strong Royal Marine boarding team.

Decommissioning and new role

Brecon was scheduled to be decommissioned following defence cuts announced in 2004 by the British Ministry of Defence. The ship's company held a last divisions and decommissioning ceremony on 19 July 2005.

In February 2008, Brecon was taken in hand for use as a static training ship at Jupiter Point HMS Raleigh, where she is utilised to provide new recruits with their first taste of life aboard a Royal Navy ship.


  1. "HMS Raleigh Training Establishment". Royal Navy. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  2. "Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels - Specifications". 11 July 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. "Female officer takes command of minehunter". Navy News. 28 January 2004. Archived from the original on 3 February 2004.
  4. "Charlotte takes command of Hunt Class warship". Royal Navy. 28 January 2004. Archived from the original on 12 March 2007.

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