HMS Cattistock (M31)

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Mine Countermeasures Vessel HMS Cattistock Sails into Bristol (6103692086).jpg
HMS Cattistock in 2011
United Kingdom
NameHMS Cattistock
OperatorRoyal Navy
Ordered29 January 1979
BuilderVosper Thornycroft
Launched22 January 1981
Commissioned5 March 1982
HomeportHMNB Portsmouth, Hampshire
Honours and
  • North Sea (1941-45)
  • Atlantic (1942-1944)
  • Normandy (1944)
  • Northern Persian Gulf (1990-91)
Statusin active service
General characteristics
Class and typeHunt-class mine countermeasures vessel
Displacement750 t (740 long tons; 830 short tons)[1]
Length60 m (196 ft 10 in)
Beam9.8 m (32 ft 2 in)
Draught2.2 m (7 ft 3 in)
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 Cattistock, the third ship of this name, is a Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1981 and commissioned on 5 March 1982, the third ship of her class.

Operational history

In 1991, she was placed under the command of Sir George Zambellas, who was First Sea Lord from 2013 until 2016.

In July 1997 she suffered an engine room fire and was under repair at Rosyth Dockyard for 14 months. In September 1999 she replaced the minehunter Sandown in the NATO Mine Countermeasures Force North West Europe.[2]

She was mentioned in the media in December 2002 after colliding with a jetty as she was leaving her homeport of HMNB Portsmouth in late November. She was left with a 2 foot hole in her side, although no crew were hurt in the collision. It was the third such collision that year: the submarine Trafalgar ran aground off the Isle of Skye earlier in November and the destroyer Nottingham hit rocks off the coast of Australia in July.[3]

In 2012 she assisted in the location of two Royal Air Force Panavia Tornados which had crashed in the Moray Firth.[4]

From early February 2013[5] Cattistock led Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2, in a four-month deployment to the Mediterranean,[6] conducting maritime security operations and providing force protection,[7] and also taking part in a multinational mine hunting exercise (MINEX 13-1) off the coast of Spain in April,[8] before eventually returning to her home port in early May.[7]

In October 2013 she took part in Exercise Joint Warrior.[9] She took part in further training programmes in February 2014, and in April was engaged in survey operations in the approaches to the Clyde Estuary.[10]

In 2014–2015 Cattistock received a major upgrade, including two new Caterpillar C32 diesel engines, at BAE Systems, Portsmouth, eventually returning to active service in November 2015[11][12] after 18 months.[13]

In November 2017 Cattistock destroyed a WWII-era 500-pound (230 kg) bomb which had been discovered 50 miles off the coast of Norfolk close to a major North Sea gas pipeline.[14]

In early January 2018, she sailed from Portsmouth to join the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) as part of a deployment to the Baltic.[15] She carried out various operations, including a search around Oslo, in which ten mines and torpedoes dating back to WWII were found.[16] Cattistock finally returned home after four months in mid-April.[17]


HMS Cattistock is affiliated with the following:[18]


  1. "Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels - Specifications". 11 July 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  2. "Ships of the Royal Navy: No. 531: Busy times for HMS Cattistock". Navy News. February 2000. p. 5. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  3. "Minesweeper holed after hitting jetty". BBC News. 3 December 2002. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  4. "Tornado jet crash: Wreckage located on seabed". BBC News. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  5. "Portsmouth Minehunter Heads For The Med". Royal Navy. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  6. "HMS Cattistock on mine-hunter duties in the Mediterranean". Royal Navy. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Cattistock village's own warship calls at Poole after three-months' ops". Royal Navy. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  8. "HMS Cattistock heads up multi-national mine exercise". Royal Navy. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  9. "Scotland set to host Exercise Joint Warrior". Royal Navy. 2 October 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  10. "Busy year for HMS Cattistock". Royal Navy. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  11. "HMS Cattistock joined by First Sea Lord to mark return to service after upgrade". Royal Navy. 2 November 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  12. Hawser, Anita (25 September 2017). "The March of the Robots?". Defence Procurement International. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  13. "Navy engineers rewarded for excellence at home and abroad". Royal Navy. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  14. "Royal Navy divers destroy wartime bomb near major North Sea gas pipe". Royal Navy. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  15. "HMS Cattistock deploys for NATO duties in the Baltic". Royal Navy. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  16. "Echoes of WW2 as HMS Cattistock clears mines around Oslo". Royal Navy. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  17. "HMS Cattistock returns home to Portsmouth after NATO tasking". Royal Navy. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  18. "HMS Cattistock Affiliations". Royal Navy. Retrieved 14 March 2019.

External links