HMS Inverness (M102)

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M-06 Tālivaldis, M314 Sakala NOCO 2014 02.JPG
EML Sakala M314 (left) in Turku
United Kingdom
NameHMS Inverness
OperatorRoyal Navy
BuilderVosper Thornycroft
Launched27 February 1990
Commissioned24 May 1991
Out of servicePaid off 15 November 2004
IdentificationPennant number: M102
FateSold to Estonia
NameEML Sakala
OperatorEstonian Navy
In service24 January 2008
General characteristics
Class and type Sandown-class minehunter
Displacement484 tons full
Length52.5 m (172 ft)
Beam10.9 m (36 ft)
Draught2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)
  • 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) diesel
  • 6.5 knots (12.0 km/h; 7.5 mph) electric
Complement34 (7 officers, 27 ratings)
Sensors and
processing systems
  • Type 1007 navigation radar
  • Thales 2193 hull mounted mine hunting sonar
  • 1 × Oerlikon 30 mm KCB gun on DS-30B mount
  • 2 × 7.62 mm L7 GPMG machine guns
  • Wallop Defence Systems Barricade Mk. III countermeasure launchers
  • Irvin Aerospace Replica Decoy launchers
  • Mine counter measures equipment:
  • SeaFox Mine Disposal System
  • Clearance divers

HMS Inverness (M102) was a Sandown-class minehunter of the Royal Navy. She was decommissioned by the Royal Navy in 2005, and in 2008 became EML Sakala (M314) of the Estonian Navy.

HMS Inverness

Inverness was built by Vosper Thornycroft and launched on 27 February 1990 as one of the 12 ship class of Sandown-class minehunters.

Inverness took part in the major joint service Exercise Saif Sareea II in Oman throughout October 2001, and also trained on her way back from the Gulf as part of the overarching Exercise Argonaut 2001 maritime task group. During Exercise Saif Sareea II, Inverness formed part of a minehunter group with her sisters Walney, and the Hunt-class mine countermeasure vessels Quorn and Cattistock, supported by RFA Diligence.[1]

In 2003, Inverness was one of a number of Royal Navy warships taking part in a multi-national exercises off Scotland, which involved ships and aircraft from a number of the world's navies, including French, German and American units.[2] HMS Inverness was awarded the Freedom of the City of Inverness in 2004.[3]

In July 2004, the UK Ministry of Defence announced that as part of the restructuring of the Navy, the three oldest Sandown-class minehunters would be retired by April 2005. Inverness was decommissioned in 2005 and was then laid up awaiting a buyer or disposal. In September 2006, Estonia signed a contract to acquire the three vessels.

After refitting in Rosyth Inverness was formally handed over to the Estonian Navy in April 2007, and renamed EML Sakala.

EML Sakala (M314)

Sakala belongs to the Estonian Mineships Division. She is the fourth vessel of the Estonian Navy Mineships Division and second of three modernized Sandown class minehunters purchased from the Royal Navy.

The coat of arms was presented on a ceremony on 24 January 2008 in Scotland.[4] The ship's name comes from an ancient Estonian county Sakala which is today known as Viljandimaa but is often called Sakalamaa. The arms are a black shield which represents the rich soils of Sakala and ethnic Estonian men's clothing. The rose points towards the capital of Sakalamaa. The swords represent Sakala's important role in the Estonian ancient freedom fight and fighting spirit, as silver stands for loyalty. The ship's motto in Latin is "In nomine libertatis” meaning "In the name of freedom". The coat of arms was designed by Priit Herodes.

In December 2018 Sakala arrived at the Babcock site at Rosyth Dockyard for a series of modifications and upgrades, which included the Thales Sonar 2193 navigation system and the Thales M-CUBE command and control system.[5]

See also


  1. Adam IngramMinister of State for the Armed Forces (22 October 2001). "Written Answers to Questions: Royal Navy Vessels". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. col. 2W.
  2. "10 NATO Navies in Exercises off Scotland". 25 June 2003. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  3. "Inverness tribute to naval crew". BBC News. 22 October 2004. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  4. "Miinijahtija Sakala M 314". Kaitsevägi (in eesti). Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  5. Allison, George (31 January 2019). "Babcock complete work on Estonian minehunter at Rosyth". UK Defence Journal. Retrieved 24 March 2019.

External links