class of minesweepers was built in Canada
(Maritime Command of the Canadian Forces) between
1995 and 1998. Although it is classified as a mechanical
(MM) due to the use of removable payload modules it is
can be employed in a variety of tasks. Most commonly, members of the
Kingston class are employed in coastal and fisheries patrols, having
replaced the Halifax Class Frigate
s in these roles. As such, the
Kingston class minesweepers are referred to as Maritime Coastal
Defence Vessels, or MCDVs.
The ships were originally conceived as training ships for Canada's
Naval Reserve and are, with the exception of a Naval Electronics
Technician and two Electrical Technicians, entirely manned by
reservists employed on contracts ranging from three years to a few
Type: MM - Mechanical Minesweeper
Speed: 15+ knots
Range: 5000nm @ 8 kts (most commonly: 4500nm @ 11 kts)
Complement: 31 officers and men, though this depends on the
mission (I've never been on ship with fewer than 40 embarked)
Bofors 40mm Mk 5C Automatic Cannon (Range ~6nm, Rate ~70 rnds/min)
2 .50-calibre machine guns.
KELVIN-HUGHES 6000 I-band Search Radar (~24nm in good conditions)
KELVIN-HUGHES 6000 J-band Navigation Radar (~16nm)
Route Survey side-scan sonar,
Bottom Inspection Remotely-Operated-Vehicle,
Accomodations payload (for embarking trainees)
These ships sail, on average, in excess of 180 days a year in fulfillment of
their various duties. Minesweeping is conducted in pairs, with one ship
carrying sonar and the other carrying sweep gear. The current slow speed of 15
kts is due to the snubbed shape of the ships' stern, rather than any deficiency
in the powerful diesel-alternators. It was originally planned for
the final five ships of this class to be extended by 5m to counteract this
problem, making the ships faster and more suitable for patrols, but the plan
was dropped for financial reasons.
The Bofors guns embarked on the Kingston class are over 50 years old and many
had to be salvaged from museums around Canada. They are notoriously
inaccurate and undergo near-constant maintenance to keep them operational.
The ammunition is no longer manufactured for these guns, but there is enough in
stockpile (purchased shortly after the Korean war) for each ship to fire 10
rounds a day for the next 15 years. Rumours persist that a modern radar-aimed
system may be purchased within the next few years, but these are uncorroborated
and more than a little optimistic.
The twelve ships of this class are based in Halifax, Nova Scotia and
Esquimalt, British Columbia (near Victoria). One ship on each coast is
currently always out of routine due to shortages in naval reserve funding
and this ship is rotated bi-annually into service.
HMCS GOOSE BAY
HMCS GLACE BAY
This information was obtained from the Canadian Navy's