Coastal Minesweeper

John A Silkstone

Coastal Minesweeper

COASTAL MINESWEEPER 1961

R E G U L U S, One of a large class of Type 340/341 fast coastal/inshore minesweepers, designed in 1957 by specialists Abeking & Rasmussen for the Federal German Navy.
Extended Description
THE SCHUTZE CLASS INSHORE MINESWEEPERS
Built from wood and composite non-magnetic materials, the Type 340/341, though they were somewhat larger, closely resembled the last R-boats of the Second World War. They were designed to fulfil three similar functions as minesweepers, minelayers or coastal patrol craft, in which role they were fitted, with an additional 40mm gun. Regulus (Ml 057) was built (as were most of the class) by the designers; launched on 18 December 1961, she entered service on 20 June 1962. She was decommissioned and sold into private ownership in 1991.

EQUIPMENT AND ARMAMENT
As the hull form of the class indicates, they were designed for a relatively high speed, and were powered by twin 2250bhp Mercedes-Benz diesels. They were originally to have been fitted with variable-pitch propellers, but trials with the early units proved a failure, and they received conventional constant-pitch propellers instead. As completed, Regulus was not equipped to sweep or lay mines, but instead had the second 40mm gun and operated experimentally in the patrol role. She was found to be unsatisfactory, and was re-fitted as a minesweeper.

TECHNICAL DATA
Type: Coastal minesweeper/patrol craft
Machinery: 2-shaft diesels producing 4500bhp
Dimensions (overall): Length, 47.4m (155.8ft); beam, 6.9m (22.9ft) Displacement 241 t standard; 266t deep load
Draught: 2.3m (7.5ft) full load
Complement: 39
Speed: 25 knots (46km/h)

ARMAMENT OF 1960s INSHORE MINESWEEPERS
Regulus (Germany) 2 (later 1) 40mm Bofors cannon
Komsomolets Turlanenii (USSR) 2 30mm remote-control cannon
Asvig (Denmark) 1 20mm Oerlikon cannon

THE LATER CAREER OF THE TYPE 340s
One of the boats was converted to act as test-bed for a lightweight Seacat SAM system, another was transformed into a clearance divine boat. One served as security vessel for tests of the Type 209 submarine, and was subsequently sold into private ownership: she became the property of the German government again in 1989 having been involved in drug smuggling. Three became stationary training ships, eight were handed over to local sections of the German Naval League and became floating clubhouses and the rest were sold into private ownership.

Range at 18 knots 1000 miles 1850km

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NAVAL SHIPS
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