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MHC 51 Osprey
Coastal Mine Hunters

Osprey (MHC 51) class ships are mine hunter-killers capable of finding, classifying and destroying moored and bottom mines. Eleven of the twelve Osprey-class Coastal Minehunter are assigned to the Reserve and homeported at Ingleside, TX. The MHC 51 has a 15-day endurance and depends on a support ship or shore based facilities for resupply. This mine hunter (coastal) is designed to operate from CONUS bases against enemy bottom and moored mines. It is the first US Navy mine countermeasures ship to be constructed of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP). The design is based on the Italian Navy Lerici Class. Voith-Schneider rotors replace the conventional propellers of the MCM and MSO classes. The ship will have modular sweep systems which can be installed as needed.

In the early 1980s, the U.S. Navy began development of a new mine countermeasures (MCM) force, which included two new classes of ships and minesweeping helicopters. The vital importance of a state-of-the-art mine countermeasures force was strongly underscored in the Persian Gulf during the eight years of the Iran-Iraq war, and in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991. Avenger class ships are also designed as mine hunter-killers. Overall Length: 188 ft
Waterline Length: 174 ft Extreme Beam: 38 ft
Waterline Beam: 36 ft Maximum Navigational Draft: 11 ft
Draft Limit: 11 ft


Builders Avondale Industries Inc., Gulfport, MS
MHC 53, 54, 56, 57

Intermarine USA, Savannah, GA
MHC 51, 52, 55, 58, 59, 60, 61 and 62
Power Plant Two diesels (800 hp each);
two Voith-Schneider (cycloidal) propulsion systems
Length 188 feet (57.3 meters)
Beam 36 feet (11 meters)
Draft (Navigation) 12 ft 1 in
Displacement 893 tons (804 metric tons) full load
Speed 10 knots (18.4 kmph)
Crew 5 officers, 46 enlisted
Combat Systems AN/SLQ-48 - Mine Neutralization Equipment
AN/SQQ-32 - Minehunting Sonar
AN/SYQ-13 - Navigation/Command and Control
AN/SSQ-94 - On board Trainer

Two .50 caliber machine guns
Unit Operating Cost
Annual Average
~$3,000,000 [source: [FY1996 VAMOSC]


Name Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned
Osprey MHC 51Intermarine Ingleside22 May 198723 Aug 1993
Heron MHC 52Intermarine Ingleside17 Feb 198922 Jul 1994
Pelican MHC 53Avondale Ingleside03 Oct 198918 Nov 1995
Robin MHC 54Avondale Ingleside02 Aug 199011 May 1996
Oriole MHC 55Intermarine Ingelside01 Apr 199116 Sep 1995
Kingfisher MHC 56 AvondaleIngleside29 Mar 199126 Oct 1996
Cormorant MHC 57Avondale Ingleside29 Mar 199112 Apr 1997
Black Hawk MHC 58Intermarine Ingleside22 Apr 199211 May 1996
Falcon MHC 59Intermarine Ingleside22 Apr 199208 Feb 1997
Cardinal MHC 60Intermarine Ingleside22 Apr 199218 Oct 1997
Raven MHC 61IntermarineIngleside31 Mar 199305 Sep 1998
Shrike MHC 62IntermarineIngleside31 Mar 199331 May 1999

Sources and Resources

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Saturday, October 30, 1999 10:48:02 AM