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USS Avenger (MCM-1) Minesweeper / Minehunter (1987)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 8/27/2014

The USS Avenger is the lead ship in her Avenger-class of mine hunters and is stil in active service with the United States Navy.

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The USS Avenger (MCM-1) is categorized in the United States Navy as a mine countermeasures vessel. She is the lead ship of her class of 14-strong and the third US Navy vessel to take on the Avenger name. Her class includes the USS Defender (MCM-2), USS Sentry (MCM-3), USS Champion (MCM-4), USS Guardian (MCM-5), USS Devastator (MCM-6) USS Patriot (MCM-7), USS Scout (MCM-8), USS Pioneer (MCM-9), USS Warrior (MCM-10), USS Gladiator (MCM-11), USS Ardent (MCM-12), USS Dextrous (MCM-13 and the USS Chief (MCM-14).

Her outward appearance is characterized by a tripod main mast situated forward on the design and an enclosed funnel structure at center. Her bridge is settled into the upper superstructure just behind the bow while the stern is situated well low with a stepped appearance. Propulsion for the Avenger is brought about through 4 x Waukesha Motors Company diesel engines. The engines rotate twin propellers that themselves offer reversible pitch action. Twin light-load electric motors are also provided as are two individual rudders. Top speed is listed at 14 knots.

The USS Avenger is optimally crewed by 81 personnel made up of 6 officers and 75 enlisted crewmembers. Her sensor systems consist of an AN/SSN-2 Precise Integrated Navigation System (PINS), and AN/SQQ-32 Mine Hunting Sonar system, an AN/SPS-55 Surface Radar and an AN/WSN-2 Gyro Compass.

Armament-wise, the Avenger packs a suite of short-range defensive weapons in the form of 2 x 12.7mm Browning M2HB heavy machine guns, 2 x 7.62mm M60 general purpose machine guns and 2 x 40mm MK 19 automatic grenade launchers. For mine-hunting duty - obviously the forte of the Avenger system - the vessel utilizes the AN/SLQ-48(V) Mine Neutralization Systems, the AN/SQL-37(V)3 Magnetic-Acoustic Influence Minesweeping Gear, the Oropesa Type 0, Size 1 Mechanical Sweep Equipment and the MDG 1801 Marconi Magnetometer Degaussing System.

Avenger's original home part was NS Charleston, South Carolina. She was deployed operationally to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Storm, earning herself and her crew the Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy Unit Commendation. By 1993, she was given her new homeport at Ingleside, Texas. Since then, she has seen deployment to the Atlantic, Mediterranean and the Pacific.

The USS Avenger was first ordered on June 29th, 1982 and laid down by Peterson Shipbuilders on June 3, 1983. The ship was launched on June 15th, 1985 and officially commissioned on September 12th, 1987. She makes her homeport at Ingleside, Texas and fights under the motto "Dux et Defensor Semitae" meaning "Guide and Defender of the Pathway". As of this writing, the vessel was in active service with the United States Active Naval Reserve Force, Mine Countermeasures Squadron 2 of the US Atlantic Fleet.

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Specifications for the
USS Avenger (MCM-1)
Minesweeper / Minehunter


Country of Origin: United States
Initial Year of Service: 1987
Operators: United States


Crew: 81


Length: 224 ft (68.28 m)
Beam: 39 ft (11.89 m)
Draught: 13 ft (3.96 m)
Displacement: 1,367 tons


Machinery: 4 x Waukesha Motors Company L-1616 diesel engines delivering 2,400bhp with 2 x Hansome electric motors delivering 400shp and 1 x Omnithruster hydrojet delivering 350shp with 2 x reversible pitch propeller shafts.

Surface Speed: 14 kts (16 mph)
Range: 0 miles (0 km)


Armament:
2 x 12.7mm M2HB anti-aircraft heavy machine guns
2 x 7.62mm general purpose machine guns
2 x 40mm MK 19 automatic grenade launchers
1 x AN/SLQ-48(V) Mine Neutralization System
1 x AN/SQL-37(V)3 Magnetic/Acoustic Influence Minesweeping Gear.
1 x Oropesa Type0, Size 1 Mechanical Sweep Equipment.
1 x MGD 1701 Marconi Magnetometer Degaussing System.


Ship Class: Avenger-class
Number-in-Class: 14
Ships-in-Class: USS Avenger (MCM-1); USS Defender (MCM-2); USS Sentry (MCM-3); USS Champion (MCM-4); USS Guardian (MCM-5); USS Devastator (MCM-6); USS Patriot (MCM-7); USS Scout (MCM-8); USS Pioneer (MCM-9); USS Warrior (MCM-10); USS Gladiator (MCM-11); USS Ardent (MCM-12); USS Dextrous (MCM-13); USS Chief (MCM-14)