SHIPS-IN-CLASS (12): USS Osprey (MHC 51); USS Heron (MHC 52); USS Pelican (MHC 53); USS Robin (MHC 54); USS Oriole (MHC 55); USS Kingfisher (MHC 56); USS Cormorant (MHC 57); USS Black Hawk (MHC 58); USS Falcon (MHC 59); USS Cardinal (MHC 60); USS Raven (MHC 61); USS Shrike (MHC 62)
OPERATORS: Greece (MHC 52 and MHC 53), Lithuania (MHC 56 and MHC 57), Turkey (MHC 58 and MHC 62), Taiwan (MHC 55 and MHC 59) and the United States of America.
LENGTH: 188 feet (57.30 meters)
BEAM: 38 feet (11.58 meters)
DRAUGHT: 11 feet (3.35 meters)
DISPLACEMENT (SURFACE): 904 tons
PROPULSION: 2 x Voith-Schneider vertical cycloidal propellers and 2 x Fraschini ID36SS6V-AM diesels delivering 1,160bhp with 2 x hydraulic motors for silent running and 1 x bow thruster of 180shp.
SPEED (SURFACE): 12 knots (14 miles-per-hour)
RANGE: 1,500 nautical miles (1,726 miles; 2,778 kilometers)
Detailing the development and operational history of the USS Osprey (MHC-51) Minehunter Warship.
Entry last updated on 7/19/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The USS Osprey (MHC 51) represented the lead ship in her Osprey-class consisting of a total of twelve vessles. The class was constructed specifically to deal with various types of enemy naval mines by locating, identifying and properly destroying them through a suite of specialized sensors (including sonar) and video technology. The type served the United States Navy well through the 1990s before eventually being either sold or removed from active service in order to make way for the more capable Avenger-class mine hunters.
The Osprey profile was consistent with the series class, featuring a large and elongated superstructure taking up most of the topside space. As a whole, the Osprey-class was a follow-up design to the Lerici-class but featured a larger hull section. A identifiable main mast was located in the aft portion of the superstructure and contained a myriad of sensor, detection and communications equipment while the bridge sat in the forward portion with sloping windows. The smoke funnel was cleverly integrated into the design and featured a wedge cut installment to deflect exhaust. Design lines were clean and the hull was constructed entirely of fiberglass (to assist damage resistance in absorbing any underwater explosions). The stern was dominated by a lower deck which contained a utility crane on a special platform.
At full displacement, the USS Osprey could set out at 904 tons (some sources state as high as 930 tons). A meager top speed of 10 knots could be reach but speed was not an essential quality of a mine hunting type. Power was derived from a bevy of conventionally-powered systems consisting of twin Voith-Schneider vertical (cyclodial) propulsion systems, 2x Franshini ID36SS6V-AM diesel engines delivering 1,160bhp and 2 x hydraulic motors. Silent running was accomplished through the use of a single bow thruster delivering 180 shaft horsepower. Five officers oversaw up to 46 enlisted personnel for a total crew complement of 51. Total endurance ran about 15 days maximum.
Types like the USS Osprey rely on a plethora of systems and subsystems to accomplish their task. This included sonar designed specifically for mine detection and neutralization, a surface search suite and specialized navigation control systems. Self-defense was nothing more than 2 x 12.7mm (.50 caliber) heavy machine guns.
The USS Osprey was first ordered in 1987 and laid down by Intermarine USA the following year. She was launched in 1991 and officially commissioned in 1993. After years of faithful service and countless crew turnover, the Osprey was decommissioned in 2006 and struck from the register that same year. As of this writing (2013), she is awaiting her fate at the hands of the United States Navy with the Beaumont Reserve Fleet.
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