The Naval Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will receive two Sandown-class minesweepers from the British Navy, according to the press release of the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom.
Vessels are equipped with trawls for searching and neutralizing sea mines. In addition, they have anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weapons.
The department noted that the handover of the ships will take place within the framework of the coalition supporting Ukraine in the Black Sea. Its initiators are United Kingdom and Norway.
The new coalition will provide long-term support to Ukraine, including training, equipment and infrastructure to strengthen security in the Black Sea, the British Ministry of Defense stated.
"These minehunters will deliver vital capability to Ukraine which will help save lives at sea and open up vital export routes, which have been severely limited since Putin launched his illegal full-scale invasion," British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said.
Today he is expected to announce the transfer officially. In addition, Shapps is expected to announce another package of military aid to Ukraine.
On November 25, at the Grain from Ukraine press conference in Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced agreements with some Western allies to receive military vessels for Ukraine to ensure the safety of vessels in the "grain corridor" in the Black Sea.
After withdrawing from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2023, Russia began attacking Ukrainian ports both in Odesa Oblast and on the Danube.
In August, Ukraine opened a new sea route from Odesa, originally used to evacuate civilian vessels stuck in the Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa and Pivdennyi since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion.