Wednesday, 15 October 2008
The French minehunter Cephee seen at Faslane june 2006.
A joint venture of the Navies of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, the Tripartite class of minehunters were conceived in the 1970s and built in the 1980s. France built the mine-hunting equipment, Belgium provided the electronics, and the Netherlands constructed the propulsion train. France and the Netherlands originally bought 15, with Belgium buying 10. All three countries' Tripartite ships contribute to NATO as part of MCMFORNORTH, or Mine Counter Measures Force North ("North" to distinguish itself from the Mediterraean minehunting fleet). Very expensive to repair, and operate.