Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship
Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships are a class of 14 ships constructed for the United States Navy from 1987 to 1994, designed to clear mines from vital waterways. The ships have the hull designator MCM.
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 when Avenger and Guardian conducted MCM operations.
Avenger-class ships are designed as mine hunter-killers capable of finding, classifying, and destroying moored and bottom mines. The last three MCM ships were purchased in 1990, bringing the total to 14 fully deployable, oceangoing Avenger-class ships. These ships use sonar and video systems, cable cutters and a mine-detonating device that can be released and detonated by remote control. They are also capable of conventional sweeping measures.