The Osprey Class Coastal Mine Hunter Raven (MHC 61) will be
christened during ceremonies at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, September
28, 1996, at Intermarine USA, Savannah, Georgia.
Admiral Leighton W. Smith, Jr., (Retired), former Commander
in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe/ Commander in Chief, Allied
Forces, Southern Europe, will be the ceremony's principal
speaker. Mrs. Dorothy Smith, wife of Admiral Smith, will be the
ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Smith
will break a bottle of champagne across the bow and formally name
Ships in the coastal minehunter class are named after birds.
Two previous ships have been named Raven; a schooner (1813-1815)
of the War of 1812 and a minesweeper (AM 55) (1940-1967) that
earned three battle stars as the lead ship of the class of 93
fleet minesweepers which served in the U.S. and British navies
during World War II.
Raven is the 11th of 12 Osprey Class ships authorized by
Congress to be built. Ships of this class are the world's
largest mine hunters to be constructed entirely of fiberglass.
The ship's primary mission is reconnaissance, classification, and
neutralization of moored and bottom mines in littoral areas,
harbors and coastal waterways. The ship is armed with two .50
caliber machine guns, a high definition, variable-depth sonar,
and a remotely-operated, robotic submarine used to neutralize
Following its commissioning next year, Raven will join the
U.S. Atlantic Fleet with Lieutenant Commander Sam Howard, a
native of Mount Holly, New Jersey, as the commanding officer.
The ship will be homeported in Ingleside, Texas, with a crew of
five Officers, and 46 Sailors.
This ship measures 188 feet in length, has a beam of 36 feet
and displaces approximately 895 tons when fully loaded and is
capable of reaching a speed of 12 knots.