Military Wiki
Archer-class patrol vessel
HM Ships Tracker (foreground), Puncher and Blazer pre-2005
Class overview
Name: Archer
Builders: Watercraft Marine
Vosper Thornycroft
Ailsa Shipbuilding Company
Operators: United Kingdom Royal Navy
Active: 16
General characteristics
Type: patrol / training vessels
Displacement: 49 long ton (Raider & Tracker; 54 tons)
Length: 20.8 m
Beam: 5.8 m
Draught: 1.8 m
Propulsion: 2 shafts, Rolls Royce M800T diesels, 1,590 bhp (Tracker & Raider; MTU V12 diesels)
Speed: 14 knots (Tracker & Raider; 22 knots)(Hull designed to reach 45 knots (83 km/h), but limited due to the type of engine fitted)
Range: 550 nmi (1,020 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)

In training role:
5 ship's company, 1 training officer, 12 URNU students
In operational role:

Sensors and
processing systems:
Decca 1216 navigation radar

3 x 7.62 mm L7 GPMG
(Tracker & Raider)

Fitted "for but not with" 20 mm cannon on fo'c'sle (Ranger & Trumpeter)

University Royal Naval Unit Archer-class vessels Charger and Trumpeter in 2004. Their peacetime role is to train university students in navigation and seamanship.

HMS Explorer (P164) leading a waterborne procession at the Humber Bridge in June 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

HMS Smiter

The Archer class (or P2000) is a class of patrol and training vessels in service with the British Royal Navy, commonly referred to as a Fast Training Boat.[1] Most are assigned to University Royal Naval Units, although HMS Tracker and HMS Raider are armed and provide maritime force protection to high value shipping in the Firth of Clyde.


Ten vessels were ordered as the P2000 class, based on a design of an Omani coastguard cutter, from Watercraft Marine. They are twin-shaft vessels with moulded glass-reinforced plastic hulls. After that company went into liquidation, the balance of the order was completed by Vosper Thornycroft. The Archers were initially used as Royal Navy patrol craft and as training tenders for the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) and University Royal Naval Units (URNU). Four identical vessels were ordered for the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service (RNXS) as Example-class tenders. When that service was disbanded in 1994, the Examples were transferred to the Royal Navy for similar duties as their Archer-class brethren (under the same names under which they served as "XSVs", all of which begin with the first syllable "Ex"). Until 2005, the 4 Examples were still painted with a black hull.

In 1998 two additional vessels (Raider and Tracker) of this design were commissioned into the Royal Navy from Ailsa Shipbuilding Company, to replace Loyal Watcher and Loyal Chancellor as URNU training vessels to the two newest URNUs, serving Bristol and Oxford Universities respectively. This brought the total of Archer class vessels in the Royal Navy to 16, of which 14 form the 1st Patrol Boat Squadron (formerly the Inshore Training Squadron), each one attached to an URNU (one per unit) under the command of a Lieutenant. The remaining 2 vessels (Pursuer and Dasher), having formed the Cyprus Squadron from 2003 to 2010, and URNU vessels before that,[2] returned to the UK in April 2010 to form the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron, performing security duties within HMNB Clyde. In 2012 Dasher and Pursuer were replaced by Raider and Tracker - these can be identified by a number of pintle-mounted L7 7.62 mm GPMG machine guns and armour plating. Ranger and Trumpeter were also formerly allocated to the Gibraltar Squadron for guard ship and search and rescue duties, but were replaced by the dedicated Scimitar class. These two ships were also used during the Thames River Pageant, escorting the Royal Barge during the Queens Diamond Jubilee. Unlike the remainder of the class, both these ships remain capable of being mounted with a 20 mm cannon on the fo'c'sle.

The NATO designation of a P2000 is "PBR", denoting a "Patrol Boat - Riverine and Harbours".


Name Pennant Builder Commissioned Deployment (2010)
Archer P264 Watercraft Marine, Shoreham-by-Sea 1985 East of Scotland URNU
Biter P270 Watercraft 1986 Manchester URNU
Smiter P272 Watercraft 1988 Oxford URNU
Pursuer P273 Vosper Thornycroft, Woolston 1988 Glasgow URNU
Blazer P279 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 Southampton URNU
Dasher P280 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 Bristol URNU
Puncher P291 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 London URNU
Charger P292 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 Liverpool URNU
Ranger P293 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 Sussex URNU
Trumpeter P294 Vosper Thornycroft 1988 Cambridge URNU
Example (ex-XSV Example) P165 (ex-A153) Watercraft 1985 Northumbrian URNU
Explorer (ex-XSV Explorer) P164(ex-A154) Watercraft 1986 Yorkshire URNU
Express (ex-XSV Express) P163 (ex-A163) Vosper Thornycroft 1988 Wales URNU
Exploit (ex-XSV Exploit) P167 (ex-A167) Vosper Thornycroft 1988 Birmingham URNU
Tracker P274 Ailsa Shipbuilding Company, Troon 1998 Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron
Raider P275 Ailsa 1998 Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron

See also


  1. "Ships of the Royal Navy - Archer Class Patrol and Training Vessel". Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010. "An interesting quirk of the Archer class is that although the regular crew have their own cabins, the Midshipmen sleep in the gun-room. Traditionally this is where midshipmen have always been berthed but in the Archer class it is literally true as they sleep in the magazine of the Archer class. Since such trips only occur in times of peace, the gun which an Archer class vessel is capable of carrying is not fitted and so there is no other use for the magazine." 
  2. Pursuer was allocated to Sussex URNU, Dasher to Bristol URNU. They were replaced by Ranger and Trumpeter respectively in 2004


  • Britain's Modern Royal Navy, Paul Beaver, Patrick Stephens Limited, 1996, ISBN 1-85260-442-5
  • Today's Royal Navy in Colour, Jeremy Flack, Greenwich Editions, 1996, ISBN 0-86288-089-0

External links

Warning: Display title "<i>Archer</i> class patrol vessel" overrides earlier display title "<i>Archer</i>-class patrol vessel".

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).