|HMS Achilles (F12)|
|Laid down:||1 December 1967|
|Launched:||21 November 1968|
|Commissioned:||9 July 1970|
|Identification:||Pennant number: F12|
|Fate:||Sold to Chilean Navy|
|Namesake:||José Ignacio Zenteno|
|Commissioned:||8 January 1991|
Washed away by tsunami, February 2010|
Scuttled March 2010
|Class & type:||Leander-class frigate|
HMS Achilles was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was built by Yarrow at Glasgow. She was launched on 21 November 1968 and commissioned on 9 July 1970. She was sold to Chile in 1991 and washed away from her berth at Talcahuano by a tsunami in February 2010. She was scuttled the following month by the Chilean Navy as a danger to navigation.
In 1970, Achilles deployed to the Far East where there was, at that time, a large British naval presence. She escorted a number of larger vessels while there, including Eagle.
In 1974, Achilles joined the 3rd Frigate Squadron, and later that year deployed to the Far East on a nine-month deployment as part of Task Group 317.2. The task group visited a number of African ports on their way to the Far East and Indian Ocean, including South Africa, a visit that caused some controversy back in the UK at the time. The task group visited a variety of ports in the Far East and took part in a number of exercises. Achilles was active as a radio relay vessel during the fall of South Vietnam.
Upon the task group's return from the Far East, they made their way around the Cape of Good Hope to South America where a large exercise with the Brazilian Navy known as, which included Ark Royal, took place. Achilles returned to the UK in June 1975. Later that year, Achilles collided with the Greek tanker Olympic Alliance while in the Dover Strait, causing a number of injuries, as well as heavy damage to Achilles' bow. The following year, Achilles joined the Fishery Protection Squadron during the Third Cod War with Iceland.
After her deployment during the Third Cod War, Achilles went on a number of deployments including to the Persian Gulf as well as being involved in a number of naval exercises. In 1982, Achilles deployed to the West Indies as guardship. The following year, she deployed to the Falkland Islands to patrol the area in the aftermath of the Falklands War. Later that year Achilles took part in Exercise Orient Express, which took place in the Indian Ocean. She deployed to the Persian Gulf that same year.
By the late 1980s, Achilles career was coming to an end. In 1989 she joined the Dartmouth Training Squadron, and in a busy year became the first Royal Navy warship to visit East Germany as well as hosting a dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the River Plate. In January 1990 Achilles decommissioned, ending her eventful career, though only with the Royal Navy. However, the name Achilles lives on as TS Achilles, the Trowbridge branch of the Sea Cadet Corps. Sold to Chilean Navy in 1991, she served until 2006 with the name Ministro Zenteno. From 2006 until late February 2010 she was in reserve.
On 27 February 2010 a tsunami associated with the 2010 Chile earthquake washed her several nautical miles from her berth in the Talcahuano naval base, towards the coastal city of Dichato. In March 2010, the Chilean Navy decided to sink the ship to ensure free navigation in the area where the ship had ran aground. The mission was performed by the crew of the offshore patrol vessel Piloto Pardo.
|1978||1979||Commander M F Bird RN|
|1984||1986||Commander A S Ritchie RN|
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Marriot, Leo, 1983. Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983, Ian Allen Ltd. ISBN 07110 1322 5
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