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HMS Active (F171)
HMS Active
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Active
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Vosper Thornycroft
Laid down: 23 July 1971
Launched: 23 November 1972
Commissioned: 19 July 1977
Decommissioned: 23 September 1994
Identification: Pennant number: F171
Motto: Festina lente
(Latin: "Hasten slowly")
Fate: Sold to Pakistan on 23 September 1994
Career (Pakistan) Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg
Name: PNS Shah Jahan
Operator: Pakistan Navy
Acquired: 23 September 1994
Status: in active service, as of 2022
General characteristics
Class & type: Type 21 frigate
Displacement: 3,250 tons full load
Length: 384 ft (117 m)
Beam: 41 ft 9 in (12.73 m)
Draught: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)

2 × Rolls-Royce Olympus gas turbines

2 × Rolls-Royce Tyne RM1A gas turbines for cruising
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h)
Range: 4,000 nautical miles at 17 knots (7,400 km at 31 km/h)
1,200 nautical miles at 30 knots (2,220 km at 56 km/h)
Complement: 177
Armament: RN:
1 × 4.5 inch (114 mm) Mark 8 naval gun
2 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
4 × MM38 Exocet missiles
1 × quadruple Sea Cat SAMs
2 × triple ASW torpedo tubes
2 × Corvus chaff launchers
1 × Type 182 towed decoy
1 × 4.5 inch (114 mm) Mark 8 naval gun
2 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
1 × LY-60N missile launcher
2 × triple ASW torpedo tubes
2 × Mark 36 SRBOC chaff launchers
1 × Type 182 towed decoy
Aircraft carried: 1 × Westland Wasp helicopter, later refitted for 1 × Lynx

HMS Active was a Type 21-class frigate of the Royal Navy. Built by Vosper Thornycroft, Southampton, England, she was completed with Exocet launchers in 'B' position, the first of the class to be so fitted.

Royal Navy service

Active participated in the Falklands War, including firing on Argentine positions during the Battle of Mount Tumbledown. By the mid-1980s, in common with the other surviving Type 21s, Active suffered from hull cracking. When the ship was next refitted steel plating was welded along each side of the ship to repair and reinforce the weak points. At the same time modifications were made to reduce hull noise. Between 1978 and 1979 her captain was Commander M. C. Gordon-Lennox.[citation needed]

Pakistan Navy service

Active decommissioned and was sold to Pakistan on 23 September 1994, being renamed Shah Jahan. Exocet was not transferred to Pakistan and Shah Jahan had her obsolete Sea Cat launcher removed. A Chinese LY 60N missile launcher was fitted in place of the Exocet launchers. Signaal DA08 air search radar replaced the Type 992 and SRBOC chaff launchers and 20 mm and 30 mm guns were fitted.

Her flag was recently sold on the BBC programme Bargain Hunt. Shah Jahan remains in service with the Pakistan Navy. Between 11–21 May 2008, Shah Jahan participated in Exercise Inspired Union, an multi-national exercises in the North Arabian Sea. Other Pakistani warships included the frigate Badr and the replenishment tanker Nasr, as well as the Pakistan Air Force explosive ordnance disposal team, and the American destroyers Curts and Ross.[1]

Commanding officers

From To Captain
1976 1979 Commander Anthony R H Rogers
1979 1980 Commander M C Gordon-Lennox RN
1980 1981 Commander Peter M Franklyn
1981 1982 Commander Paul C B Canter
1983 1985 Commander Anthony J C Morrow
1986 1988 Captain Ian D G Garnett (capt 4th frigate sqaudron)
1988 1989 Captain Paul C B Canter (capt 4th frigate sqaudron)
1990 1991 Captain Michael A Johnson (capt 4th frigate squadron)
1991 1993 Captain Anthony J C Morrow (capt 4th frigate squadron)
1993 1994 Captain Christopher R Beagley (capt 4th frigate squadron)

See also

  • Bristol Group


  1. Lt. (j.g.) Bryan Boggs, USN (6 June 2008). "USS Curts, Pakistani Navy Participate in Officer Exchange Program". NNS080602-12. Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 


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