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HMS Ajax (F114)
File:HMS Ajax (F114).png
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Ajax
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Cammell Laird
Laid down: 12 October 1959
Launched: 16 August 1962
Commissioned: 10 December 1963
Decommissioned: 31 May 1985
Identification: Pennant number: F114
Fate: Scrapped 1988
General characteristics
Class & type: Leander-class frigate
Displacement: 2,450 tons standard
2,860 tons full load
Length: 372 ft (113 m)
Beam: 41 ft (12 m)
Draught: 18 ft (5 m)
Propulsion: 2 × Babcock and Wilcox 550psi boilers
2 × English Electric steam turbines
Speed: 30 knots
Range: 5,300 nmi at 12 knots
Complement: 251 as built, 257 after Ikara refit
Armament: As built:
2 × Vickers 4.5"(114 mm) gun in Mk6 turret (1 × 2)
2 × 40mm Bofors guns (2 × 1)
1 × Mk10 Limbo Anti-Submarine mortar
After Ikara refit:
2 × 40mm Bofors guns (2 × 1)
1 × Mk10 Limbo AS mortar
1 × Ikara AS rocket
8 × GWS22 Sea Cat (2 × 4)
Aircraft carried: 1 × Wasp helicopter

HMS Ajax was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was built by the famous Cammell Laird company of Birkenhead. Ajax was launched on 16 August 1962 and commissioned on 10 December 1963. She was originally intended to be named HMS Fowey, and laid down as a Rothesay class, but instead became part of Batch 1 of the Leander class.

Service history

In 1964, Ajax deployed to the Far East, becoming leader of the 23rd Escort Squadron. It was a long deployment, and she did not return to the UK until 1968. In 1970, Ajax became the Gibraltar guard ship, a required deployment at that time due to the tense fears of invasion by General Franco. Later that year, Ajax began modernisation that lasted to 1973, having her 4.5 inch turret replaced by an Ikara anti-submarine missile system. A pair of quadruple GWS22 SeaCat launchers were fitted aft and 40 mm guns were mounted amidships.

In 1974, she assisted in the evacuation of British citizens after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. In 1976, while on a visit to Canada, Ajax visited the town of Ajax, Ontario, which had been named in honour of her predecessor, the Leander-class cruiser Ajax made famous by the Battle of the River Plate during the Second World War. The 'new' Ajax was granted the freedom of the city.

In 1977, Ajax underwent a refit at Devonport Dockyard, deploying in 1979 to the Mediterranean. In 1980, she underwent a refit at Gibraltar which was completed in 1981. That year, Ajax became leader of the 1st Frigate Squadron. She did not take part in the 1982 Falklands War , but was deployed as Persian Gulf guard ship; she later completed a 4 month deployment around the Falklands as part of the South Atlantic Protection Force in 1984. She participated in further deployments that culminated in the highlight of her final year in 1985, when she escorted the HMY Britannia, which took a number of the Royal Family on a tour of Italy.


She was decommissioned 31 May 1985, then replaced HMS Salisbury as a static training ship at Devonport. On 3 August 1988, Ajax arrived at Millom, Cumbria to be broken up. Her anchor is now located in Ajax, Ontario.

Commanding officers

From To Captain
1963 1965 Captain The Hon D P Seely RN
1965 1967 Captain Gordon Tait DSC RN
197? 1978 Captain A L Bird RN
1978 1979 Captain M J F Rawlinson RN
1979 1983 Captain Jeremy Michael Porter RN



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