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HMS Argyll (F231)
HMS Argyll MOD 45151413.jpg
Argyll in 2009
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Argyll
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: September 1986
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 20 March 1987
Launched: 8 April 1989
Commissioned: 31 May 1991
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Identification: Pennant number: F231
International callsign: GACG[1]
Motto: Ne Obliviscaris
"Lest We Forget"
Status: in active service, as of 2022
Badge: Ship's badge
General characteristics
Class & type: Type 23 Frigate
Displacement: 4,900 tonnes, standard[2]
Length: 133 m (436 ft 4 in)
Beam: 16.1 m (52 ft 10 in)
Draught: 7.3 m (23 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: CODLAG with four 1510 kW (2,025 shp) Paxman Valenta 12CM diesel generators powering two GEC electric motors delivering 2980kW (4000 shp) and two Rolls-Royce Spey SM1A delivering 23,190 kW (31,100 shp) to two shafts
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range: 9,000 miles (14,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 185
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • 4 x 6-barrel Seagnat decoy launchers
  • DFL2/3 offboard decoys
  • Anti-air missiles:
  • Anti-ship missiles:
  • Anti-submarine torpedoes:
  • Guns:
  • Aircraft carried:

    Lynx HMA8, armed with;

    • Sea Skua anti ship missiles, or
    • 2× anti submarine torpedoes

    Westland Merlin HM1, armed with;

    • 4× anti submarine torpedoes
    Aviation facilities:
  • Flight deck
  • Enclosed hangar
  • The third and current HMS Argyll is a Type 23 'Duke' Class frigate. She is currently the oldest serving Type 23 frigate in the Royal Navy.


    HMS Argyll was laid down in March 1987 by Yarrow Shipbuilders at Glasgow, launched in 1989 by Lady Wendy Levene, and commissioned in May 1991. Argyll is currently based at Devonport Dockyard. It is planned that she will retire in 2023.[3]


    In 2000, Argyll was part of the Royal Navy task force - Task Group 342.01 - — comprising Illustrious, Ocean, Iron Duke, Chatham, and four RFA ships — that deployed to Sierra Leone during the civil war there. During those operations, Argyll acted as the West African Guardship and remained off West Africa until September 2000. During her deployment, Argyll saved fifty-eight lives from drowning. She was relieved by her sister-ship Iron Duke in September.[4] During this incident Argyll, assisted by HMS Ocean, laid the foundation for the Iron Duke Community School. This is a school for orphans in Freetown. President Kabbah of Sierra Leone decreed the school be named after the crew of Iron Duke for completing the construction of the six classrooms.[5]

    2001 saw a change in command with Commander John Kingwell succeeding Commander Rick Wellesley.[6] In 2001, while in the Bay of Biscay, Argyll suffered an electrical fire that was quickly put out by the ship's damage control team, with the ship suffering only minimal damage.[7]

    Argyll completed a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf protecting two oil platforms, working with the American, Australian and Iraqi Navies from February to August 2005.[8] The ship made a short visit to Boulogne, then to its home port of Inveraray and finally to Liverpool,[9] before undergoing Operational Sea Trials. Argyll successfully completed Operational Sea Training and acted as a contingency platform whilst H.M. Elizabeth II spent a week sailing on the Hebridean Princess in July 2006.

    In September 2006 Argyll was deployed along with other ships such as Ocean and Albion where she completed two drugs raids on merchant ships totalling £50 million. They |completed their operation in November of the same year.

    HMS Argyll was in the newspapers for all the wrong reasons on 14 September 2007 when it was claimed that 41-year-old commanding officer Captain Nigel Chandler was replaced when the ship failed twice to pass the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) exercises. These exercises are taken every 18 months to ensure the ship and crew are ready for deployment.[10] In October 2007 Argyll returned to the Persian Gulf to take over from her sister-ship, Richmond.[11]

    Thursday 3 April 2008 saw more than 500 friends and relatives welcome HMS Argyll as she returned to her home at Devonport after a deployment lasting 6 months in the Northern Persian Gulf. This was the Argyll's second Gulf deployment to Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 in three years. This deployment included one patrol which lasted 52 days from January to March 2008. HMS Argyll was also at the 'Meet Your Navy' exhibition at HMNB Portsmouth 2008.[12][13]

    6 May 2008 saw the crew return to Argyll, with the crew bidding their commanding officer of 7 months, Commander Gavin Pritchard, a fond farewell. Pritchard was succeeded by Commander Peter Olive. Argyll was then to engage in a period of trials and training before entering a period of maintenance in June.[14]

    11 May 2008 saw the Trans-Atlantic solo yacht race in Plymouth Sound started by the ceremonial cannon aboard Argyll. Dame Ellen MacArthur also attended the start of the race and Rear Admiral Richard Ibbotson, head of the Flag Officer Sea Training organisation, was also on board Argyll.[15][16]

    On 21 July 2008 Argyll led the parade of tall ships out of Liverpool ahead of the Tall Ships Race starting 23 July.

    On 18 February 2009, Argyll sailed from Devonport as part of the Taurus 09 deployment under Commander UK Amphibious Task Group, Commodore Peter Hudson, She is joined on this deployment by Landing Platform Dock Bulwark, as Hudson's flagship, Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) Ocean, Type 23 Frigate Somerset and four ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.[17] Argyll returned to Devonport on 17 April from this deployment.[18]

    In early October 2010, the Argyll and her crew arrived in Plymouth last week after an 11-month refit which included 290,000-man-hours spent on modifications, upgrades and improvements."[19] She has received a new command system, upgrades to Sea Wolf, the Mod1 4.5-inch (114mm) gun, and mounts for new small calibre guns.[19] She was also given new boat-launching equipment.[19] "The refit included the replacing of two of the vessel's four diesel generators and one of her gas turbine engines."[19] Her ventilation system has been improved.[19] "Along with fresh paint on the upper decks she has been coated below the waterline with a special paint to prevent the build-up of sea life which would slow the ship. This also makes her more fuel-efficient."[19] "HMS Argyll is the first Type 23 frigate to undergo a second major refit."[19] As of March 2011, the Argyll was in post refit sea training. Commander Paul Stroude has been the commanding officer of Argyll since May 2010.

    HMS Argyll off Senegal, in 2013.

    On Sunday 22 January 2012 it was announced that Argyll was part of a six-ship convoy which sailed through the Strait of Hormuz alongside French and United States Navy vessels, during a diplomatic dispute with Iran.[20] In a period after this she engaged in Exercise ‘Goalkeeper’ whilst still in the Middle East.[21]

    On 30 June 2012, Armed Forces Day, she fired the salute in Plymouth as part of a steampast alongside RFA Mounts Bay, the Earl of Wessex was in attendance alongside the First Sea Lord.[22][23]

    In 2013, she is off on a seven month deployment to the Atlantic, having visited South Africa.[24] She also engaged in counter-narcotics work in the Eastern Pacific by travelling around Cape Horn and is headed back to her home port via the Panama Canal.[25][26]



    School Crest of the Dollar Academy, affiliate of HMS Argyll.

    • City of Glasgow
    • Worshipful Company of Paviors
    • Plymouth Argyle F.C.
    • Lady Levene, the ship's sponsor
    • HMS Vivid RNR
    • Royal Naval Club, Argyll
    • Royal Naval Association Stirling
    • TS Argyll Irvine & District Sea Cadets
    • City of London Sea Cadets
    • Kelly College, Devon
    • Dollar Academy, Clackmannanshire
    • High School of Glasgow
    • Argyll Ward, Derriford Hospital[27]


    1. "Royal Navy Bridge Card, February 2009". Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
    3. "Daily Hansard - Written Answers to Questions". UK Parliament. 6 September 2012. 
    4. "Summer 2000: Duties In Sierra Leone.". The Worshipful Company of Paviors. 28 November 2000. 
    5. "Iron Duke completes 33,000-mile voyage.". Navy news newspaper. 26 February 2001. 
    6. "March 2001: New Captain in Command.". The Worshipful Company of Paviors. 31 March 2001. 
    7. "Fire on board HMS Argyll.". Navy news newspaper. 3 April 2001. 
    8. "August 2005: In Home Waters.". The Worshipful Company of Paviors. 24 August 2005. 
    9. "HMS Argyll Arrives on Merseyside". Irish Sea Shipping. Retrieved 3 November 2009. 
    10. "Navy sacks Captain Calamity.". News Group Newspapers Ltd. 14 September 2007. 
    12. "Warm Welcome for HMS Argyll’s Return to Devonport.". Royal Navy. 31 March 2008. 
    13. "Hundreds Cheer HMS Argyll Home To the UK.". Royal Navy. 3 April 2008. 
    14. "HMS Argyll Returns to Work.". Royal Navy. 3 April 2008. 
    15. "HMS Argyll Starts Trans-Atlantic Yacht Race.". Royal Navy. 9 May 2008. 
    16. "HMS Argyll Launches Trans-Atlantic Yacht Race.". Royal Navy. 12 May 2008. 
    17. Royal Navy Website,
    18. Royal Navy Website,*/changeNav/6568
    19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 "HMS Argyll arrives home following major refit". Ministry of Defence. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
    20. "Iran escalation 'could see UK forces sent to Gulf". BBC News. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
    27. Affiliations : HMS Argyll : Type 23 Frigates : Surface Fleet : Operations and Support : Royal Navy

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