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HMS Galatea (F18)
File:HMS Galatea (Leander-class frigate).jpg
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Galatea (F18)
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Swan Hunter
Laid down: 29 December 1961
Launched: 23 May 1963
Commissioned: 25 April 1964
Decommissioned: 31 January 1987
Motto: Nobis Mare Patria
Fate: Sunk as target, 21 July 1988
General characteristics
Class & type: Leander class frigate
Displacement: 2,450 tons
Length: 372 ft (113 m)
Beam: 41 ft (12 m)
Draught: 18 ft (5 m)
Propulsion: Twin oil-fired steam turbines, 30,000 HP (22 MW)
Speed: 30 knots maximum
Range: 8519km (4600nm)
Complement: 251 (257 after Ikara upgrade)
Armament: Twin 4.5 inch (114 mm) guns (subsequently replaced by Ikara anti-submarine missile launcher)
2 × 40 mm anti-aircraft guns
Limbo antisubmarine mortar
Aircraft carried: Wasp helicopter

HMS Galatea (F18) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham on the Tyne. She was launched on 23 May 1963 and commissioned on 25 April 1964 and was the 8th ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name,[1] she was also nicknamed the "Black Pig".

First Deployments

Upon her commission, Galatea was immediately stationed in the Mediterranean. The following year, Galatea was involved in exercises in that region, and in 1966 joined the 27th Escort Group which were also based in the Mediterranean. Later that year, Galatea returned to United Kingdom waters when she joined the Home Fleet, a fleet soon to be consigned to the history books. In 1968, Galatea was present with HMS Dainty in West Germany during the Kiel Week event, which combines a yachting race and festival entertainment. In the same year she took part in Portmouth 'Navy Days'.[2]

Refitting & Cod Wars

In 1971, Galatea began a period of refit and modernisation, which included the installation of the Ikara[3] and Sea Cat weapons systems. The refit was completed in 1974. The following year, Galatea was engaged in operations during the Third Cod War with Iceland, patrolling against possible aggression towards British fishing trawlers. In 1976, the Icelandic gunboat Baldur rammed Galatea.

Galatea's Last Decade

In 1977, Galatea underwent a refit before participating in a Fleet Review, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. Galatea, leader of the 1st Frigate Squadron, was positioned between her sister-ship HMS Phoebe and the cruiser HMS Blake.[4]

In 1978, Galatea returned to the Mediterranean, where a number of patrols and exercises were undertaken. Much of 1980 was spent in the Far East, but a planned nine-month deployment ended with the start of the Iran-Iraq War. In 1981, Galatea refitted in Gibraltar before deploying to the Persian Gulf on Armilla Patrol, where she remained until about 1983. The frigate decommissioned in January 1987 and was sunk as a target in July 1988, as part of naval exercises in the North Atlantic.[5]

Commanding officers

From To Captain
1964 1964 Captain R F Plugge DSC RN
1968 1968 Captain R D MacDonald CBE RN
1974 1977 Captain Gutterbuck RN
1977 1977 Captain D B Nolan RN
1978 1979 Captain A R Barnden RN


  1. "Unit History: HMS Galatea Copyright ©2012:". Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  2. Programme, Navy Days at Portsmouth August 31st-September 2nd 1968, p.19.
  3. "F18 HMS Galatea". Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  4. Official Souvenir Programme, 1977. Silver Jubilee Fleet Review, HMSO
  5. "Leander Class". Retrieved 14 December 2012. 


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