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HMS Newcastle (D87)
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Newcastle
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Swan Hunter, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Laid down: 21 February 1973
Launched: 24 April 1975
Commissioned: 23 March 1978
Decommissioned: 1 February 2005
Identification: Pennant number: D87
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class & type: Type 42 destroyer
Displacement: 4,820 tonnes
Length: 125 m (410 ft)
Beam: 14.3 m (47 ft)
Draught: 5.8 m (19 ft)
Propulsion: COGOG (Combined Gas or Gas) turbines, 2 shafts
4 Rolls-Royce (2 Olympus TM3B and 2 Tyne) producing 36 MW
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Complement: 287–312
Aircraft carried: Lynx HMA8

The eighth HMS Newcastle was a batch 1 Type 42 destroyer of the Royal Navy, launched in 1975. Newcastle was decommissioned on 1 February 2005.

Operational Service

In November 1997, Newcastle made her way to the Caribbean to assume duties as West Indies guard ship. This deployment was concerned primarily with counter narcotics operations and saw the ship embark a US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) under the command of US Coast Guard District 7 in Miami. Throughout the eight months of the "WIGS" deployment Newcastle rendered assistance to the Governor and people of the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat following a devastating volcanic eruption.[Note 1] Newcastle re-entered Portsmouth Naval Base on 10 July 1998.

In 1999, Newcastle escorted the aircraft carrier Invincible during the Kosovo War, in which Invincible performed with distinction, launching precise and deadly attacks on Serbian targets. Newcastle took part in six-month Atlantic Patrol Deployment in 2002. During this deployment, she visited Sierra Leone to display the continuing UK commitment to that country. Despite speculation that four Type 42s would be either decommissioned or mothballed, Newcastle deployed to the Mediterranean in January 2004 for a 7-month tour of duty.

Decommissioning and disposal

It was announced in July 2004, as part of the Delivering Security in a Changing World review, that Newcastle would be decommissioned in January 2005. Newcastle was decommissioned on 1 February 2005 and placed into inactive reserve. Whilst sitting out at Fareham Creek she was cannibalised heavily to keep the remaining Type 42 destroyers running. On 21 November 2008 Newcastle left Portsmouth for the last time for Aliağa, Turkey under tow of the tug Lore. Demolition took place in the same yard which was scrapping the Tuxedo Princess, a former ferry and floating nightclub that had been berthed underneath the Tyne Bridge.

Commanding officers

From To Captain
1977 1979 Captain Julian Oswald RN
1978 1980 ?


Newcastle was the adopted ship of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. Her captain and crew were awarded the freedom of the city, and she was often referred to as the "Geordie Gunboat".

Newcastle with Cardiff in the background in 2007, in Portsmouth Harbour


  1. Liverpool had been the first ship to come to the aid of the people of Montserrat.


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