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HMS Sabre (P285)
Defence Images file 45153357 - HMS Sabre.jpg
HMS Sabre escorting Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth into Gibraltar.
Career (UK)
Name: MV Grey Wolf
Operator: Royal Marines
Builder: VT Halmatic, Southampton
Commissioned: January 1993
Out of service: September 2002
Homeport: Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland
Fate: Transferred to Royal Navy
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Sabre
Operator: Royal Navy
Acquired: September 2002
Commissioned: 31 January 2003
Homeport: Gibraltar
Identification: Pennant number: P285
Status: in active service, as of 2022
General characteristics
Class & type: Scimitar-class patrol vessel
Displacement: 24 tonnes (24 long tons)
Length: 16 m (52 ft 6 in)
Beam: 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)
Draught: 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in)
Propulsion: 2 × MAN 2480LXE diesels, 2 shafts
Speed: 30 knots (35 mph; 56 km/h)
Range: 260 nmi (480 km) at 19 kn (35 km/h)
Complement: 7 (1 officer, 6 ratings)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Racal-Decca Bridgemaster 360, I band navigation radar
Armament: 2 × L7 7.62 mm stern-mounted GPMGs

HMS Sabre is a Scimitar-class fast patrol boat of the British Royal Navy. She was commissioned into the Gibraltar Squadron on 31 January 2003 (along with her sister Scimitar), and is used for police, customs and rescue purposes.[1] The two boats allowed the two Archer-class patrol vessels of the squadron, Trumpeter and Ranger, to be reassigned to the Cyprus Squadron in April 2003 and April 2004 respectively.

MV Grey Wolf

The boat had previously been used in Northern Ireland since 1993 as MV Grey Wolf[2][3] and was based in Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland where she was manned by Royal Marines.[4]

April 2009 Incident

On Friday 10 April 2009 a vessel from Spain's Civil Guard Police force entered Gibraltar territorial waters unannounced and approached the area near Gibraltar Airport.[5] HMS Sabre approached, and there was no response from the Spanish vessel. It was warned to leave the territorial waters, and after consulting with its superiors it did so. However, accounts vary between the Royal Navy and the Spanish versions. The Royal Navy states that its guns were armed at the time, however the Spanish accounts state that the guns were specifically pointed at the Spanish vessel. In addition, Spanish MP Jose Ignacio Landaluce from the People's Party has vowed to take up the issue in Parliament. He said Spain "would not allow a Civil Guard vessel to be expelled from its own home".


  1. "Gibraltar Squadron - Introduction and History". Royal Navy website. Retrieved 2008-11-23. , which gives the former name of this boat as Greywolf
  2. "HMS Sabre". Royal Navy website. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  3. Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.  gives the former name of HMS Sabre as HMS Grey Fox, in contradiction to the MOD website which says that MV Grey Fox was the former name of HMS Scimitar
  4. "The sharp side of the Rock". Navy News. Royal Navy. April 2007. pp. 12. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  5. Navy confronts Spain near Gibraltar

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