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HMS Scott (H131)
HMS Scott H131.jpg
HMS Scott passing the Statue of Liberty in New York
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Scott
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: 20 January 1995[1]
Builder: Appledore Shipbuilders, Bideford (Subcontracted from BAeSEMA)
Launched: 13 October 1996[1]
Commissioned: 30 June 1997[1]
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Identification: Pennant number: H131
International callsign: GCUP
Maritime Mobile Service Identity number: 233844000
IMO number: 9127289[2]
Status: in active service, as of 2022
Badge: File:HMS Scott crest.jpg
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Scott-class ocean survey vessel[3]
Displacement: 13,500 tons full load
Length: 131.1 m (430 ft)
Beam: 21.5 m (71 ft)
Draught: 8.3 m (27 ft)
  • 2 × Krupp MaK 9M32 9-cylinder diesel engines
  • Single shaft with controllable pitch propeller
  • Retractable bow thruster
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 63
(42 onboard at any time)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Kelvin Hughes ARPA 1626, I-band navigation radar
  • Sonar Array Sounding System (SASS)
  • Proton Magnetometer
  • Sonar 2090 ocean environment sensor
  • SASS IV multibeam depth-sounder

HMS Scott is an ocean survey vessel of the Royal Navy, and the only vessel of her class. She is the third Royal Navy ship to carry the name, and the second to be named after the Antarctic explorer, Robert Falcon Scott. She was ordered to replace the survey ship HMS Hecla.[1]


She was ordered from BAeSEMA in 1995 to replace the ageing HMS Hecla. She was built at the Appledore Shipbuilders in North Devon and launched on 13 October 1996 by Mrs Carolyn Portillo,[4] wife of Michael Portillo, the then-Secretary of State for Defence. She was commissioned on 20 June 1997. Not only is she the largest vessel in the Royal Navy's Hydrographic Squadron, and the fifth largest in the entire fleet, but she is also the largest survey vessel in Western Europe.


Scott is the Royal Navy's only ocean survey vessel.[5] She can remain at sea for up to 300 days a year, thanks to her novel crew rotation system. Her complement of 78 is divided into three sections: two sections are required to keep the ship operational, with the third on shore on leave or in training.[4] When the ship returns to port, one crew section on board is replaced by the section on shore. The ship can then deploy again almost immediately. As with all of the Royal Navy's large survey vessels, Scott has an auxiliary role in support of mine countermeasure vessels.[1]


In February 2005 Scott surveyed the seabed around the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which varies in depth between 1,000 m (3,300 ft) and 5,000 m (16,000 ft). The survey, conducted using a high-resolution, multi-beam sonar system, revealed that the earthquake had made a huge impact on the topography of the seabed.

In September 2006, Scott was granted the Freedom of the City of Swansea.[6] From August 2008 until June 2009 Scott was refitted in Portsmouth.[7]

HMS Scott at anchor near Port Lockroy in the Antarctic

On 26 October 2009[7] and again on 25 November 2010[8] Scott deployed to the South Atlantic and Antarctic to cover for the non-availability of the Royal Navy icebreaker HMS Endurance.[9]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005. Jane's Information Group Limited. p. 815. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
  2. "HMS Scott at". Retrieved 2011-06-20. 
  3. "HMS Scott at". Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "HMS Scott". Royal Navy. Retrieved 2008-11-15. [dead link]
  5. "HMS Scott". Royal Navy. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "HMS Scott accepts Freedom of the City - City and County of Swansea website". Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "HMS Scott: The Journey to the Ends of the Earth". Royal Navy. 28 Oct 09. Retrieved 2009-11-10. [dead link]
  8. "Scott takes Pole position again". Navy News. Retrieved 2011-02-11. [dead link]
  9. "HMS Scott deploys to Antarctic". Royal Navy. 29 Oct 09.*/changeNav/6568. Retrieved 2009-11-10. [dead link]
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 "HMS Scott Affiliations". Royal Navy. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 

External links

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