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HMS Sutherland (F81)
HMS Sutherland (F81).JPG
HMS Sutherland at Dartmouth, September 2007
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Sutherland
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: January 1992
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 14 October 1993
Launched: 9 March 1996
Sponsored by: Lady Christina Walmsley
Commissioned: 4 July 1997
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Motto: Sans peur
"Without fear"
Status: in active service, as of 2022
Badge: File:HMS Sutherland badge.gif
General characteristics
Class & type: Type 23 Frigate
Displacement: 4,900 tonnes, standard[1]
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), HMS Sutherland achieved 34.4 knots (63.7 km/h; 39.6 mph) during high-speed trials (November 2008)
Range: 14,485 kilometres (9,001 mi) 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
  • HMS Sutherland is a Type 23 frigate of the British Royal Navy. She is the thirteenth ship in the Duke class of frigates and is the third ship to bear the name, more than 200 years since the name was last used.

    She was launched in 1996 by Lady Christina Walmsley, wife of Sir Robert Walmsley KCB. Before this occasion, Royal Navy ships had always been launched with a bottle of champagne, but Lady Walmsley broke with tradition and used a bottle of Macallan Whiskey.[2]

    There is a keen golfing community on-board, and the crew sometimes use the facilities of their affiliate golf course in the Royal Burgh of Dornoch.[3]

    Operational history

    She was deployed to the Falkland Islands in the winter 1998/1999. In 2000, she was part of the task force{{{amt}}} NTG2000, the first time Royal Navy ships have circumnavigated the globe since 1986.[4] In December 2007, major upgrades worth ₤35 million were announced making Sutherland the "most powerful frigate in the fleet".[5] The upgrades included Sonar 2087, an upgrade to Seawolf, an improvement to the 4.5 inch gun to allow it to fire long-range ammunition, and a reshaped stern to cut fuel use.[6] She was due to be given the freedom of the county of Sutherland but had her visit cut short, with "operational commitments" as the given reason.[7] This was eventually revealed as her deployment as part of the UK Response Force Task Group's (RFTG) first deployment, named COUGAR' 11.[8] In May 2011, she made a port visit to Patras, Greece following participation in exercises off Crete,[9] after which she became involved in the operations off the Libyan coast.[10]

    On 16 June 2011, Sutherland visited Souda Bay in Crete to commemorate the 70th anniversay of the Battle of Crete, before sailing to Kalamata in Greece to conduct further World War II memorials.[11] On 24 July 2011 HMS Sutherland returned to the coast of Libya as part of Operation Ellamy.[12]

    On 18 October 2011 HMS Sutherland passed through Tower Bridge in London and docked next to HMS Belfast, returning through the bridge on 22 October 2011.[13]

    In 2012, she was part of the COUGAR 12 task group.[14]

    She is due to participate in Exercise Joint Warrior 2013.[15]


    • The Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland
    • County of Sutherland
    • Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Livery
    • Sherborne School, CCF
    • Clifton College, Bristol CCF's
    • TS Grenville, Paisley (Sea Cadets)
    • TS Duchess, Biggleswade (Sea Cadets)
    • The Royal Dornoch Golf Club


    1. "Type 23 Frigates". Royal Navy. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
    2. "Background on HMS Sutherland: Ship's Life Began with a Wee Dram". Navy News. [dead link]
    3. "HMS Sutherland strikes the right note at Royal Dornoch". Golf Business News. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
    4. [1][dead link]
    5. "HMS SUTHERLAND will emerge from Rosyth as 'Navy's most powerful frigate'". Shipping Times. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
    6. "HMS Sutherland gets upgrade". The Engineer. 7 December 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
    7. "HMS Sutherland's visit cut for operational reasons". BBC News. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
    8. "UK: Royal Navy Ships Set Sail to Mediterranean and Middle East". 8 April 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
    9. "HMS Sutherland Visits Greece". Royal Navy. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
    10. [2][dead link]
    11. Royal Navy. "Sutherland Pays Tribute To The Fallen Of Crete And Greece". Noodls. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
    12. Ministry of Defence (27 July 2011). "HMS Sutherland begins boarding operations off Libya". Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
    13. "Royal Navy fighting clan returns from Libya for Capital Engagement". Royal Navy. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
    14. "HMS Sutherland". Royal Navy. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 

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