This text ruthlessly plundered
from Jeremy Olver's Warship
site. Researched and © Jeremy Olver.
Leander Class General Purpose Frigate
(Type 12 Improved)
The 1951 frigate programme resulted in
four types of specialised frigate: anti submarine (Type 12), anti-aircraft
(Type 41), aircraft direction (Type 61) and utility (Type 16). However
there was a clear requirement for a class of general purpose frigate.
A standardised design would not only be cheaper to construct and operate
but the multi-rôle capability would make operational deployments easier.
This requirement was partly fulfilled by the Tribal Class, although these vessels had insufficient
armament and speed to act in an escort role and were consequently employed
mainly in the Far East and at foreign stations. Plans to build further
Tribal class frigates were abandoned in favour of modifying the Type 12
Design work on updating the Type 12 design began in 1958.
Whilst the hull and machinery of the Whitby Class and Rothesay Class Type 12 frigates remained largely unchanged,
the superstructure was redesigned as a single block and incorporated a
helicopter hanger. Internally air conditioned, the modified vessels would
have better living and working conditions than their predecessors and
would be more resistant to nuclear and chemical warfare. For example,
they were built without portholes. With a standard displacement of 2,450
tons they would measure 37ft in length, 41ft in beam and 18ft in draught.
Powered by two Babcock and Wilcox boilers they were designed for a speed
of 30kts and a complement of 251. The armament was tailored to suit their
general purpose role. They would carry 4.5 inch Mk6 twin mounting while
for close range air defence they were designed to carry a Seacat launcher
on the hanger roof. Anti submarine defence would consist of a single Mk10
three barrelled Limbo Anti Submarine mortar mounted aft of the flight
deck, and the Westland Wasp Helicopter. Design features from the County
Class Destroyers were also incorporated including a bridge that provided
better visibility and hydraulic power systems to drive the Seacat lifts
and various winches. This feature also reduced the manpower needed on
deck to operate the Leander Class. The Leander Class design was noted
for strong performance in poor weather and heavy seas. This was made possible
through twin rudders, twin propellers and non-retractable fin stabilisers.
In 1960 the Admiralty announced that three Rothesay class
vessels would be completed to a Leander design and subsequently Weymouth,
Fowey and Hastings, were converted whilst under construction and completed
as Leander, Ajax and Dido, respectively. A fifth unit of the Salisbury Class, originally laid down as Coventry,
was completed as fourth Leander, Penelope. Orders for Aurora, Euryalus
and Galatea were placed in 1961 followed by a further three - Arethusa,
Naiad and Cleopatra - the following year. Six additional units ordered
between autumn 1962 and early 1963 formed a slightly modified second batch,
of which the main difference was an improved engine room design with new
machinery (Y-136 as opposed to Y-100). The design was revised again resulting
in a third batch of ten ships, ordered between 1965 and 1968. These vessels
had improved propulsion (Y-160) but more importantly were 43ft in beam,
which improved stability and increased internal space. They were correspondingly
referred to as Broad Beam Leanders.
The final Leander Class Frigate, Ariadne, entered service
in 1971. The class, now consisting of 26 vessels, was the largest class
of major warship built for the Royal Navy since the end of the Second
World War. The building programme had lasted thirteen years and provided
work for over a dozen shipbuilders. The construction programme was also
the last to incorporate Royal Dockyards: HMS Andromeda was the last warship
built at Portsmouth Dockyard and HMS Scylla the last built at Devonport
Dockyard. The Leander Class bore names of mythological characters from
Greek and Roman mythology, last used for Second World War era cruisers,
thereby emphasising the frigates increasingly important role in
the modern Navy. The design was successfully exported overseas. Four vessels
were built in UK yards: two for New Zealand and two for Chile, while eleven
were built in foreign yards: two for Australia, three for India and six
for the Netherlands.
The scale of the building programme and the period it
spanned, meant that by the time the last vessel entered service the design
was largely outdated, lacking new guided missiles and long range anti
submarine equipment. The first seven vessels hadnt even been completed
with Seacat. In order to avoid obsolescence these vessels required the
latest equipment and technology. As the first Leander Class vessels approached
mid life refits, the 1968 Defence White Paper announced that these vessels
would be equipped with the Australian Ikara Anti Submarine system. For
this to occur the 4.5 inch gun was removed and replaced with the necessary
Ikara equipment. Various electronic equipment, sensors and radars
were also removed or replaced. These changes resulted in what was effectively
an Anti-Submarine specialised frigate. The Ikara conversions were undertaken
in two groups: 1A and 1B, so that lessons learnt from the first 1A conversions
could be incorporated into the 1B vessels. Most of the conversions took
place at Devonport Dockyard although the workload saw Arethusa converted
at Portsmouth and Aurora at Chatham. In total eight batch one vessels
The Batch 2 vessels were similarly redesigned, but not
for Ikara. The decline of the Aircraft Carrier and large calibre guns
diminished the Navys ability to counter the growing Russian surface
fleet. To remedy the situation a 1970 statement on defence policy called
for the surface fleets offensive strike capability to be upgraded.
It was therefore decided to fit the Batch 2 Leander Class frigates with
the French Exocet surface to surface missile. The 4.5 inch gun was removed
and in its place four exocet launchers were added. The limbo mortar was
also removed so the flight deck could be extended to accommodate the new
Lynx helicopter, which required the hanger to be enlarged slightly. The
Lynx was faster than the Wasp and could carry the Sea Skua air to surface
missile. 360° air defence was provided by two quadruple Sea Cat launchers:
one mounted on the hanger, the other on the forecastle. Two Mk9 Bofor
guns were added to the superstructure while 6 torpedo tubes were added
to replaced the limbo, three either side of the hanger. The Exocet conversions
also took place in two distinct groups: 2A and 2B. Finally, the 1981 Defence
Review saw Juno converted into a navigation trials ship, replacing Torquay.
Her weapons and radars were removed and accommodation, classrooms and
Those responsible for planning the Batch 3 upgrade looked
to the new Broadsword Class Type 22 Frigates under construction.
They carried both the Seawolf missile system and the Type 2016 sonar.
The Batch 3 Leanders had been built with a larger beam and were therefore
more accommodating to modernisation. The limbo mortar, Seacat, 4.5 inch
gun and all radars were removed. In their place a sextuplet Seawolf missile
launcher and four exocet missile launchers were added. As with the previous
conversions, most took place at Devonport where the new Frigate Refit
Complex (completed 1977 and spanning Number 5,6 and 7 docks - the largest
covered dock in Europe) enabled all weather work. However during the Falklands
Conflict it meant work on Scylla came to a halt as all attention and effort
at Devonport was switched to converting requisitioned merchant vessels.
Originally all ten Batch 3 vessels were to undergo this upgrade but the
1981 Defence review cancelled the last five conversions on the grounds
of costs. Although this gave the unconverted vessels the advantage of
being able to provide naval gunfire support (NGFS), which had proven especially
useful in the Falklands, they lacked the modern sophisticated equipment
and capabilities of both the converted vessels and the Broadsword Class
Type 22 Frigates. As a result they were largely assigned to training duties
and early disposal.
Unsurprisingly the twenty six Leander Class Frigates made
up the backbone of the Royal Navy in the 1970s and 1980s and had long
and full careers, participating in numerous operations, exercises and
deployments. They frequently represented the UK contribution to various
NATO commitments including Standing Naval force Atlantic and Naval On
Call Force Mediterranean (NAVOCFORMED) and hence were an important part
of Britain Cold War defence. They also served as guardships at Gibraltar,
the West Indies, the Far East and other locations flying the flag
and providing a credible deterrent.
Several Leander Class Frigates also participated in the
Beira Patrol. This was undertaken between 1965 and 1975 and was part of
the economic sanctions imposed following Ian Smiths unilateral declaration
of independence. The patrol was designed to prevent oil from South Africa
reaching Rhodesia through Beira and other Portuguese ports in Mozambique.
The Leander Class also played an active role in the so called Cod
Wars, where they acted as Fishery Protection Vessels and attempted
to protect British trawlers. During these operations numerous skirmishes,
collisions and rammings occurred with Icelandic Gunboats. Leander Class
vessels also undertook the Armilla Patrol on various occasions, and during
the height of the Iran-Iraq war the five Seawolf Leanders made frequent
visits to the Persian Gulf region on order to protect British shipping
passing through the Straits of Hormuz.
Towards the beginning of the 1980s some of the earlier
vessels were beginning to show their age, as was their Ikara missile system.
John Notts notorious 1981 Defence Review placed an increased emphasis
on submarines rather than the surface fleet. Hence the Seawolf Conversion
of the last five Broad beam Leanders was cancelled whilst as part of a
general scale down of the surface fleet some of the older units would
be retired early. Bacchante, Naiad, Dido and Achilles were all earmarked
to enter the Standby Squadron. However the outbreak of the 1982 Falklands
conflict put pay to some of these plans. The Fleets hasty deployment
to the South Atlantic left several gaps in the Navys ability to
operational commitments. Consequently, whilst four Leander Class vessels
participated in the 1982 Falklands war- Andromeda, Minerva, Argonaut and
Penelope- most of the class covered the increased commitments with NATO
or in home waters, including some of those ships destined for reserve
the previous year.
After fighting in the South Atlantic had ended the five
unconverted Broad beam Leanders undertook several Falklands Patrols. For
this they were armed with extra 20mm guns and had their pennant numbers
painted out. Their future was secured in the 1984 Defence Review which,
in the wake of the Falklands, reversed the previous decision to dispose
of them early. However, in 1983 Bacchante and Dido became the first Leanders
to leave Royal Navy service, having been sold to New Zealand to replace
the two ageing Rothesay Class Type 12 Frigates Otago and Taranaki.
During the 1980s a further conversion was carried out
on Phoebe, Argonaut, Cleopatra and Sirius. This saw the addition of the
Type 2031 towed array sonar which had proved extremely successful during
trials on HMS Lowestoft. Batch 1 Leander Arethusa also had this fitted
and at the same time her Ikara was replaced by exocet.
By the late 1980s the age of the Leander Class was resulting
in mechanical and technical problems, which required constant maintenance
to keep the ships fully operational. The Leander Class required excessive
manpower to operate compared to the new Duke Class Frigates entering service, and this was
at a time when the navy was suffering a manpower shortage. Several Leanders
also fell victim to the peace dividend that occurred as the
Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended. This was highlighted by
Tom Kings Options for Change Defence Review, which continued
the downsizing of the surface fleet.
Most vessels were sold for breaking up or used to test
new weapon systems, although some were sold for further service with other
navies. The unmodified Batch 3 vessels were particularly attractive to
foreign customers- without the sophisticated equipment of their converted
sisters, they were less obsolete, less expensive and could be converted
more easily for future use. Consequently Diomede and Apollo were sold
to Pakistan while Achilles and Ariadne were transferred to Chile. In contrast
the remaining Batch One Leanders were more difficult to sell, as their
Australian Ikara missile system could only be sold to Commonwealth Nations.
Hence most were sunk as targets or broken up.
Two vessels, Aurora and Euryalus, were bought by Devonport
Management Ltd (DML) who hoped to refit and resell them to a foreign navy
or failing that, use them as a source of spare parts and equipment for
other Leanders. However the enterprise proved to be unsuccessful and both
vessels were sold for scrap. Increasing health and safety legislation,
low scrap metal prices and increasing competition from Asia has seen the
decline of shipbreaking in Great Britain. Nevertheless Euryalus and Aurora
were broken up at Millom, near Barrow. Other Leanders sold for breaking
up were scrapped abroad, mostly in India.
The last Leander Class vessel in Royal Navy service, Scylla,
paid off in 1992 and joined the last of her sisterships laid up in Fareham
Creek, Portsmouth. Upon the sinking of Sirius in 1998 Scylla has become
the last remaining Leander afloat in British waters.
||Harland & Wolff
||April 10th 1959
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|Batch Three or Broad Beam Leanders
||December 6th 1965
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||Harland & Wolff
||January 27th 1967
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||February 10th 1973
Above: HMS Scylla (F71) armed with Exocet
and Seawolf missiles. She is currently the last remaining Leander afloat
in British waters..© Crown Copyright.
||Leander was originally ordered as the
Rothesay Class frigate Weymouth but was completed as the first
Leander Class vessel. As a result her internal layout differed
slightly from later Leander Class Frigates. In December 1975 Leander
and Galatea undertook a Cod War Fishery Protection
Patrol and on January 6th she collided with the Icelandic Gunboat
Thor. On her return to the UK she lost power in a storm off Scotland.
Later that year Leander undertook a second Cod War Patrol and
on May 22nd was rammed by the Gunboat Ver. In 1982 Leander and
sistership Euryalus were diverted from NATO Exercise Northern
Wedding to aid the Fish Factory Ship, Ave Maria. The two ships
rescued 45 people from the Portuguese vessel, ablaze off Essex
coast. On September 1st 1986 Leander and sistership Galatea paid
off into the Portsmouth Standby Squadron, where they were at 30
days notice. Her Ikara missile system (which Australia forbid
from being sold to non-Commonwealth nations) prevented a possible
sail to Chile. Instead, in early September 1989 Leander left Portsmouth
under tow from RMAS Rollicker and RMAS Powerful. Later that month
she was employed as a target in exercise NATO Sharp Spear, during
which she was struck by a Sea Dart and three exocet missiles before
being sunk by a 1,000lb bomb.
||Nicknamed the White Tornado.
Ajax was originally ordered and laid down as the Rothesay Class
frigate Fowey but was completed as a unit of the Leander Class.
As a result her internal layout differed slightly from later Leander
Class Frigates. In October 1974 Ajax and the Rothesay Class frigate
Rhyl rescued 250 British citizens from Cyprus in the wake of the
Turkish invasion. It was announced in 1984 that Ajax would pay
off the following year. One of her final tasks was to escort the
Royal Yacht Britannia on a tour of Italy by the Prince and Princess
of Wales. Ajax paid off at Devonport on May 31st 1985. After a
sale to Thailand failed to materialise Ajax took over from Salisbury
Class Frigate Salisbury as a static training ship at Devonport
in June 1985. She was replaced by a converted barge in 1987 and
laid up. She subsequently left Devonport on February 15th 1988
and was broken up at Millom.
||Dido was originally ordered and laid
down as the Rothesay Class frigate Hastings but was completed
as a unit of the Leander Class. As a result her internal layout
differed slightly from later Leander Class Frigates. Although
the naming ceremony still went ahead, fog prevented Didos
launch occurring on 21st December 1961 and she took to the water
the following day. On May 16th 1969 Dido attended a Fleet Review
at Spithead to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of NATO. The 1981
Defence Review called for the disposal of some older frigates.
Like her sister ship Bacchante, Dido was paid off and sold to
New Zealand. After a short refit by Vosper Thornycroft she recommissioned
as HMNZS Southland on 18th July 1983. Southland was eventually
decommissioned in 1995, having been replaced by a newer Anzac
||Nick-named 'Penny'. Penelope was originally
ordered and laid down as a fifth unit of the Salisbury Class named
Coventry, but was completed as a unit of the Leander Class. In
March 1966 Penelope began a conversion at Devonport into a Scientific
Trials Ship for the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment.
Her 4.5 inch guns and other weapon systems were mothballed while
the housing for the Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) was plated over.
She was subsequently employed on noise, propeller and towing trials.
In 1972 her 4.5 inch turret was removed altogether at Devonport
Dockyard in order to make room for a wardroom annex for extra
scientific staff. Between 1971 and 1972 she underwent further
trials for Seawolf. In 1977 Penelope was refitted with Exocet
and Sea Cat. Penelope served in the latter stages of the Falklands
War where she was the last ship attacked. She had sailed with
the reinforcement group led by HMS Bristol. Whilst participating
in Exercise Teamwork 88 Penelope collided with HMCS Provider,
a Canadian supply ship and sustained damage to her port side both
above and below the waterline. Penelope was one of several Leanders
sold for further use in South American navies. In 1991 she was
transferred Ecuador and renamed Presidente Eloy Alfaro
||Whilst most of the Leander Conversions
were undertaken at Devonport Dockyard, the large workload saw
Aurora converted at Chatham between 1972 and 1976. On September
19th 1972 Aurora came to the aid of the Jon Eiriksson, a fire
stricken Icelandic Fishing boat, and rescued five crew members.
Although she was scheduled to remain in service until 1988 manpower
problems led to her paying off 1st May 1987. Both she and Euryalus
were eventually sold to DML (Devonport Management Limited) in
the hope of resale to a foreign navy or as a source of spares
for other Leanders On August 1st 1988 she was towed from Portsmouth
to Devonport. However, no buyer could be found and she arrived
at Barrow-in-Furness on July 18th 1990 where she was lightened
before she was beached at Millom on 19th August. On September
6th she moved to a berth at Millom and scrapping commenced by
Duddon Valley Shipbreakers.
||There are reportedly 32 ways of spelling
Euryalus. Present at the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet
Review. In 1982 Euryalus and sistership Leander were diverted
from NATO Exercise Northern Wedding to aid the Fish Factory Ship,
Ave Maria. The two ships rescued 45 people from the Portuguese
vessel, ablaze off Essex coast. Euryalus paid off at Portsmouth
Dockyard along with her sister ship Arethusa in May 1989. She
was purchased by Devonport Management Ltd who hoped to refit and
resell her. In the meantime she was laid up at Fareham Creek.
However no buyer could be found and she was sold for scrap. Euryalus
arrived at Barrow-in-Furness on 26th September 1990. Later taken
to Millom where she was broken up by Duddon Valley Shipbreakers.
||In December 1975 Galatea and Leander
undertook a Cod War Fishery Protection Patrol. On
March 26th 1976 Galatea was rammed by the Icelandic Gunboat Baldur.
In 1977 Galatea became the first Royal Navy vessel to enter No.
7 Dock of the new Frigate Refit Complex at Devonport. Galatea
was captain of the First Frigate Squadron during the 1977 Silver
Jubilee Fleet Review. Paid off with Leander at Portsmouth in August
1986 and entered the Standby Squadron. Remained at Portsmouth
until 13th June 1988 when she towed away by RMAS Rollicker for
use as a target, being sunk eight days later in Exercise JMC 882
in the North Sea.
||Last major warship built for the Royal
Navy by JS White of Cowes. Launched by Lady Hamilton, wife of
Admiral Hamilton. Between March and April 1972 Arethusa participated
in the Beira Patrol. On July 20th 1973 she collided with the Icelandic
Gunboat Odinn whilst on Cod War Fishery Protection
Duties. Present at the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review. In 1985
Arethusa underwent a refit which saw her fitted with a Towed Array
Sonar taken from the scrapped Rothesay Class Frigate HMS Lowestoft.
Arethusa paid off on 4th April 1989 at Portsmouth Dockyard along
with sistership Euryalus. She remained there until June 1st 1991
when, having been gutted internally, she towed out to sea to be
sunk as a target.
||Naiad was the 200th ship built for
the Royal Navy by Yarrow. She was also the first Leander to be
fitted with quadruple Seacat launchers aft instead of 40mm guns.
Whilst on Fishery Protection duties off Iceland in 1976 Naiad
was rammed by the Icelandic Gunboat Tyr and required repairs at
Devonport. Present at the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review. It
was planned that Naiad would enter the Standby Squadron in preparation
for disposal in the early 1980s but in the increased workload
in the aftermath of Falklands meant she remained in service and
underwent her last refit in autumn of 1983. Paid off May 1st 1987.
Naiads hulk, renamed HUL-VUL, was used for weapons effects
tests between 1988 and 1990 and was sunk in 28th September 1990.
She underwent shock, fire and blast trials and was used to analyse
developments in weapon and ship technology learnt from Falklands
||Only Leander not named after a Greek
Mythological character. Whilst in the Far East between 1968 and
1969 Cleopatra participated in the Beira Patrol. Present at the
1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review. Paid of June 1st 1992. Cleopatra
and Minerva were sold for breaking up at Alang in India. They
left Portsmouth under tow on September 21st 1993, but the tow
was lost and they drifted. The journey was restarted at South
Africa and they arrived at India in 1994.
||Launched by Lady Frewen, wife of Admiral
Frewen. In 1966 Phoebe participated in the British withdrawal
from Aden. In 1969 she attended the NATO 20th Anniversary Fleet
Review at Spithead. 1971 came to the aid of volcano threatened
island of St Vincent. Also in 1971, Phoebe served as guardship
for the Nixon-Heath talks. In 1973 Phoebe starred in the BBC Television
series Warship as HMS Hero. Present at the 1977 Silver
Jubilee Fleet Review. February 1978 became the first frigate to
embark the Lynx helicopter. In July 1988 she led the rescue effort
after the Piper Alpha oilrig explosion. Phoebe paid off at Devonport
on 31st December 1990 and was laid up at Portsmouth. She left
Portsmouth on 13th October 1992 for breaking up in India.
||Between 1968 and 1969 Minerva was on
station in the West Indies during civil unrest. As part of his
Sub-Lieutenant qualifying course HRH Prince Charles joined Minerva
in 1973 for a voyage to the West Indies. In 1975 whilst in the
West Indies again Minerva transported police from the island of
Tortola to Grand Turk where there was unrest. In October 1978
Minerva suffered a boiler room fire at Portsmouth and was towed
to Chatham for repairs by RMAS Confident. On December 15th 1979
Minerva was alongside at Devonport during a storm, when a Dockyard
cane crashed on to her and Type 21 Frigate Ambuscade, destroying
Minervas starboard Seacat launcher and damaging her hanger
and various aerials. Minerva left Portsmouth on May 10th 1982
for the Falklands war as part of the reinforcement group led by
HMS Bristol. On arrival she relived Argonaut as a AA picket in
San Carlos Water. During the warShe directed a Sea Harrier attack
on an enemy C-130 Hercules aircraft. Returned to Plymouth with
Amazon Class Frigate Active on 3rd August. On 22nd November 1982
Minerva rammed Yarmouths stern whilst docking at Portland.
Between October 1984 and March 1985 Minerva carried out a Falklands
patrol. In 1990 Minerva completed an extensive refit at Devonport
Dockyard and joined the Dartmouth Training Squadron. She embarked
on the Endeavour 90 training deployment visiting 15 countries
in six moths including India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea,
USA, Mexico and the Caribbean. Minerva paid off 30th April 1992
and was sold with sistership Cleopatra for breaking up at Alang
in India. They left Portsmouth under tow on September 21st 1993,
but they lost the tow and drifted and the journey restarted at
||Sirius was the last warship built for
the Royal Navy by Portsmouth Dockyard. In 1970 she came to the
aid of the St Kitts ferry Disaster, rescuing 100 people. In recognition
she won the Wilkinson Sword of Peace. Sirius found herself in
political controversy when it was announced that she would be
paid of just two years after a 20 million pound refit. After decommissioning
on February 27th 1993 she was laid up at Portsmouth Dockyard.
In September 1996 she was towed to Pembroke Dock for use as a
target. Pressure from environmentalists delayed her sinking. She
left Pembroke on the 19th September 1998 and was torpedoed in
the Atlantic on September 30th submarine Spartan . She was the
last Devonport based Leander.
||On February 7th 1976 Juno was rammed
by the Icelandic Gunboat Tyr whilst on a Cod War Patrol
and a small fire started after petrol cans were ignited. On a
second patrol on 7th March 1976 Juno collided again with Tyr.
Under the 1981 Defence Review Juno was laid up at Chatham as part
of the Standby Squadron. In September 1981 she was laid up at
Rosyth to await conversion into a Fleet Navigation Training ship.
The conversion began in 1985 and saw the removal of Juno weapons
and equipment to make room for classrooms and accommodation. She
recommissioned and replaced HMS Torquay as a Navigational Training
Ship. In December 1986 she grounded in the Solent and required
replacement screws and in winter 1987 Juno collided with Amazon
Class Frigate Active. She served in this role until decommissioning
in November 4th 1992. Juno was subsequently sold to Intershitra
S & P and was towed to Vigo for breaking up in early 1995.
||Escorted the RMS Queen Mary on her
final cruise to the USA. In 1971 Argonaut undertook a Beira Patrol.
Argonaut was deployed on a Cod War fishery protection
patrol in 1973. In 1974 she evacuated British nationals from Cyprus.
On May 21st 1982 Argonaut came under air attack whilst in San
Carlos Water. In the first attack she suffered some damage to
her Type 695 radar and upper deck, but nothing major. However
at 1730 she was attacked by six Argentine Skyhawk aircraft and
was hit by two 1000lb bombs. Neither exploded. The first bomb
entered Argonauts hull just above the waterline between
the engine and boiler rooms, smashing steam pipes and rupturing
a boiler. The second bomb entered Argonaut 5 ft below the water
line and passed through two fuel tanks and into the ships
magazine where it detonated two Seacat missiles and other ammunition.
This killed two of her ships company. Argonauts weapon systems
were still functioning and she continued to fight. It took two
days to eliminate the threat posed by the first bomb and six days
to remove the second bomb. Underwent repairs alongside Stena Seaspread.
On May 27th a fire was started by welding teams repairing the
damage. Arrived home at Plymouth 20th June 1982. After the war
she underwent repairs at Devonport Dockyard and was fitted with
Towed Array Sonar at the same time. In 1984 Argonaut suffered
a furnace explosion at Devonport and required a new boiler. In
July 1987 Argonaut came to the rescue of Richard Bransons
hot air balloon the Virgin Atlantic Flyer, off Northern Ireland.
In 1990? Argonaut acted as Flagship for the 75th Anniversary of
the Gallipoli Landings, hosting the Prime Minister, Secretary
of State for Defence, First Sea Lord and other guests. Paid off
at Portsmouth Dockyard on the 31st March 1993. Later sold to Intershitra
S & P and towed out of Portsmouth 25th January 1995 to be
broken up in Spain
||In 1977 Danae was present at the Silver
Jubilee Fleet Review. In 1982 she sailed with HMS Illustrious and Battleaxe to the Falklands
to relieve Invincible and her escorts after the war had ended.
In July 1983 she undertook a Falklands Patrol. Like her sister
ship Penelope, Danae was sold to Ecuador. She was handed over
at Devonport Dockyard in July 1991 and renamed Morano Valverde.
||Although constructed and launched at
the Linthouse yard of Alexander Stephens & Sons, Hermione
was fitted out and completed at the Scotstoun yard of Yarrow Shipbuilders.
Hermione attended the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review. She was
present in the Persian Gulf in 1987 during the Iran-Iraq war,
where she escorted merchant ships through the Straits of Hormuz.
The vessels she escorted referred to her as the Wolf.
Paid off 1992. Sold for breaking up to Samsung (Hong Kong) Ltd.
Towed by the tug Joseph Brown (formerly RMAS Rollicker) with Jupiter
from Portsmouth Dockyard to the scrapyards in India between November
1997 and May 1998. During the journey repairs were necessary at
Gibraltar after the two frigates were damaged in a storm off Portugal.
Hermione arrived at Bombay on May 3rd 1998 and Joseph Brown towed
Jupiter alone to Alang.
||Andromeda was the first warship on
the scene after the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mobile Reserve Tanker Ennerdale struck an uncharted
coral reef and sunk off the Bahamas in June 1970. In October 1970
she was onhand after the Pacific Glory ran aground near the Isle
of Wight. In 1973 she undertook a Cod War fishery
protection patrol and on August 11th was rammed by the Icelandic
Gunboat Odinn. In 1974 she evacuated British citizens from Cyprus.
Andromeda embarked on another fishery protection patrol in December
1975 and on December 28th she collided with the gunboat Tyr as
it attacked a trawler. The collision damaged Andromedas
rocket launcher and she lost some guard-rail. On January 7th 1976
she was rammed by the Thor and sustained a 12 ft dent in her hull,
whilst protecting the trawler Ross Resolution. Andromeda was one
of the fifteen British Leander Class frigates present at the 1977
Silver Jubilee Fleet Review. She served in the Falklands Conflict
(mainly escorting Invincible), sailing with the reinforcement
group led by HMS Bristol. In May 1984 she began a patrol of the
Falklands Islands which lasted until August. Andromeda paid off
in June 1993 and spent two years in extended readiness
before being sold to India for a reported £65000. She underwent
a £1 million refit at Devonport dockyard and was recommissioned
by the Indian Navy on the 22nd August 1995. Most of her armaments
were removed and she became a training vessel named Krishna.
||Replaced Phoebe as the warship HMS
Hero in the television series Warship and adopted
Phoebes pennant number for continuity. In 1970 Jupiter was
onhand during troubles in Trinidad and in 1972 she was onhand
during troubles in St Lucia. Between 1973 and 1974 she deployed
to the Far East with the Prince of Wales serving aboard. Jupiter
helped evacuate British Nationals from South Yemen in 1986: she
arrived off Aden on January 16th and provided a communication
link between the Royal Yacht and the shore. She also ferried evacuees
herself from Aden to the African port of Djibouti. Paid off at
Portsmouth on April 22nd 199?. Sold to Samsung (Hong Kong) Ltd
for scrapping in September 1997. Towed together with her sister
ship Hermione by the tug Joseph Brown (ex RMAS Rollicker) to India
where she was broken up at Alang.
||Launched by Lady Twiss, wife of Admiral
Sir Frank Twiss, Second Sea Lord. In 1971 Bacchante was onhand
in the West Indies during troubles in Bermuda and Antigua. In
September 1974 Bacchante acted as Cowes Guardship
during Cowes Week. In July 1976 Bacchante, along with Type 12
frigate Lowestoft and County Class destroyer London, represented
the Royal Navy at an International Naval Review off New York,
commemorating the US Bicentenary. Became the first of her class
to leave the Royal Navy when she was sold to New Zealand. She
was renamed Wellington after the nations capital
city. Wellington decommissioned in 2000.
||Nicknamed "Cherry B" and
accordingly wore a funnel badge depicting a bunch of cherries
and a bee. Charybdis was the last ship built for the Navy by Harland
& Wolf until RFA Fort Victoria in the early 1990s. Charybdis
was in attendance at the 1977 Silver Jubilee Review of the Fleet
at Spithead. Decommissioned September 30th 1991. Charybdis was
sunk as a target on 11th June 1993.
||On January 23rd 1973 Scylla collided
with the Torpoint Chain Ferry at Plymouth. In May 1973 she embarked
on a Cod War Fishery Protection Patrol and was rammed
by the Icelandic Gunboat Aegir on June 7th. On June 24th 1974
Scylla arrived at Possession Island to commemorate the 200th anniversary
of Captain James Cooks original landing. Scylla undertook
more Cod War patrols between 1975 and 1976. In 1977
she attended the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review. In August 1980 Scylla
dispatched emergency relief teams to the hurricane stricken island
Cayman Brac. She underwent exocet modernisation between 1980 and
1984. Laid up in Portsmouth Harbour where she was the responsibility
of the disposal and reserve ships organisation. After the
departure of her sister ship Sirius in 1998, Scylla became the
last remaining Leander class vessel left in the United Kingdom
||In 1975 Achilles evacuated British
nationals from Vietnam. Whilst in the English Channel on November
12th 1975, Achilles collided in fog with the Greek registered
tanker Olympic Alliance. Four men were injured and she suffered
considerable damage to her bows. After the damage was inspected
at Portsmouth, Achilles sailed to Devonport for repairs where
a new bow section was welded in place. In 1976 she undertook a
Cod War Fishery Protection patrol. The next year she
was deployed in support of the British garrison in Belize. Achilles
was due to pay off into Standby Squadron in 1982, but was reprieved
as a result of the Falklands Conflict. In 1983 she joined the
Orient Express deployment. After spending 1989 in the Dartmouth
Training Squadron Achilles eventually paid off on 27th March 1990
and was laid up at Devonport. Achilles was sold to Chile in September
1990 and delivered to her new South American owners on the heavy
lift ship Mighty Servant Four. She was renamed Ministro
Zenteno (PF-08) and now operates out of the port of Valparaiso.
||Nicknamed "Dimweed". Diomede
was launched by Lady Mills. In 1971 Diomede was diverted to aid
a fire stricken Liberian tanker named Espia in the English Channel.
In 1976 Diomede embarked on a Cod War fishery protection
patrol. On February 13th 1976 she was rammed by the Icelandic
gunboat Baldur. On March 10th she collided with Baldur and three
days later she was rammed by another gunboat, Tyr. On 27th March
she was rammed by Baldur again. She sustained considerable damage
from these four incidents including five holes above the waterline
one of which was 20 feet long. She withdrew from the area and
returned to Rosyth Dockyard for repairs. In 1977 she attended
the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review at Spithead. Diomedes Seawolf
conversion was cancelled under the 1981 Defence Review and she
was scheduled to enter the Standby Squadron at Chatham. However
she remained in service as a result of the Falklands War. Diomede
eventually paid off on May 31st 1988. she was sold to Pakistan
in July the same year and renamed Shamsher.
||Penultimate Leander Class Frigate.
On August 29th 1973 Apollo collided with the Icelandic Gunboat
Aegir whilst on a Cod War Patrol. Apollo attended
the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review. In 1982 she undertook a
patrol of the Falkland Islands following the end of hostilities
but whilst in the heavy South Atlantic seas she encountered bad
weather and her hull was damaged. Paid off August 31st 1988. Sold
for service in the Pakistani Navy in July 1988 and renamed Zulfiguar.
||As the last Leander Class Frigate to
enter service, Ariadne held the distinction of being the last
steam powered vessel built for the Royal Navy. In 1973 she undertook
a Cod War Patrol. In 1977 Ariadne was one of the fifteen
Royal Navy Leanders to attend the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review
at Spithead. Whilst serving in the West Indies in 1981 Ariadne
was diverted to the island of Bequia (part of the Grenadines)
and assisted fighting a fire in the Islands power generating
station. In 1982 Ariadne needed emergency repairs to her port
shaft and docked in Admiralty Floating Dock 60 (ADF60), the first
frigate ever to do so. In November 1983 Ariadne was assigned to
shadow the soviet cruiser Slava off Ireland. In 1986 Ariadne was
onhand to assist with Jamaican flood relief. Ariadne spent the
last three years of her Royal Navy career attached to Britannia
Royal Naval College (BRNC) Dartmouth, as a training ship for young
officers. Ariadne was the last Gun Leander to serve in the Royal
Navy and the last Royal Navy warship to fire the Limbo mortar.
She ceremonially fired her 4.5 inch guns for the last time off
the Isle of Wight before decommissioning on December 30th 1992?.
Ariadne was sold to Chile in 1992 and renamed General Banquedano
(PF-90). She paid off in 1998.
© Written and researched by Jeremy Olver. First uploaded
15th January 2001. Updated 15th January 2001.