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Frederic Logghe
Home > 003 Military vessels > 003g Surface vessels (Post 1945) > Frigates (Steam powered) > British vessels > Leander class (Type 12M)

F 57 Andromeda


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HMS Andromeda (F57) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was built at HM Dockyard Portsmouth, the last ship to be built at that prestigious dockyard that had built the revolutionary Dreadnought. She was launched on the 24th May 1967 and commissioned into the RN on the 2nd December 1968.

In 1970, while on Beira Patrol, a deployment that was used to prevent oil reaching Rhodesia via Mozambique, Andromeda was the first to reach the stricken tanker RFA Ennerdale, also on Beira Patrol, who had struck an uncharted pinnacle of rock off the Seychelles. She was later destroyed by explosives. Later that year, Andromeda took part in a large operation when a Liberian tanker, known as Pacific Glory, ran aground near the Isle of Wight, after a collision with another tanker.

In 1973, Andromeda took part in the Second Cod War, patrolling against any aggression by Icelandic vessels. During the 'war', Andromeda was rammed by the Icelandic gunboat Odin. The following year, Andromeda, as-well as other RN vessels, including her sistership Argonaut, had to evacuate British civilians from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus after Turkey had invaded it. In December 1975, Andromeda took part in the Third Cod War, during that month, she collided with the Icelandic gunboat Tyr. In early January the following year, Andromeda was involved rammed by Thor, another gunboat, both ships were slightly damaged.

In 1977, Andromeda took part in the Fleet Review of the RN, during the Silver Jubilee celebrations for HM the Queen. Between 1978-80, Andromeda underwent modernisation, including the addition of the Exocet and SeaWolf missiles. She joined the Falklands War in 1982, rather late. As part of 'Bristol Group', did not arrive in the Falklands until the 26th May. She mainly performed escort duties, and suffered no damage during the war. Andromeda departed the South Atlantic in August, returning to the UK in September where jubilant crowds greeted her.

In the subsequent years of the 1980s, Andromeda performed a number of varied duties, thankfully all peaceful, patrolling the Persian Gulf on Armilla Patrol, and deployments to the Falklands and West Indies. Between 1990-91, Andromeda underwent a refit, but just two years later was decommissioned. In 1995, Andromeda left the RN, being sold to the Indian Navy and being recommissioned as the INS Krishna. She remains in the Indian Navy as of 2004, and is used as a training ship. Her armament has been reduced to two 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikon guns.

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F 56 Argonaut


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HMS Argonaut (F56) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was built by Hawthorne Leslie of Hebburn. She was launched on the 8th February 1966 and commissioned on the 17th August 1967. That year, Argonaut had the prestigious honour of escorting the great old liner Queen Mary on her final voyage to the USA where Queen Mary would then become a hotel and museum-ship.

In 1971, Argonaut, like many other RN vessels, took part in the long-running Beira Patrol, an operation that was designed to prevent oil reaching Rhodesia via the Portuguese colony of Mozambique, due to Rhodesia having declared unilateral independence under the rule of Prime Minister Ian Smith in 1965, a move that was widely condemned across the world.

In 1974, Argonaut had to evacuate British civilians from Cyprus after Turkey had invaded the Mediterranean island. Argonaut underwent Exocet modernisation between 1976-80, giving her a potent anti-ship capability. In 1981, Argonaut deployed as the Armilla Patrol ship in the Persian Gulf, a deployment that had actually only been created the year before.

In 1982 the Falkland Islands were invaded by Argentina. An advanced group of British vessels began to steam towards Ascension Island on the 2nd April, a territory that would play a strategic part in the eventual liberation of the Falkland Islands. On the 19th April, Argonaut, along with Ardent and two RFA ships Regent and Plumleaf finally headed for Ascension Island. On the 29th, the group finally arrived at Ascension, and on the 6th May the Argonaut Group departed the island for the Falklands. On the 16th, the Group joined the large Amphibious Group centred around Fearless and Intrepid, and on the 18th the Group met up with the Carrier Battle Group.

On the 21st, Argonaut, along with other destroyers and frigates, provided close escort for the amphibious vessels during the successful San Carlos Landings. On that day, Argonaut was attacked twice by Argentinian aircraft. The first attack caused some damage, including to her Type 965 Radar, while the second attack was launched by six fast A-4 Skyhawks. Two bombs hit Argonaut. Neither exploded, though unfortunately one of the unexploded bombs killed two sailors, Able Seaman Ian M. Boldy and Able Seaman Matthew J. Stuart, when it entered the ship's Sea Cat missile magazine, detonating two missiles. Plymouth came to the assistance of Argonaut and towed her away from immediate danger. Both bombs were still active, and it took a number of days to deactivate them, as this was very risky work, proven on the 24th May when Antelope sank after an unexploded bomb detonated while experts were attempting to deactivate it.

On the 20th June, the Falklands were liberated and the war was declared over. On the 26th June, Argonaut finally returned home to Devonport Dockyard after a long journey, where she underwent repairs for her battle damage. During the repairs, new sonar equipment was fitted. Argonaut came into the spotlight in 1987, when Sir Richard Branson, attempting to cross the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon had to ditch. Argonaut rescued Branson, retrieved his balloon and transported it back to safety.

In 1990, Argonaut was present at the 75th Anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings, where many Government officials from a number of countries, as well as Gallipoli veterans, were present to mark the event. Three years later, on the 31st March 1993, Argonaut was decommissioned, her long career now over. She was broken up a few years later.

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F 114 Ajax


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HMS Ajax (F114) was a Leander class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was built by the famous Cammell Laird company of Birkenhead. Ajax was launched on 16 August 1962 and commissioned on 10 December 1963. She was originally intended to be part of the Rothesay class, but instead became part of Batch 1 of the Leander class.

In 1964, Ajax deployed to the Far East, becoming leader of the 24th Escort Group. It was a long deployment, and Ajax did not return to the UK until 1968. In 1970, Ajax became the Gibraltar guardship, a required deployment at that time due to the tense fears of invasion by General Franco. Later that year, Ajax began modernisation that lasted to 1973, which included the addition of Ikara and GWS22 SeaCat (2 x 4).

In 1974, Ajax assisted in the evacuation of British citizens after the Turkish invasion of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. In 1976, while on a visit to Canada, Ajax visited the town of Ajax, Ontario, which had been named in honour of her predecessor which had been a Leander class cruiser, which had seen service at the Battle of the River Plate during the Second World War. The 'new' Ajax was granted the freedom of the city of Ajax.

In 1977, Ajax underwent a refit at Devonport Dockyard. In 1979, Ajax deployed to the Mediterranean. In 1980, Ajax underwent a refit at Gibraltar which finished in 1981. That year, Ajax became leader of the 1st Frigate Squadron. She did not take part in the 1982 Falklands War,but was deployed as Persian Gulf guardship. She underwent further deployments that culminated in the highlight of her final year in 1985, when she escorted the HMY Britannia, which had a number of the Royal Family on a tour of Italy. She decommissioned 31 May,then replaced HMS Salisbury (F32) as a static training ship at Devonport. In 1988, Ajax was scrapped. Ajax's anchor is now located in Ajax, Ontario a fitting resting place for the remains of the long serving frigate.

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F 12 Achilles


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HMS Achilles (F12) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was built by Yarrow at Glasgow. She was launched on the 21st November 1968 and commissioned on the 9th July 1970. Unlike other ships, Achilles would not undergo Exocet modernisation due to the 1981 defence review by John Nott. In 1970, Achilles deployed to the Far East where there was, at that time, a large British naval presence. She escorted a number of larger vessels while there, including Eagle.

In 1974, Achiles joined the 3rd Frigate Squadron, and later that year deployed to the Far East on a nine-month deployment as part of Task Group 317.2. The Task Group (TG) visited a number of African ports on their way to the Far East and Indian Ocean, including South Africa, a vist that visit caused some controversy back in the UK at the time. The TG visited a variety of ports in the Far East and took part in a number of exercises, "Achilles" was active as a radio relay vessel during the fall of South Vietnam.

Upon the TG's return from the Far East, they made their way around the Cape of Good Hope to South America where a large exercise with the Brazilian Navy known as, which included Ark Royal, took place. Achilles returned to the UK in June 1975. Later that year, Achilles collided with the Greek tanker Olympic Alliance while in the Dover Strait, causing a number of wounded, as-well as heavy damage to Achilles bow. It was later repaired. The following year, Achilles joined the Fishery Protection Squadron during the Third Cod War with Iceland.

After her deployment during the Third Cod War, Achilles went on a number of deployments including to the Persian Gulf as-well as being involved in a number of naval exercises. In 1982, Achilles deployed to the West Indies as guardship. The following year, Achilles deployed to the Falkland Islands to patrol the area in the aftermath of the Falklands War. Later that year Achilles took part in Exercise Orient Express, which took place in the Indian Ocean. She deployed to the Persian Gulf that same year.

By the late 1980s, Achilles career was coming to an end. In 1989 she joined the Dartmouth Training Squadron, and in a busy year became the first RN warship to visit East Germany as well as hosting a Dinner to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of the River Plate. In January 1990, Achilles decommissioned, ending her eventful career, though only with the Royal Navy. That same year, Achilles was sold to Chile, and was renamed Ministro Zenteno, and remains in service with the Chilean Navy as of 2004.

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F 75 Charybdis


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HMS Charybdis (F75) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). She was built by the famous Harland & Wolff company of Belfast, and was the last ship to be built there for British naval forces until RFA Fort Victoria of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, was launched in 1990. Charybdis was launched on the 28th February 1968 and commissioned on the 2nd June 1969. Her nickname was the "Cherry B".

In 1969, Charbydis moved to sunnier climes when she became guardship of Gibraltar. The following year, Charbydis deployed to the Far East and Pacific at a time when there was a large RN presence in those regions. During her time there, Charybdis took part in a number of exercises with Commonwealth countries, including Exercise Longex with New Zealand. Charybdis visited many countries on 'fly the flag' duties, which remains a prominent role for a Royal Navy warship.

In 1976, Charybydis was deployed to the Mediterranean where she would be stationed. The following year, Charybdis joined the Fishery Protection Squadron, just a year after the Third Cod War had ended, and also that, Charybdis took part in the last RN Fleet Review so far, in celebration of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. In early 1979, Charybdis underwent yet another Mediterranean patrol.

From 1979-82, Charybdis underwent modernisation that included the fitting of Exocet and SeaWolf, and the removal of her single twin 4.5-in gun. In late 1982, in the aftermath of the Falklands War, Charybdis deployed on a Falkland Islands patrol, which at the time was still a tense region. Through the rest of the 1980s, Charybdis undertook duties in the West Indies and Mediterranean. In 1990, Charybdis was on Eastern Mediterranean Patrol during the build-up to the First Gulf War. In September 1991, Charybdis was decommissioned. She did not end her career quietly like some other vessels, instead she was sunk as a target on the 11th June 1993.

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F 28 Cleopatra


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HMS Cleopatra (F28) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). Cleopatra was built at Devonport by H.M. Dockyard. She was launched on the 25th March 1964 and commissioned on the 4th January 1966.

Upon Cleopatra's commissioning, she joined the 24th Escort Squadron and subsequently became a training ship, being based in a variety of ports. She was soon back on active service however, when she deployed to the Far East in 1968 and then participated in the Beira Patrol, which was designed to prevent oil reaching the lacklocked Rhodesia via the then Portuguese colony of Mozambique.

In 1972, Cleopatra took part in escort duties during the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's South East Asia tour. In 1973, Cleopatra began her modernisation, becoming the first Batch Two Leander to do so, which included the removal of her one twin 4.5-in gun to allow the addition of the Exocet anti-ship missile system. In 1977, Cleopatra, like many other Leanders, took part in the Fleet Review of the RN in celebration of HM the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Cleopatra was positioned in the middle of HM ships Zulu and Arethusa.

In 1981, Cleopatra deployed to the Mediterranean, which still had a large RN presence at the time. The following year, Cleopatra was fitted with the new towed array sonar. Further duties were undertaken but by the late 1980s, Cleopatra's age was beginning to show and her time was coming to an end. On the 31st January 1992, Cleopatra was decommissioned. The following year, Cleopatra was sold for scrap.

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F 38 Arethusa


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HMS Arethusa (F38) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). She was, like the rest of the Leanders, named after a figure of mythology. Arethusa was built by J.S. White & Company Shipbuilders of Cowes. Arethusa was launched on the 5th November 1963 and commissioned on the 24th November 1965.

In 1966, Arethusa deployed to the sunny climes of the Mediterranean. In 1970, Arethusa deployed to the Far East and while there, helped escort HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh on their South East Asian tour. In 1972, Arethusa undertook a Beira Patrol which was designed to prevent oil reaching the landlocked country of Rhodesia via the then Portuguese colony of Mozambique. The following year, Arethusa undertook a Fishery Protection Patrol during the Second Cod War, and during that patrol was rammed by the Icelandic gunboat Odin.

Later that year, Arethusa began her modernisation which included the removal of her one twin 4.5-in gun, with the Ikara anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missile system taking its place. The modernisation was completed in April 1977. In that same year, Arethusa, like many Leanders, took part in the Royal Navy's last Fleet Review so far, in celebration of HM the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Arethusa was positioned in the middle of HM ships Cleopatra and HMS Arrow. In 1979, Arethusa deployed to the Far East and Pacific.

In 1980 Arethusa underwent a refit that was completed the following year. She then joined Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), a NATO multi-national squadron, a squadron that Arethusa saw much service in. In 1985, Arethusa was fitted with the towed array sonar. On the 4th April 1989, at Portsmouth, Arethusa decommissioned. She was eventually sunk as a target in 1991.

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F 70 Apollo


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HMS Apollo (F70) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). She was, like the rest of the class, named after a figure of mythology. Apollo was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders of Scotstoun. She was launched on the 15th October 1970 and commissioned on the 28th May 1972.

She saw her first 'action' during the Second Cod War in 1973, during the fishing disputes with Iceland, when Apollo, while on a Fishery Protection Patrol, was rammed by the Icelandic gunboat Aegir. In 1977, Apollo took part in the last Fleet Review of the Royal Navy so far, in celebration of HM the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Apollo was positioned in the middle of HM ships Hardy and Salisbury.

Apollo was intended to be modernised, which would have included the removal of her one 4.5-in twin gun, which would have been replaced by the Exocet anti-ship missile, but the modernisation was cancelled due to the 1981 Defence Review by the minister John Nott. In July 1982, Apollo was sent to patrol the South Atlantic in the aftermath of the Falklands War and returned home in September. In late 1983, Apollo once again returned to the South Atlantic. In 1988, Apollo's Royal Navy career came to an end when she was decommissioned and subsequently sold to Pakistan, being renamed Zulfiquar and remains in service with the Pakistani Navy as of 2004.

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F 58 Hermione


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HMS Hermione (F58) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). She was, like the rest of her class, named after a figure of mythology. Hermione was built by Alexander Stephen's & Sons Shipbuilders, though she was completed by Yarrow Shipbuilders. She was launched on the 26th April 1967 and commissioned on the 11th July 1969.

In 1970, Hermione deployed to the Far East and Pacific visiting a variety of places and performing a number of duties. Hermione became quite used to such warm climates during the 1970s, often being deployed to such warm regions. In 1977, Hermione, like many other Leanders, took part in the Fleet Review of the Royal Navy, in celebration of HM the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

In January 1980, Hermione began her modernisation program, which included the addition of the SeaWolf missile and the Exocet anti-ship missile, which forced the removal of Hermione's one twin 4.5-in gun. The modernisation was completed in 1983 at Chatham Naval Dockyard, and Hermione was the last ship to leave when the dockyard closed. Upon the completion of her modernisation, Hermione joined the 6th Frigate Squadron. Hermione saw much service in the Middle East, also being involved in the so-called 'Tanker War' during the Iran-Iraq War. In 1991, Hermione returned to the Middle East on an Armilla Patrol deployment, but just the following year Hermione was decommissioned and in 1997 she was sold to India for scrap.

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F 47 Danae


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HMS Danae (F47) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). She was, like the rest of the class, named after a figure of mythology. Danae was built by Devonport Dockyard. She was launched on the 31st October 1965 and commissioned on the 7th September 1967.

In 1968, Danae became Gibraltar Guardship and later joined HMY Britannia her in South America to perform Royal escort duties. Danae subsequently undertook a Beira Patrol, which was designed to prevent oil reaching landlocked Rhodesia via the then Portuguese colony of Mozambique, of which the port of Beira there gave its name to the operation. Danae deployed to the Far East, remaining in that region until the middle of 1969. She then undertook a Beira Patrol, a routine duty until it was stopped in 1975.

In 1974, Danae deployed to the Persian Gulf to patrol that region. The following year, Danae performed a variety of duties while in the North Atlantic. In 1977, Danae took part in the Royal Navy Fleet Review to celebrate HM the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Danae was placed between her sister-ship HMS Euryalus and HMS Antlelope. Soon after, Danae commenced her modernisation program, which included the removal of her single 4.5-in twin turret which was replaced by the Exocet anti-ship missile system, giving Danae a powerful surface capability. The amount of SeaCat missiles she carried was also increased. The modernisation was completed in 1980.

In 1982, Danae deployed to the South Atlantic in the tense aftermath of the Falklands War, where she would escort the carrier HMS Illustrious. She left later that year. The following year, Danae returned to the South Atlantic to undertake a Falkland Islands patrol, at a time when that region was still very tense. In 1985, Danae made yet another journey to the South Atlantic. In the late 1980s, Danae became ever more active with NATO's multi-national squadrons, though Danae was beginning to show signs of her increasing age. In 1990, Danae was decommissioned from the RN and sold to Ecuador and was renamed Morano Valverde.

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F 10 Aurora


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HMS Aurora (F10) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). Like other ships of the class, Aurora was named after a figure of mythology, Aurora being the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Eos. HMS Aurora was built by John Brown Shipbuilders of Clydebank. Aurora was launched on the 28 November 1962 and commissioned on the 9 April 1964.

Aurora became the leader of the 2nd Frigate Squadron in 1964. In 1972, during the Second Cod War, Aurora came to the aid of an Icelandic fishing vessel that had caught fire, rescuing its crew in the process. Soon after this incident, Aurora underwent modernisation which included the addition of the Ikara anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missile launcher that in effect changed the Batch One ships, of which Aurora was part of, into a specialised ASW batch rather than its original role as a general purpose batch. The modernisation was completed in 1976.

In 1978, Aurora joined the Fishery Protection Squadron, undertaking patrols and other duties in support of British fishing interests around the UK. She remained with the squadron until she was eventually transferred to the 7th Frigate Squadron which was stationed in the Far East, just as the RN's presence in that region was steadily dwindling. Further duties were undertook by Aurora across the world, but in 1987, due to defence cuts, as-well as manpower shortages, a common problem for the RN at that time, Aurora was decommissioned.

Aurora was sold to Devonport Management Limited (DML) who were the owners of Devonport Dockyard, with the intent of modernising and subsequently selling Aurora to a foreign navy. It was not to be, and in 1990, after no buyer had been found, she was sold for scrap.

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F 72 Ariadne


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HMS Ariadne (F72) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). Like the rest of the Leander-class, Ariadne was named after a figure of mythology. Ariadne was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders of Scotstoun. She was the last of the Leander-class to be completed and the last warship to be built for the RN powered by steam. Ariadne was launched on the 10th September 1971 and commissioned on the 10th February 1973.

In the year of her commission, Ariadne undertook a Fishery Protection Patrol during the Second Cod War with Iceland. In 1976, Ariadne completed a refit and the following year took part in the annual Group Deployment, visiting a variety of ports in South America and West Africa, as-well as performing naval exercises. Later that year, Ariadne took part in the Fleet Review of the Royal Navy, in celebration of HM the Queen's Silver Jubilee. She was positioned in the middle of HM ships Antelope and Jupiter. In 1979, Ariadne joined Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), a NATO multi-national squadron.

Ariadne was intended for modernisation, which would have included the removal of her one 4.5-in twin gun, which would have been replaced by the Exocet anti-ship missile, as-well as the addition of the SeaWolf missile, but the 1981 Defence Review by the defence minister John Nott, cancelled the modernisation for Ariadne and other Batch Three ships. In 1981, Ariadne became the West Indies Guardship, and while there, performed a variety of duties in that region. In 1983, Ariadne shadowed the Soviet cruiser Slava, which had only been commissioned in 1982, while she was sailing off Ireland. It was a common practise during the Cold War, with Soviet warships also shadowing RN vessels quite often. In 1987, Ariadne joined the 6th Frigate Squadron.

Ariadne, after spending the last years of her career as a training ship, decommissioned in May 1992 and was subsequently sold to Chile, being renamed General Baquedano. She was decommissioned from the Chilean Navy in December 1998.The " General Baquedano" was sunk as target in 2004.

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26 albums on 3 page(s) 1

Last additions - Leander class (Type 12M)
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F 109 Leander316 viewsJun 25, 2006
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F 12 Achilles330 viewsJun 25, 2006
F114_2.jpg
F 114 Ajax343 viewsJun 25, 2006
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F 127 Penelope368 viewsJun 25, 2006
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F 16 Diomede275 viewsJun 25, 2006
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F 38 Arethusa331 viewsJun 25, 2006
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F 42 Phoebe311 viewsJun 25, 2006
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F 45 Minerva333 viewsJun 25, 2006

 
(c) 2009 Frederic Logghe GNU Free Documentation License Birds in the sky
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