HMS Avenger (F185)

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PNS Tippu Sultan former HMS Avenger.jpg
PNS Tippu Sultan, former HMS Avenger
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Avenger
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 30 October 1974
Launched: 20 November 1975
Commissioned: 15 April 1978
Decommissioned: 23 September 1994
Homeport: HMNB Devonport
Identification: Pennant number: F185
Honours and
awards:
Falkland Islands 1982
Fate: Sold to Pakistan on 23 September 1994
Career (Pakistan) Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg
Name: PNS Tippu Sultan
Operator: Pakistan Navy
Acquired: 23 September 1994
Identification: Pennant number: D185
Status: in active service, as of 2014
General characteristics
Class & type: Type 21 frigate
Displacement: 3,250 tons full load
Length: 384 ft (117 m)
Beam: 41 ft 9 in (12.73 m)
Draught: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
Propulsion: COGOG:
2 × Rolls-Royce Olympus gas turbines
2 × Rolls-Royce Tyne RM1A gas turbines for cruising
Speed: 32 knots official, 37 knots achievable on bursts
Range: 4,000 nmi at 17 knots (7,400 km at 31 km/h)
1,200 nmi at 30 knots (2,220 km at 56 km/h)
Complement: 177
Armament:

Royal Navy:
4.5 inch Mark 8 (113 mm)
4 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
4 × MM38 Exocet missiles
1 × quadruple Sea Cat surface-air-missiles
2 × triple ASW torpedo tubes
2 × Corvus chaff launchers
1 × Type 182 towed decoy

Pakistan Navy:
1× 4.5 inch Mark 8 (113 mm) gun
2× Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
1× 6-cell LY-60N surface-to-air missile
Phalanx CIWS
Mark 36 SRBOC chaff launchers
Aircraft carried: 1 × Westland Wasp helicopter, later refitted for 1 × Alouette III and 1 × Westland Lynx

HMS Avenger was a Type 21 frigate of the Royal Navy. Built by Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, she was completed with Exocet launchers in 'B' position.

Royal Navy service[edit]

En route to the Falklands with the Bristol Group

With the appointment of Captain Hugo White in 1981, Avenger became leader of the 4th Frigate Squadron. Avenger was a late arrival at the War, as she didn't leave the UK until 10 May 1982, arriving at the Falklands on the 25th May - a record for any ship involved in the operations, and a massive distance in 14 days.[1] All Type 21's had a massive short distance high-speed ability thanks to the Rolls Royce Olympus turbines, but at the time the RN preferred this information not to be publicised. Captain White led Avenger in the Falklands War surviving an attack by an Exocet missile which it shot out of the sky with the 4.5 inch mark 8 gun on the focsle of the ship. Her divers salvaged a 20mm Oerlikon from the wreck of HMS Antelope which was remounted to increase her Anti-Aircraft capability,referred to on board as "Antelopes Avenger".[2] She also assisted with naval gunfire support during the campaign.

On June 11, she was conducting naval bombardments of Port Stanley in preparation for an amphibious assault by British troops. While the shelling was going on, she directly struck a house where civilians were sheltering, killing three British women and wounding several others. They are the only British civilian casualties of the war.[3][4]

During the Falklands deployment, an alarming crack in the ship's hull progressively worsened with the stormy South Atlantic weather. On return to UK, she was taken in for refitting, with a steel plate being welded down each side of the ship to eliminate the problem. At the same time modifications were made to reduce hull noise.

After the war she remained leader of the 4th Frigate Squadron until 1986.

Pakistan Navy service[edit]

Pakistan Naval Air Arm Alouette III on board Tippu Sultan at Portsmouth in 2005

Avenger was decommissioned and sold to Pakistan on 23 September 1994, where she was refitted [5] and renamed Tippu Sultan. She is the third ship to carry this name [6] and remains in service with the Pakistan Navy as part of the 25th Destroyer Squadron.[7]

Commanding officers[edit]

From To Captain
1977 1979 Commander G A Eades RN
1980 1982 Captain Hugo White RN
1982 1983 Captain A Peter Woodhead RN
1983 1985 Captain A Bruce Richardson RN
1985 1986 Captain Christopher J S Craig RN

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Marriot, Leo, 1983. Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983, Ian Allen Ltd, Surrey, p104
  2. ^ Marriot, Leo, 1983. Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983, Ian Allen Ltd, Surrey, p104
  3. ^ Steven P. Lee (February 13, 2012). Ethics and War: An Introduction (Cambridge Applied Ethics). Cambridge University Press. p. 33. ISBN 0-5217-2757-X. 
  4. ^ "Falklands War memorial unveiled at National Arboretum". BBC. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Pakistan". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  6. ^ The Pakistan Society newsletter, October 2005
  7. ^ Pakistan Navy: A Silent Force to Reckon with

Publications[edit]