HMS Somerset (F82)

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HMS Somerset (F82).jpg
HMS Somerset at Cape Trafalgar in June 2005
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Somerset
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: January 1992
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 12 October 1992
Launched: 25 June 1994
Sponsored by: Lady Elspeth Layard
Commissioned: 20 September 1996
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Motto: Foy pour Devoir
"Faith for Duty"
Status: in active service, as of 2014
Badge: Hms Somerset 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 SM1C delivering 23,190 kW (31,100 shp) to two shafts
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range: 14,485 km (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
Armament:
Anti-air missiles:

1 × 32-cell Sea Wolf GWS.26 VLS canisters for 32:
Sea Wolf missiles (range 1-10 km)

Anti-ship missiles:
2 × quad Harpoon launchers

Anti-submarine torpedoes:
2 × Twin 12.75 in (324 mm) Sting Ray torpedo tubes

Guns:
1 × BAE 4.5 inch Mk8 gun
2 × 30mm DS30M automated guns, or, 2× 30mm DS30B guns
2 × Miniguns
4 × General-purpose machine guns

Aircraft carried:

Lynx HMA8, armed with;

  • Sea Skua anti ship missiles, or
  • 2× anti submarine torpedoes

or
Westland Merlin HM1, armed with;

  • 4× anti submarine torpedoes
Aviation facilities:

HMS Somerset is a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy.

Somerset is the eleventh of the class to join the fleet since 1989. She was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd on the River Clyde, in Scotland and was launched in June 1994 by Lady Elspeth Layard, wife of then 2nd Sea Lord Admiral and Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command Admiral Sir Michael Layard. She entered service in 1996. Lady Layard is the ship's sponsor. She is named for the Dukedom of Somerset.

The fourth Somerset to serve in the Royal Navy, and has inherited four battle honours from previous ships of the name; Vigo Bay (1702), Velez Malaga (1704), Louisburg (1758) and Quebec (1759). The previous ships all served during the 18th century and ensured that the name Somerset played a significant part in that period of naval history.

Somerset's home port is HMNB Devonport. The ship has the Freedom of the City of Wells and is also affiliated with the County of Somerset, the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, the 2nd and 4th Battalions of The Rifles (inherited from affiliation with the Royal Green Jackets), TS Weston and TS Queen Elizabeth Sea Cadet Units, Downside, Baytree and Helles Schools, Bridgwater College and the Somerset Legion House of The Royal British Legion. The 19th Duke of Somerset takes a keen interest in the ship and is a regular visitor, and the ship also hosted Harry Patch, Simon Weston (in place of Johnson Beharry) and Marcus Trescothick whilst docked at Avonmouth for a remembrance service to launch the 2008 British Legion Poppy Appeal.[2]

Operational history[edit]

Somerset moored alongside the World War II cruiser Belfast on the Thames in London

In 2007, the first at-sea firing trials of the UK Royal Navy's new 30mm DS30M Mark 2 Automated Small Calibre Gun system were completed by Somerset.[3]

On 18 February 2009, Somerset sailed from Devonport as part of the Taurus 09 deployment under Commander UK Amphibious Task Group, Commodore Peter Hudson. She was joined on this deployment by landing platform dock Bulwark, as Hudson's flagship, landing platform helicopter Ocean, Type 23 frigate Argyll and four ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.[4]

In June 2009, she took part in exercise Bersama Shield with Ocean and RFA Wave Ruler off the Malay Peninsula.[5]

In May 2010 she sailed for Operation Telic conducted boarding operations and oil platform protection operations in the Persian Gulf.

On 3 May 2012, she began a refit at the Devonport Royal Dockyard operated by the Babcock International Group. The refit is expected to take 9 months.[6] She is due to participate in Exercise Joint Warrior 2013.[7]

Affiliations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/The-Fleet/Ships/Frigates
  2. ^ Scott, Aleisha (30 October 2008). "Ypres veteran Harry Patch, 110, launches poppy appeal". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Scott, Richard, ASCG enhances Type 23 close-in defence, International Defence Review, 30 October 2007.
  4. ^ Royal Navy Website, http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.7202
  5. ^ http://www.navynews.co.uk/news/445-task-force-raises-its-shield.aspx
  6. ^ "Babcock’s Devonport Yard Begins Refit of HMS Somerset". Shipbuilding Tribune. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  7. ^ http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and-Events/Latest-News/2013/October/02/131002-joint-warrior

External links[edit]