HMS Westminster (F237)

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HMS Westminster F237 (1).jpg
HMS Westminster in 2011
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Westminster
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: December 1989
Builder: Swan Hunter, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Laid down: 18 January 1991
Launched: 4 February 1992
Commissioned: 13 May 1994
Motto: For Nation and for Glory
Status: in active service, as of 2014
Badge: Hms Westminster 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)
Range: 14,485 km (9,001 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 185
Sensors and
processing systems:
Sonar 2087
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 Westminster is a Type 23 "Duke"-class frigate of the Royal Navy, and the second ship to bear the name. She was launched on 4 February 1992 and named for the Dukedom of Westminster.

Westminster was used for the interior shots in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies in three different roles – as HMS Chester, HMS Devonshire and HMS Bedford. For the exterior shots a model was constructed.

Operational History[edit]

In 2004, Westminster was assigned one of the Royal Navy's first Merlin helicopters.[2] Also in 2004, the ship was the first to be fitted with the new low-frequency Sonar 2087 designed to detect the most advanced submarines. The technology is controversial as its effects on marine wildlife remain unclear.[3]

Westminster's ship's bell

In December 2005, the ship's company of Westminster were all granted Freedom of the City of London. 200 naval officers and sailors in full ceremonial uniform paraded through the streets of London from Westminster Abbey to Horse Guards as part of the celebration service. Westminster was chosen as a very rare recognition of her contributions to Westminster schools, local charities and the community as a whole. The honour entitles the crew the freedom to "parade through the City on all ceremonial occasions in full panoply and with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed".[4]

She was deployed to Burma in May 2008 to spearhead the British relief effort after Cyclone Nargis devastated the country, but later had to withdraw after the junta refused to grant permission for aid to be landed.[5]

In March 2011, Westminster took part in Operation Ellamy, the British role in the coalition action during the 2011 Libyan civil war by enforcing a naval blockade.[6] She took part in Exercise Saxon Warrior in the Western Approaches with the US aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush in May 2011, culminating in a so-called 'Thursday War'.[7]

On 23 January 2012, Westminster departed Portsmouth to reinforce the British guided-missile destroyer Daring that was also underway for the Persian Gulf to relieve the frigate Argyll.[8]

Whilst in the Persian Gulf she made a port call in Dubai where one of her sailors (Leading Seaman Timothy Andrew MacColl, 27, from Gosport in Hampshire.[9][10]) disappeared, prompting a bilateral search between the Royal Navy and local authorities.

In 2013, she was part of Exercise Joint Warrior.[11] She will be part of the COUGAR 13 task group,[12] and will visit Gibraltar on the way to the Middle East. This comes amidst growing tensions between Spain and Britain over the status of Gibraltar; however the British Government described the visit as 'routine'. In September 2013, she practised anti-submarine drills with the Italian Navy's Sauro-class submarine Salvatore Pelosi and the Durand de la Penne-class destroyer Francesco Mimbelli.[13] In the Gulf of Oman, Westminster, recently an conducted anti-submarine drill against the USS Dallas.[14] In October 2013, she exercised with the Indian Navy[15]

Affiliations[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]