HMS Westminster (F237)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Westminster.
HMS Westminster F237.jpg
HMS Westminster, 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 t (4,800 long tons; 5,400 short tons)[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:
Speed: In excess of 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range: 7,500 nautical miles (14,000 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)
Complement: 185 (accommodation for up to 205)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Sonar 2087
Electronic warfare
& 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 Mk 8 naval gun
2 × 30mm DS30M Mk2 guns, or, 2× 30mm DS30B guns
2 × Miniguns
4 × General purpose machine guns

Aircraft carried: 1 × Lynx HMA8, armed with;
  • 4 × Sea Skua anti ship missiles, or
  • 2 × anti submarine torpedoes

or
1 × 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]

In December 2005, the ship's company of Westminster were all granted Freedom of the City of Westminster. 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. He was declared dead by the Royal Navy in May 2014.[11]

In early 2013, she was part of the multi-national Exercise Joint Warrior, practising amphibious operations off the coast of Scotland.[12] In September she was part of the COUGAR 13 task group, for a series of joint exercises in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf.[13] She visited Gibraltar on the way to the Middle East. This came 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.[14] In the Gulf of Oman, Westminster conducted anti-submarine drills against USS Dallas.[15] In October 2013, she exercised with the Indian Navy off Goa.[16]

On Sunday, 28 September 2014, she docked at East India Dock, by Canary Wharf, in London.

Affiliations[edit]

Westminster '​s ship's bell

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Type 23 Frigate". Royal Navy. 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Last Merlin squadron commissioned". BBC News. 21 October 2004. 
  3. ^ "New sonar protection for warships". BBC News. 24 November 2004. 
  4. ^ "HMS Westminster crew granted Freedom of the City". Westminster City Council. [dead link]
  5. ^ http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.12759/changeNav/6568[dead link]
  6. ^ http://www.navynews.co.uk/news/1123-royal-navy-blockade-forces-gaddafis-gunboats-off-the-ocean.aspx[dead link]
  7. ^ "Torbay 'targets' world's most powerful carrier". Retrieved 26 May 2011. [dead link]
  8. ^ David Blair (23 January 2011). "Britain, US and France send warships through Strait of Hormuz". News-World (London: The Daily Telegraph). Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Britain's Royal Navy says sailor from HMS Westminster missing in Dubai". Washington Post. [dead link]
  10. ^ "British sailor Timmy MacColl missing in Dubai". BBC News. 1 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Wife’s heartache as missing Gosport sailor Timmy MacColl is declared dead". The News. 26 May 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Successful conclusion for multinational exercise". Royal Navy. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Royal Navy set for Cougar 13". Ministry of Defence. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "HMS Westminster practises submarine hunting skills". Royal Navy. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "HMS Westminster in hunt for USS Dallas". Royal Navy. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Indo-UK bilateral naval exercises to be undertaken". The Goan. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "HMS Westminster affiliations". Royal navy website. Archived from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 

External links[edit]