HMS Ajax (F114)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Ajax.
HMS Ajax (F114).png
RN EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Ajax
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Cammell Laird
Laid down: 12 October 1959
Launched: 16 August 1962
Commissioned: 10 December 1963
Decommissioned: 31 May 1985
Identification: Pennant number: F114
Fate: Scrapped 1988
General characteristics
Class and type: Leander-class frigate
  • 2,450 tons standard
  • 2,860 tons full load
Length: 372 ft (113 m)
Beam: 41 ft (12 m)
Draught: 18 ft (5 m)
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range: 5,300 nmi (9,800 km; 6,100 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 251 as built, 257 after Ikara refit
Aircraft carried: 1 × Wasp helicopter

HMS Ajax 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 named HMS Fowey, and laid down as a Rothesay class, but instead became part of Batch 1 of the Leander class.

Service history[edit]

In 1964, Ajax deployed to the Far East, becoming leader of the 24th Escort Group. It was a long deployment, and she did not return to the UK until 1968.[1] In 1970, Ajax became the Gibraltar guard ship,[1] a required deployment at that time due to the tense fears of invasion by General Franco.

In September 1970, Ajax began a modernisation at Devonport Dockyard that lasted to 1973,[1] having her 4.5 inch turret replaced by an Ikara anti-submarine missile system. A pair of quadruple GWS22 SeaCat launchers were fitted aft and 40 mm guns were mounted amidships.[2]

Following her conversion she became leader of the 8th Frigate Squadron.[3] In 1974, she assisted in the evacuation of British citizens after the Turkish invasion 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, the Leander-class cruiser Ajax made famous by the Battle of the River Plate during the Second World War. The 'new' Ajax was granted the freedom of the city.

In 1977, Ajax underwent a refit at Devonport Dockyard,[1] deploying in 1979 to the Mediterranean. In 1980, she underwent a refit at Gibraltar which was completed 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 guard ship; she later completed a 4 month deployment around the Falklands as part of the South Atlantic Protection Force in 1984. She participated in further deployments that culminated in the highlight of her final year in 1985, when she escorted the HMY Britannia, which took a number of the Royal Family on a tour of Italy.


She was decommissioned 31 May 1985, then replaced HMS Salisbury as a static training ship at Devonport. On 3 August 1988, Ajax arrived at Millom, Cumbria to be broken up. Her anchor is now located in Ajax, Ontario.

Commanding officers[edit]


From To Captain
1963 1965 Captain The Hon D P Seely RN
1965 1966 Captain Gordon Tait DSC RN
1966 1968 Captain George A de G Kitchin RN
1968 1969 Captain David Hepworth RN
1969 1970 Captain Harry R Keate RN
1970 1973 Refit (Ikara Conversion)
1973 1974 Captain Richard J Bates RN
1974 1976 Captain David J MacKenzie RN
1976 1977 Captain Robert Squires RN
1977 1978 Captain Peter Cobb RN
1978 1980 Captain M J F Rawlinson RN
1980 1981 Captain Timothy M. Bevan RN
1981 1983 Captain Jeremy Michael Porter RN
1983 1984 Captain Peter Abbott RN
1984 1985 Captain John F S Trinder RN


  1. ^ a b c d Critchley 1986, p. 116.
  2. ^ Marriott 1986, pp. 80, 82.
  3. ^ Mackie, Colin. "I: Royal Navy Senior Appointments". British Armed Forces (1900–). p. 187. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Mackie, Colin. "II: Royal Navy- Captains Commanding Warships". British Armed Forces (1900–). Retrieved 19 January 2014.