HMS Ambuscade (F172)

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HMS Ambuscade (F172).jpg
Ambuscade firing her 4.5-inch gun
United Kingdom
NameHMS Ambuscade
BuilderYarrow Shipbuilders
Yard number1008
Laid down1 September 1971
Launched18 January 1973
Commissioned5 September 1975
Decommissioned28 July 1993
IdentificationPennant number: F172
  • Tempori insidior
  • ("I bide my time")
FateSold to Pakistan on 28 July 1993
NotesTo be returned to the United Kingdom for preservation as a museum ship
General characteristics
Class and typeType 21 frigate
Displacement3,250 tons full load
Length384 ft (117 m)
Beam41 ft 9 in (12.73 m)
Draught19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
Speed32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)
  • 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
  • 1,200 nmi (2,200 km; 1,400 mi) at 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Aircraft carried1 × Westland Wasp helicopter, later refitted for 1 × Westland Lynx

HMS Ambuscade was a Type 21 frigate of the Royal Navy. She was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland. She entered service in 1975. Ambuscade took part in the Falklands War of 1982.

Ambuscade was sold to Pakistan in 1993 and is still in service as PNS Tariq.

Service history[edit]

Ambuscade was launched on 18 January 1973 by Lady Griffin, wife of the Controller of the Navy, and was commissioned at Devonport on 5 September 1975.[1] During 1976 and 1977 her commander was Peter Abbott who subsequently attained Flag rank.[2]

Ambuscade took part in the Falklands War of 1982, serving as an Electronic Warfare picket ship to the Task Force, and taking part in several bombardments of Argentine positions.[1] On 25 May Ambuscade was targeted by two Exocet missiles fired by Argentine Super Étendard strike aircraft. Ambuscade detected the aircraft at 30 miles and the missile launch at 22 miles, first with radar then visually, and fired chaff decoys in an attempt to confuse the missiles' seekers. Both missiles then locked on to SS Atlantic Conveyor impacting her port quarter, and setting her on fire. Atlantic Conveyor sank whilst under tow on 28 May.[3] On the night of 13 June she fired 228 4.5-inch shells in support of 2 Para's assault of Wireless Ridge.

On 27 April 1983, Ambuscade was conducting tactical manoeuvres with ships of the United States Navy in the Indian Ocean. During the course of the exercise, she collided with the guided missile cruiser USS Dale resulting in part of her bows being torn away.[4] Ambuscade was laid up in Bombay for six weeks while a new bow was constructed and fitted.[5] There was enough damage to have Dale dry docked when she returned to Jacksonville, Florida.[citation needed] Ambuscade was in collision with the trawler Ester Colleen in heavy fog off Torbay on 26 October 1983. The trawler was badly holed in the collision.[6]

From November 1983 to February 1984, Ambuscade served as West Indies Guardship.[7][8] On 8 June 1984, Ambuscade went to the assistance of the schooner Stena of Sitoo, which had struck an object in the North Sea and been holed below the waterline.[9]

In late 1984, suffering from cracking in her hull, she was taken in for refitting, with a steel plate being welded down each side of the ship. At the same time modifications were made to reduce hull noise and four Exocet launchers were added in front of the bridge.

In 1993, she was decommissioned and sold to Pakistan and recommissioned as PNS Tariq, and remains in active service.

In December 2021, it was announced that it was hoped that when decommissioned, she could returned to the United Kingdom for preservation as a museum ship.[10]

List of deployments[11]
From To Detail Note
1975 1976 Sea trials
1977 1977 Standing Naval Force Atlantic 6 months
1978 1978 5th Frigate Squadron and cruiser HMS Blake. Western Atlantic and Pacific 5 months
1979 1979 UK waters
1979 1979 Belize and West Indies Guardship
1980 1980 Refit at Devonport
1981 1982 Sea training. Armilla Patrol
1982 1982 South Atlantic (Falklands War)
1983 1983 Collision while on Armilla Patrol
1983 1984 West Indies Guardship
1984 1986 Refit at Devonport
1986 1987 Falklands Guardship
1988 1988 West Indies Guardship
1989 1989 UK and Europe
1990 1990 Falklands Guardship
1991 1991 West Indies Guardship
1992 1992 Falklands Guardship
1993 1993 Sold to the Pakistan Navy
Ambuscade at the HM Dockyard Bermuda in 1988


  1. ^ a b Gough, Richie (30 August 2014). "Ambuscade Service History". Type 21 Club. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  2. ^ Gough, Richie (30 August 2014). "HMS Ambuscade (F172)". Type 21 Club. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  3. ^ The Atlantic Conveyor, Think Defence, 14 July 2021
  4. ^ "HMS Ambuscade". ClydeBuilt Database. 5 March 2004. Archived from the original on 6 November 2004. Retrieved 8 November 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ "Collision with USS Dale 1983". HMS Ambuscade Association. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  6. ^ "Trawler holed". The Times. No. 61674. 27 October 1983. p. 3.
  7. ^ Critchley 1992, p. 137
  8. ^ "Ambuscade changes the guard" (PDF). Navy News. March 1984. p. 14. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Air-sea aid for holed schooner". The Times. No. 61853. London. 9 June 1984. col A, B, p. 3.
  10. ^ "Hope of bringing "Awesome Amazon" home to the Clyde". HMS Ardent Association. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  11. ^ "RN Career and Programme". HMS Ambuscade Association. Retrieved 9 October 2019.


External links[edit]

  • "Home". HMS 'Ambuscade' Association.