HMS Archer (P264)
HMS Archer, 2010
|Launched:||25 June 1985|
|Identification:||Pennant number: P264|
|Status:||in active service|
|Class and type:||Archer-class patrol vessel|
|Propulsion:||2 shafts, Rolls Royce M800T diesels, 1,590 bhp|
|Range:||550 nmi (1,020 km)|
|Decca 1216 navigation radar|
HMS Archer is the lead ship of the Archer class. As the lead ship she was one of several of her class to be completed in 1985 by Watercraft Marine, the original shipbuilders — most of the remaining vessels were completed or built by Vosper Thornycroft. In 2015, she was the first of her class to receive an upgrade.
Archer became the training ship of the Aberdeen URNU in 1991, succeeding Chaser. The role of a training ship within an URNU is to provide opportunities for students to receive practical training and gain experience afloat. Archer's programme is generally divided into two durations of training - a weekend or the longer deployments that take place during the university Easter and summer holidays.
Activities onboard include navigation and seamanship training, breakdown or man overboard exercises and visits from local dignitaries or senior RN officers.
Deployments in the Easter and summer holidays venture further afield, Archer has visited ports from the Western Isles and east coast of Britain to the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and the Baltic. These longer deployments are often undertaken in company with other ships such as Example and Explorer.
The Aberdeen URNU operated from 1967 until 2012 before being disbanded. At the time of closure various reasons were presented ranging from the universities lack of academic prestige to its poor public visibility. The Aberdeen Universities military education committee asked for written clarification of the situation however to date this has never been received. In summer 2012, the ship was moved to Rosyth Dockyard to serve the newly formed Edinburgh URNU and to increase the presence of the RN in Edinburgh.
Archer is permanently crewed by five RN personnel, and is captained by a lieutenant. Chief petty officers fill the roles of executive officer and marine engineering officer, and the yeoman and weapons engineering officer are junior rates of the appropriate service branches. With students embarked (up to a maximum of 11), a training officer is usually present who is typically a RNR lieutenant or sub-lieutenant.
- 1991-1993 Lt J R H Clink RN
- 1993-1995 Lt Cdr G D MacDonald RN
- 1995-1997 Lt Cdr M P Pollock RN
- 1997-1999 Lt J L Clark RN
- 1999-2003 Lt Cdr I C Wiseman RN
- 2001-2003 Lt P J Hammond RN
- 2003-2005 Lt Cdr S M Armstrong RN
- 2005-2007 Lt S L Coulton RN
- 2007-2009 Lt Cdr J Wells RN
- 2009-2011 Lt M R Hutchinson RN
- 2011-2014 Lt J N Martin RN
- 2014-2015 Lt I Giffin RN
- 2015-present Lt A Platt RN
- 5 ship's company, 1 training officer, 12 URNU students.
- When operational and not in URNU role.
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