HMS Archer (P264)

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HMS Archer MOD 45151333.jpg
HMS Archer, 2010
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Archer
Builder: Watercraft Marine
Launched: 25 June 1985
Homeport: Leith
Identification: Pennant number: P264
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Archer-class patrol vessel
Displacement: 54 tonnes
Length: 20.8 m (68 ft)
Beam: 5.8 m (19 ft)
Draught: 1.8 m (5.9 ft)
Propulsion: 2 shafts, Cat C18 ACERT diesels
  • 20 knots (37 km/h)
  • 45 knots (83 km/h) (Hull design, but limited due to engine fitted)
Range: 550 nmi (1,020 km)
  • 16 (training)[N 1]
  • 5 (operational)
Sensors and
processing systems:
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 one of the first of her class to receive an upgrade.[1]

Operational history[edit]

Early service[edit]

The Archer class were built as Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) training vessels, but after limited use they were transferred to URNU service.[2][3]

URNU service[edit]

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.

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 moved to Edinburgh. In summer 2012, the ship was moved to Rosyth Dockyard to serve with Edinburgh URNU and to increase the presence of the RN in Edinburgh.

In June 2017, Archer, in company with HM Ships Smiter, Ranger and Exploit, deployed to the Baltic to take part in the NATO BALTOPS exercise, the first time that Royal Navy P2000s have been involved in such an exercise.[4]

Crew composition[edit]

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.

Commanding officers[edit]

Archer with Example and Explorer
  • 1991-1991 Lt T P Fraser RN
  • 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- 2017 Lt A Platt RN
  • 2017 - present Lt C Stevenson RN



  1. ^ 5 ship's company, 1 training officer, 10 URNU students.
  2. ^ When operational and not in URNU role.


External links[edit]