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HMS Enterprise (H88)

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HMS Enterprise in 2019.
United Kingdom
NameHMS Enterprise
Ordered19 June 2000[4]
BuilderAppledore Shipbuilders
Launched2 May 2002[4]
Sponsored byLady Sally Forbes
Commissioned17 October 2003[4]
Decommissioned30 March 2023[5]
HomeportHMNB Devonport, Plymouth
  • Latin: spes aspera levat
  • ("hope lightens difficulties")
  • On a Field Red, a lion rampant under a star Silver
General characteristics [4]
Class and typeEcho-class survey vessel
Displacement3,740 t (3,680 long tons; 4,120 short tons)
Length90.6 m (297 ft 3 in)
Beam16.8 m (55 ft 1 in)
Draught5.5 m (18 ft 1 in)
Speed15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range9,300 nmi (17,200 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Endurance35 days
Boats & landing
craft carried
Survey motor boat
Sensors and
processing systems
Integrated survey system[N 1]

HMS Enterprise, the tenth ship to bear this name, was a multi-role survey vessel - hydrographic oceanographic (SVHO) of the Royal Navy along with HMS Echo that made up the Echo class of survey vessels.



Echo and Enterprise are the first Royal Navy ships to be fitted with azimuth thrusters. Both azimuth thrusters and the bow thruster can be controlled through the integrated navigation system by a joystick providing high manoeuvrability. Complete control and monitoring for power generation and propulsion, together with all auxiliary plant systems, tank gauging and damage control functions is provided through the integrated platform management system (IPMS), accessible through workstations around the ship.



Enterprise and Echo are designed to conduct survey operations in support of submarines or amphibious operations. She can provide almost real-time tailored environmental information, and also has a secondary role as a mine countermeasure tasking authority platform, for which she is capable of embarking a dedicated mine counter measures command team.[6]



Built by Appledore Shipbuilders under the prime contractor Vosper Thornycroft, Enterprise was launched on 27 April 2002, officially named by the ship's sponsor, Lady Sally Forbes, at her naming ceremony on 2 May 2002, and commissioned on 18 October 2003.[7] She is designed and built to Lloyd's Naval Ship Rules.



Enterprise's crew consists of 72 personnel, with 48 on board at any one time, working a cycle of 70 days on, 30 days off. The ship can accommodate 81 personnel if necessary. The ship was operationally available 330 days a year.[8] In support of this high availability, all accommodation and recreational facilities are designed for an unusual (in a warship) degree of comfort. All personnel share double cabins with private facilities, except the captain and executive officer who both have single cabins.[9]

Operational history



HMS Enterprise in 2008

Enterprise's first operational overseas deployment was to the Mediterranean in October 2004, returning to Devonport in April 2005. She participated in a NATO exercise and conducted oceanographic and hydrographic surveys.[7]

Enterprise sailed in September 2005 to conduct survey operations in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. She also conducted a collaborative hydrographic survey with the Saudi military.[7]

In 2007 Enterprise deployed for 19 months to West Africa, South Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. While in the Persian Gulf she worked off the coast of Iraq in support of the UK and Iraqi governments.[7]

Enterprise deployed in June 2009 for two years on an extended deployment to West Africa spending three months there before travelling through the Mediterranean to begin operations east of Suez later in the year.[10]


Enterprise moored at South Dock in London

On 10 June 2011, Enterprise returned to Devonport, having covered over 50,000 miles (80,000 km) during the deployment.[11]

Enterprise was dispatched to Libya in August 2014 to evacuate British citizens and diplomatic staff due to the increasing violence in the country. Over the course of two lifts, Enterprise evacuated a total of 217 civilians and landed them safely in Valletta, Malta.[12]

In June 2015, Enterprise replaced HMS Bulwark in the mission to rescue migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy.[13] By December 2015, Enterprise had been responsible for rescuing more than 2600 migrants.[14] By December 2016, this number had risen to over 9000[15] before Enterprise was finally relieved by Echo. In recognition of her contribution to the European Union's Operation Sophia and her lifesaving work, the ship was awarded the Firmin Sword of Peace, an award given to units of the UK Armed Forces who have gone above and beyond their normal role.[16][15]

On 9 January 2017, it was announced Enterprise had deployed to the South Atlantic to perform patrol tasks normally carried out by the Falkland Islands patrol vessel, HMS Clyde, while Clyde underwent three months of maintenance in South Africa. Aside from patrol duties, Enterprise was also tasked with updating charts of the region used by seafarers during her deployment.[17] Enterprise returned to Devonport on 18 April 2017 having steamed 150,000 miles (240,000 km) and visited 20 countries over a period of nearly three years.[18] Upon her return to the UK Enterprise underwent a short refit in Falmouth prior to returning to operations.[19]

Sailing from Devonport on 29 June 2017, Enterprise deployed in her secondary role as a mine counter measures command ship, assuming the role of flagship of NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2), primarily operating in the Mediterranean.[20] Returning to the UK a year later,[21] she completed a short refit in Falmouth[22] before deploying to Norway in October 2018 for Exercise Trident Juncture as the mine counter measures command ship for the UK minehunter taskgroup.[23]

In December 2019, she was reported to have sailed through the strait of Taiwan.[24]

On 5 August 2020, she was sent to Beirut to help survey the area around the docks following the 2020 Beirut Docks Explosion. [25]

The ship decommissioned on 30 March 2023.[5]



Enterprise is affiliated with 'D' (Royal Devon Yeomanry) Squadron Royal Wessex Yeomanry[citation needed] and the town of Tiverton, Devon, which includes the freedom of the city with the ship's company able to march through the town with flags flying whilst bearing arms. The ship is also affiliated with two Sea Cadet units; TS Hermes in Tiverton and TS Enterprise in Shirehampton.[26] She is also the affiliated ship of Reading Blue Coat School CCF navy section, the Worshipful Company of Cutlers and Two Moors Primary School, Tiverton.[27]


  1. ^ Side-scan sonar; multi-beam echo sounder; single-beam echo sounder; undulating oceanographic profiler; Doppler current log; sub-bottom profiler; bottom sampling equipment.


  1. ^ "Star ship Enterprise completes year-long NATO mission". Royal Navy. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Royal Navy Bridge Card" (PDF). September 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Enterprise". MarineTraffic.com. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005. Jane's Information Group Limited. p. 815. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
  5. ^ a b "HMS Enterprise is decommissioned". 30 March 2023.
  6. ^ "Echoes of a varied history: HMS Echo, ship of the month". Navy News. May 2004. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d "HMS Enterprise". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 14 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  8. ^ "Navy's new survey ship named Enterprise". The Defence Procurement Agency Press Office. 2 May 2002. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  9. ^ "Multi-Role Survey Vessels Hydrographic/Oceanographic (SVHOs)". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 28 March 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  10. ^ "Three Royal Naval Ships Deploy To Iraq and Africa". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 8 August 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  11. ^ Ministry of Defence (10 June 2011). "HMS Enterprise home from 20-month deployment". Gov.uk. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  12. ^ Bunkall, Alistair (2 August 2014). "Royal Navy rescues Brits from conflict-hit Libya". Sky News. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  13. ^ Travis, Alan (27 July 2015). "HMS Bulwark's replacement yet to rescue any migrants in Mediterranean". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Enterprise saves 188 souls in Christmas rescue". Royal Navy. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  15. ^ a b Ministry of Defence. "HMS Enterprise praised for saving lives in the Mediterranean". Gov.uk. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  16. ^ Ministry of Defence. "Defence Secretary praises strikes on Daesh stronghold". Gov.uk. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Clyde's high and dry as she's out of the water for the first time in five years". Royal Navy. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  18. ^ Herald, Gayle (18 April 2017). "Plymouth Navy ship HMS Enterprise is coming home today after three years at sea". The Herald. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  19. ^ Barnicoat, David (9 March 2017). "A&P tender for part of a ten-year, £900 million MoD contract to repair and refit ships". Falmouth Packet. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  20. ^ Ministry of Defence (29 June 2017). "Defence Secretary steps up UK commitments to NATO". Gov.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  21. ^ "HMS Enterprise returns home after year-long NATO mission". Royal Navy. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  22. ^ "A&P Falmouth on the crest of a wave". Falmouth Packet. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Royal Navy ships complete NATO's biggest exercise of 2018". Royal Navy. 7 November 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  24. ^ "British navy vessel passes through Taiwan Strait". South China Morning Post. 7 December 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Confirmed: HMS Enterprise sent to Beirut".
  26. ^ "Tiverton's HMS Enterprise officially commissioned". Truro Packet. 24 October 2003. Retrieved 20 June 2009. [dead link]
  27. ^ "HMS Enterprise - Affiliations". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 11 September 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2009.