HMS Lancaster (F229)

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HMS Lancaster MOD 45155777.jpg
HMS Lancaster in the Caribbean Sea during 2013
Name: HMS Lancaster
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: September 1986
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 18 December 1987
Launched: 24 May 1990
Sponsored by: Queen Elizabeth II
Commissioned: 1 May 1992
Homeport: HMNB Portsmouth
  • The Queen's Frigate,
  • The Red Rose Frigate
Status: in active service
Badge: Lancaster badge.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type: Type 23 Frigate
Displacement: 4,900 t (4,800 long tons; 5,400 short tons)[1]
Length: 133 m (436 ft 4 in)
Beam: 16.1 m (52 ft 10 in)
Draught: 7.3 m (23 ft 9 in)
Speed: In excess of 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range: 7,500 nautical miles (14,000 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)
Complement: 185 (accommodation for up to 205)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried:
Aviation facilities:

HMS Lancaster is a Duke class Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy. She was launched by Queen Elizabeth II[2] on 24 May 1990 and is known as "The Queen's Frigate",[3] the Duke of Lancaster being a subsidiary title of the Sovereign. Being the third ship in the Type 23 class, Lancaster was originally allocated the pennant number F232 until it was realised that the 232 is the Royal Navy report form for groundings and collisions and therefore considered unlucky.[4][5] She is one of the few stag ships left in the fleet, she has some female officers but the mess decks are men-only.[6] It is quite common when she has returned from long operations that she is flown over by the Avro Lancaster bomber which is part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby.[7]

Operational history[edit]



Lancaster returning from a deployment in the Persian Gulf.

Lancaster has been involved in anti-drug operations in the Caribbean, but also delivered Vice Admiral Adrian Johns in 2009 to his new post as Governor of Gibraltar. In February 2010 Lancaster was deployed in waters off the Horn of Africa as part of Combined Task Force 150, tackling piracy, drug-running, people trafficking, arms smuggling, and other criminal and terrorist threats.[8][9]

In September 2010 Lancaster entered refit in Portsmouth.

2011 – present[edit]

Lancaster returned to sea in early 2012 and returned to active service in Spring 2013.[6] The £17.9m contract covered upgrades to communications, the Sea Wolf and command systems,[10] the installation of a 30mm remote-operated gun[10] and a transom flap.[11] Both shafts were replaced, four refurbished diesel generators installed and new paint applied to the hull.[11] The accommodation, galley and dining halls were all refurbished at the same time.[12] Half the crew returned to the ship in October 2011, under the command of Lt Cdr Charlie Guy until Cdr Steve Moorhouse takes over in November 2011.[6] Although the top speed of the Duke class is commonly quoted as 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph), the caption of an official Navy photo suggests that Lancaster was capable of 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph) even before her mid-life refit;[13] the transom flap can add up to 1 knot (1.9 km/h; 1.2 mph) to the top speed of a Type 23,[14] and the Intersleek anti-fouling paint added 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) to the top speed of Ark Royal.[15]

In July to August 2013, she was on a counter-narcotics mission in the Caribbean, seizing a massive 680 kg haul of cocaine with an estimated street value of £100 million after sailors and an embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment boarded a speedboat near Puerto Rico.[16][17]

On 23 March 2015, Lancaster became the first ship in the Royal Navy to deploy with the navy's new uniform and Wildcat helicopter.[18]

The crew of the Lancaster gathered on the deck of the vessel to spell the word sister, as a present from the Royal Navy, on the birth of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on 2 May 2015.[19]

Between 12 and 16 October 2015 Lancaster and RFA Gold Rover participated the bicentennial anniversary commemorations of Napoleon's arrival on Saint Helena after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, and subsequent surrender to British forces.[20]

In 2015, the ship visited Algiers for three days for official receptions and a short spell of training with ships in the Algerian Navy, including the Algerian amphibious transport dock Kalaat Béni Abbès. She arrived back in the UK on 17 December 2015.[21]

Upon her return to the UK, Lancaster entered a period of "extended readiness" in Portsmouth awaiting refit in 2017.[22] Lancaster departed Portsmouth on 31 March 2017 under tow for Plymouth.



  1. ^ Royal Navy Frigates: Type 23 Frigate,
  2. ^ "HMS Lancaster Marks first Cayman visit". Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Lancaster Ship's Company return 'Home'". Royal Navy. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  4. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships 1999-2000
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c "Lancaster once again echoes with life", Navy News, 14 October 2011, retrieved 16 October 2011
  7. ^ The other airworthy Lancaster flies out of Hamilton Airport, Ontario, Canada.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "BAE Systems undertakes refit of Royal Navy's HMS Lancaster". The Engineer. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Lancaster Returns To The Water As Refit Gathers Pace". Royal Navy. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  12. ^ "Lancaster Ship's Company return 'Home'". Royal Navy. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  13. ^ image 45139105.jpg (taken 12 September 1999) is captioned "DUKE CLASS TYPE 23 FRIGATE F229 HMS LANCASTER STEAMING AT 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)."
  14. ^ "A Forth for good". Navy News. September 2008. p. 6.
  15. ^ "The Royal Navy's Fleet" (PDF). Royal Navy Matters. Royal Navy. 2010. p. 52. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "HMS Lancaster leaves Portsmouth on deployment of 'firsts'". Royal Navy. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 May 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ "Lancaster heads for home". Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  22. ^

External links[edit]