HMS Avenger (F185)

HMS Avenger was a Type 21 frigate of the Royal Navy. Built by Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland, she was completed with Exocet launchers in 'B' position.

PNS Tippu Sultan, former HMS Avenger
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Avenger
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 30 October 1974
Launched: 20 November 1975
Commissioned: 15 April 1978
Decommissioned: 23 September 1994
Homeport: HMNB Devonport
Identification: Pennant number: F185
Honours and
awards:
Falkland Islands 1982
Fate: Sold to Pakistan on 23 September 1994
Pakistan
Name: PNS Tippu Sultan
Acquired: 23 September 1994
Identification: Pennant number: D185
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Type 21 frigate
Displacement: 3,250 tons full load
Length: 384 ft (117 m)
Beam: 41 ft 9 in (12.73 m)
Draught: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
Propulsion:
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph) official, 37 knots achievable on bursts
Range: 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Complement: 177
Armament:
Aircraft carried: 1 × Westland Wasp helicopter, later refitted for 1 × Alouette III and 1 × Westland Lynx

Royal Navy service

With the appointment of Captain Hugo White in 1981, Avenger became leader of the 4th Frigate Squadron. Avenger was a late arrival at the Falklands War, as she didn't leave the UK until 10 May 1982, arriving on 25 May - a record for any ship involved in the operations, and a great distance ito have covered in 14 days.[1] The Rolls Royce Olympus turbines of Type 21 frigates enabled them to maintain high speeds, but at the time the Royal Navy preferred this information not to be publicised. Avenger had averaged 28 knots and the Type 21s became nicknamed the Boy Racers.[2] Captain White led Avenger in the Falklands War surviving an attack by an Exocet missile which it shot out of the sky with the 4.5 inch mark 8 gun on the focsle of the ship. Her divers salvaged a 20mm Oerlikon from the wreck of HMS Antelope which was remounted to increase her anti-aircraft capability, referred to on board as "Antelope's Avenger".[3] She also assisted with naval gunfire support during the campaign.

On 11 June she was conducting naval bombardments of Port Stanley in preparation for an amphibious assault by British troops. She directly struck a house where civilians were sheltering, killing three Falkland Islander women and wounding several others. They were the only British civilian casualties of the Falklands War.[4][5]

During the Falklands deployment, an alarming crack in the ship's hull progressively worsened with the stormy South Atlantic weather. On return to UK, she was taken in for refitting, with a steel plate being welded down each side of the ship to eliminate the problem. At the same time modifications were made to reduce hull noise.

After the war she remained leader of the 4th Frigate Squadron until 1986.

Pakistan Navy service

Avenger was decommissioned and sold to Pakistan on 23 September 1994, where she was refitted[6] and renamed Tippu Sultan. She is the third ship to carry this name[7] and remains in service with the Pakistan Navy as part of the 25th Destroyer Squadron.[8]

Notes

  1. Marriott, Leo, 1983. Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983, Ian Allan Ltd, Surrey, p104
  2. "Admiral Sir Hugo White - obituary". Daily Telegraph. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  3. Marriott, Leo, 1983. Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983, Ian Allan Ltd, Surrey, p104
  4. Steven P. Lee (13 February 2012). Ethics and War: An Introduction (Cambridge Applied Ethics). Cambridge University Press. p. 33. ISBN 0-5217-2757-X.
  5. "Falklands War memorial unveiled at National Arboretum". BBC. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  6. "Pakistan". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
  7. The Pakistan Society newsletter, October 2005 Archived 2 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Pakistan Navy: A Silent Force to Reckon with Archived 29 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine

Publications

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