HMS Brilliant (F90)

HMS Brilliant was a Type 22 frigate of the Royal Navy.

HMS Brilliant enters a port during exercise Ocean Safari 1985
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Brilliant
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 25 March 1977
Launched: 15 December 1978
Commissioned: 15 May 1981
Decommissioned: 1996
Identification: Pennant number: F90
Fate: Sold to Brazil 31 August 1996
Name: Dodsworth
Operator: Brazilian Navy
Identification: Pennant number: F-47
Fate: Sold for Scrap
General characteristics
Class and type: Type 22 frigate
Displacement: 4,400 tons
Length: 131.2 m (430 ft)
Beam: 14.8 m (48 ft)
Draught: 6.1 m (20 ft)
  • 18 knots (33 km/h) cruise
  • 30 knots (56 km/h) top speed
Complement: 222
Aircraft carried: 2 × Lynx MK 8 helicopters

Brilliant took part in the only ship-to-ship engagement of the Falklands War, when she and HMS Yarmouth chased the Argentine coaster Monsunen, in the Battle of Seal Cove.

Royal Navy Service

Falklands War

Brilliant was part of the task force that took part in the Falklands War, with Captain John Coward in command.[1]

During the war, her two helicopters were involved in unsuccessfully attacking the Argentine submarine Santa Fe, and she was the first Royal Navy warship to fire the Sea Wolf missile in action when, on 12 May 1982, she shot down three A-4 Skyhawks.

On 21 May 1982 HMS Brilliant came under Argentine air attack outside San Carlos Water and was slightly damaged by cannon fire. On 23 May she joined HMS Yarmouth in the chase of the Argentinian supply ship ARA Monsunen.

She rescued 24 survivors from Atlantic Conveyor on 25 May. Brilliant had sailed south with a pair of WE.177A nuclear depth charges on board.[2] To avoid complications arising from the Treaty of Tlatelolco, these were unloaded to RFA Fort Austin on 16 April 1982.[3]


In 1987 she became leader of the 2nd Frigate Squadron. In October 1990 she saw the first members of the Women's Royal Naval Service to serve officially on an operational warship.[4] In January 1991, Brilliant deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of the Operation Granby Task Force, in the First Gulf War. Brilliant starred in a BBC documentary series called HMS Brilliant – In a Ship's Company by the journalist Chris Terrill in 1994, while she was undertaking an operational tour off the coast of former Yugoslavia enforcing a United Nations arms embargo in the Adriatic sea.[5]

Brazilian Navy Service

She decommissioned from Royal Navy service in 1996 and was sold to the Brazilian Navy on 31 August 1996 and renamed Dodsworth.

F47 Dodsworth was sold for scrap and broken up at Aliağa, Turkey, during July 2012.[6]

The silhouette of HMS Brilliant is painted, with the date 21 May, on the side of Argentine Air Force IAI Finger serial number C-412. Also painted on C-412 is the silhouette of HMS Arrow and the date 1 May. These kill markings (without crossing) have to do with damage to both ships in the Falklands War, HMS Arrow being slightly damaged by cannon fire 1 May 1982 and HMS Brilliant also being slightly damaged by cannon fire on 21 May. Finger's markings were painted soon after the war; they were seen during the November 2005 multi-national Exercise Ceibo in Argentina, and still there as of 2007.

Commanding officers

19811982Captain John Coward RN
19831984Captain Michael Boyce RN
19861986Captain P. Nigel Goodwin RN
19861987Captain Charles J. Freeman RN
19871989Captain Colin H.D. Cooke-Priest RN
19891990Captain Richard F Cobbold RN
19901992Captain Tobin D Elliott RN
19921994Captain James Burnell-Nugent RN
19961998Captain Paulo José Rodrigues de Carvalho BN


  1. Woodward, Sandy (1992). One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander. Naval Institute Press. p. 364. ISBN 978-0-00-713467-0.
  2. Frredman, Lawrence (2005). The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. 2. Routledge. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-415-41911-6.
  3. Ministry of Defence Page 8. Retrieved 10 March 2009
  4. History of the Women's Royal Naval Service and its integration into the Royal Navy
  5. Terrill, Christopher (1995). HMS Brilliant – In a Ship's Company. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0563371847.


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