HMS Naiad (F39)

HMS Naiad (F39) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). Like the rest of the class, Naiad was named after a figure or figures of mythology, in this case the Naiads of Greek mythology. Naiad was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders of Scotstoun. She was launched on 4 November 1963 and commissioned on 15 March 1965.[1]

United Kingdom
Name: HMS Naiad (F39)
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 30 October 1962
Launched: 4 November 1963
Commissioned: 17 March 1965 at Scotstoun
Decommissioned: April 1987
Fate: Sunk as target, 1990
General characteristics
Class and type: Leander-class frigate
  • 2,500 tons (later 2,790 tons) standard
  • 2,962 tons (later 3,300 tons) full load
Length: 372 ft (113 m)
Beam: 43 ft (13 m)
Draught: 14 ft 10 in (4.52 m)
Propulsion: 2 Babcock & Wilcox oil-fired boilers, geared steam turbines delivering 22,370 kW (30,000 shp) to two shafts.
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)
Range: 7,400 km (4,600 miles) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 260
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar
    • Type 965 (air warning radar removed in batch 1 ships), Type 992 Q, Type 903, Type 974/978
  • Sonar
    • Type 162,184,199, later type 2031 towed array sonar
  • Initial
  • 2 x 4.5 inch guns (1 twin mounting Mk6)
  • 1 x Seacat surface-to-air missile launcher
  • 2 x 20mm guns (single mountings)
  • 1 x ASW Limbo mortar
  • As refitted (1973-5)
  • 1 x Ikara Anti submarine missile launcher
  • 2 x Seacat surface-to-air missile launchers
  • 2 x 40mm guns - single mountings
  • 2 x triple 324 mm (12.75) STWS-1 tubes for Mk 46 and Stingray ASW torpedoes
  • 1 x Limbo ASW Mortar
Aircraft carried: One Westland Wasp ASW helicopter

Operational service

In 1966, Naiad became the leader of the Northern Ireland Squadron and subsequently deployed to the Far East and South America. In June 1966 she was present at Kieler Woche (Kiel Week, in West Germany) and the Duke of Edinburgh held a state dinner on board in honour of West German President Heinrich Lubke. On 4 May 1967 she recommissioned for a general service commission and was present at Portsmouth Navy Days in that year.[2]

In 1970 Naiad deployed to the Far East, and while there, participated in the Beira Patrol, designed to prevent oil reaching the landlocked Rhodesia via the then Portuguese colony of Mozambique. She performed her second patrol the following year. The Beira Patrol was a regular deployment for the RN until 1975. In 1971 she was present at Portsmouth Navy Days.[3]

Ikara conversion

In January 1973 Naiad began her modernisation at Devonport Dockyard, with her twin 4.5-in gun being replaced by the Australian-designed Ikara anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missile system. The modernisation was completed in 1975, and Naiad then became part of the 6th Frigate Squadron.

Third Cod War

The following year Naiad undertook a Fishery Protection Patrol during the Third Cod War, and on 24 April 1976 she was rammed by the Icelandic gunboat Tyr causing hull and bow damage.[4] The frigate began to take tons of water, which prompted damage control teams to build a concrete enclosure around the gash.[5] Naiad required dry docking at Devonport on her return home.[6]

In 1977, Naiad, like many other Leanders, took part in the Fleet Review, of the Royal Navy at Spithead in celebration of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Naiad was positioned between Brighton and her sister-ship Andromeda.[7] In 1979 Naiad deployed to the Far East once again.

In 1981 Naiad deployed to the Mediterranean. From 1983 to 1984 she underwent a refit at Devonport Dockyard. In 1985 Naiad returned to the Mediterranean as part of the NATO multi-national squadron Naval On-call Force of the Mediterranean (NAVOCFORMED), the predecessor of the Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED). The following year Naiad joined the Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), another NATO multi-national squadron.

Decommissioning and disposal

In April 1987 Naiad was decommissioned, and in 1989 was used as a static trials ship for weapons testing. In September 1990, Naiad was sunk as a target.

Commanding officers

19641966Commander John Cox RN[8]
19671967Captain Sir Peter Anson Bt RN
19671971Commander J N F Davenport RN
19711972Commander A R Wood RN
19731975Refit (Ikara Conversion)
19751977Commander A Casdagli RN
19771977Commander R C Dimmock RN
19771981Commander Roy Newman RN
19811983Commander P Cowling RN
19871987Commander John Brice RN


  1. Marriott, Leo, 1983. Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983, Ian Allan Ltd, p.93.
  2. Programme, Portsmouth Navy Days, 26–28 August 1967, HMSO, p.11
  3. Programme, Navy Days Portsmouth, 29th-31st August 1971, p13.
  4. Flintham, Vic (2008). High Stakes: Britain's Air Arms in Action 1945-1990. Pen and Sword. p. 347. ISBN 1844158152.
  5. "Cod Wars" (PDF). Plymouth Navy Days. August 1976.
  6. "Shipyard news". Marine News. 30-31: 208. 1976.
  7. Official Souvenir Programme, 1977. Silver Jubilee Fleet Review, HMSO
  8. Navy List, HMSO, 1966


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