HMS Nubian (F131)

HMS Nubian was a Tribal-class frigate of the Royal Navy in service from 1962 and 1979. She was named after the Nubian ethnic group, located in Egypt and Sudan. She was sunk as a target in 1987.

United Kingdom
Name: HMS Nubian
Builder: Portsmouth Dockyard
Laid down: 7 September 1959
Launched: 6 September 1960
Commissioned: 9 October 1962
Identification: Pennant number F131
Fate: Sunk as target 1987
General characteristics
Class and type: Tribal-class frigate
  • 2,300 long tons (2,300 t) standard
  • 2,700 long tons (2,700 t) full load
  • 360 ft 0 in (109.73 m) oa
  • 350 ft 0 in (106.68 m) pp
Beam: 42 ft 3 in (12.88 m)
  • 13 ft 3 in (4.04 m)
  • 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m) (propellers)[1]
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph) (COSAG)
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 253
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar type 965 air-search
  • Radar type 993 low-angle search
  • Radar type 978 navigation
  • Radar type 903 gunnery fire-control
  • Radar type 262 GWS-21 fire-control
  • Sonar type 177 search
  • Sonar type 170 attack
  • Sonar type 162 bottom profiling
  • Ashanti and Gurkha;
  • Sonar type 199 variable-depth
Aircraft carried: 1 × Westland Wasp helicopter
Service record
Operations: Beira Patrol

Nubian was built by Portsmouth Dockyard,[2] at a cost of £4,360,000.[3] She was launched on 6 September 1960 by Lady Holland-Martin, wife of Vice-Admiral Sir Deric Holland-Martin,[4] and commissioned on 9 October 1962.[2]

Operational service

In 1964, Nubian suffered a collision that caused minor damage. She joined the Beira Patrol off Mozambique in 1967, supporting the enforcement of an oil blockade of Rhodesia.[5] Nubian constituted the escort for the Daily Mail Trans-Atlantic Air Race in 1969 that commemorated the 50th Anniversary of Alcock and Brown's non-stop transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to Britain. In 1971 she was present at Portsmouth Navy Days.[6] In 1975, Nubian reinforced the British garrison in Belize after Guatemala intensified its threats to annex the territory.[7]

Nubian was present at the 1977 Spithead Fleet Review, held in honour of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. At this time she was part of the 5th Frigate Squadron.[8]

In 1978, Nubian assisted in the cleanup after the supertanker Amoco Cadiz grounded off the coast of Brittany; more than 200,000 tons (180,000 metric tons) of oil had polluted the Brittany coastline.

Nubian entered the reserve in 1979, being placed in the Standby Squadron and put on the disposal list in 1981.[9] While in reserve, Nubian became a training ship and had parts cannibalised for three sister-ships sold to Indonesia in 1984. The frigate was sunk as a target on 27 May 1987.[10]

Commanding officers

FromToCommanding Officer
19621964Captain I W Jamieson RN
19641966Captain E G Brown RN
19661969Captain D E deM Leathes RN
19691971Commander G T J O Dalton RN
19721974Commander M J G Howitt RN
19741977Commander R J Onslow RN
19771977Commander J R Griffiths RN
19781979Commander I D MacKenzie RN


  1. Blackman 1971, p. 356.
  2. Gardiner, Robert & Chesneau, Roger (1995), p. 518.
  3. "Nuclear Submarine Costs £18M". The Times (55633): Col A, p. 6. 23 February 1963.
  4. "Frigate In A Hurry". The Times (54870): Col B, p. 14. 7 September 1960.
  5. "Navy Checks On Tanker Off Beira". The Times (56904): Col G, p. 1. 1 April 1967.
  6. Programme, Navy Days Portsmouth, 29th-31st August 1971, p13.
  7. "Britain winning support for Belize self-determination". The Times (59552): Col B, p. 7. 13 November 1975.
  8. Official Souvenir Programme, 1977. Silver Jubilee Fleet Review, HMSO
  9. Hansard (26 April 1982), Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  10. Colledge, J. J. & Warlow, Ben (2010), p. 284.


  • Blackman, Raymond V. B., ed. (1971). Jane's Fighting Ships 1971–72. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., Ltd. ISBN 0-354-00096-9.
  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8.
  • Gardiner, Robert; Chesneau, Roger, eds. (1995). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships, 1947-1995. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-8517-7605-7.
  • Marriott, Leo (1983). Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983. Surrey: Ian Allan Ltd.
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