RFA Engadine (K08)

RFA Engadine (K08) was a helicopter support ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.[1][2][3] The need for Engadine was seen in the mid-1960s as more and more helicopters were deployed from Royal Navy aircraft carriers and surface combatants. The ship was ordered in August 1964, from Henry Robb of Leith, and commissioned in December 1967, replacing HMS Lofoten. She was named after the Engadin valley in south-east Switzerland, which is represented by the alphorns and edelweiss on her badge.

Engadine, somewhere between 1969 and 1973, Falmouth, on the south coast of England (Falmouth Submarine pier in foreground).
United Kingdom
Name: RFA Engadine
Ordered: 18 August 1964
Builder: Henry Robb Ltd, Leith
Laid down: 9 August 1965
Launched: 16 September 1966
Commissioned: 15 December 1967
Decommissioned: March 1989. Laid up at Devonport.
Identification: IMO number: 6800684
Fate: Arrived Piraeus on 18 February 1990 after sale to Greek owners reportedly for a new service which never materialised and the ship was laid up, name unchanged. Arrived Alang for demolition on 7 May 1996
Badge: Two crossed alphorns surrounded by 12 edelweiss flowers on a dark blue background.
General characteristics
Type: Helicopter Support Ship
Displacement: 8,950 tons (full load)
Length: 129.31 meters (424.25 feet)
Beam: 17.86 meters (58.6 feet)
Draught: 7 meters (22.5 feet)
Installed power: 5,500 bhp
Propulsion: 1 × 5 cylinder Sulzer diesel. One shaft.
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)
Complement: 63 RFA + 32 RN + 131 under training
Aircraft carried: 4 × Westland Wessex Or 2 × Westland Sea King and 2 × Westland Wasp helicopters

In 1968 she was designated as one of the PYTHON locations for the dispersal and continuity of government in the event of nuclear war.[4]

Engadine's homeport throughout her career was Portland, Dorset. The most notable events in those 25 years were the 1976 crisis in Lebanon, where she was deployed as part of contingency planning to evacuate British citizens, the Silver Jubilee fleet review in 1977 when she followed HMY Britannia and the Falklands War in which she was a helicopter support and refuelling ship in San Carlos Water. By the mid-1980s Engadine was becoming obsolescent so the container ship MV Contender Bezant was bought for conversion, becoming RFA Argus. Engadine was decommissioned in 1989 and sold to new owners in Greece who intended to use her in civilian merchant service. This came to nothing, and so she was broken up in Alang, Gujarat, India in 1996.


  1. Marriott,Leo, 'Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers 1945-1990', pages 113-115, ISBN 0-7110-1561-9, Published by Ian Allan Ltd (Surrey, UK), 1985
  2. Adams,T.A., Smith,J.R., 'The Royal Fleet Auxiliary - A Century of Service', page 118, ISBN 1-86176-259-3, Jointly Published by Chatham Publishing (London, UK) & Stackpole Books (PA, USA) in association with the RFA Association, 2005
  3. James,Tony, 'The Royal Fleet Auxiliary 1905-85', page 127, ISBN 0-907771-21-1, Published by Maritime Books (Cornwall, UK), 1985
  4. "If nuclear war had broken out between Russia and the west, HMS Osprey on Portland would have been a remote hideaway for the government". Dorset Echo. 28 January 2017.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.