HMS Archer (P264)

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HMS Archer MOD 45151333.jpg
HMS Archer, 2010
United Kingdom
NameHMS Archer
BuilderWatercraft Marine
Launched25 June 1985
StatusIn active service
General characteristics
Class and type Archer-class patrol vessel
Displacement54 tonnes
Length20.8 m (68 ft)
Beam5.8 m (19 ft)
Draught1.9 m (6.2 ft)
Propulsion2 shafts, Cat C18 ACERT diesels
  • 20 knots (37 km/h)
  • 45 knots (83 km/h) (Hull design, but limited due to engine fitted)
Range550 nmi (1,020 km)
  • 16 (training)[N 1]
  • 5 (operational)
Sensors and
processing systems
Decca 1216 navigation radar

HMS Archer is the lead ship of the Archer class. As the lead ship she was one of several of her class to be completed in 1985 by Watercraft Marine, the original shipbuilders — most of the remaining vessels were completed or built by Vosper Thornycroft. In 2015, she was one of the first of her class to receive an upgrade.[1]

Operational history

Early service

The Archer class were built as Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) training vessels, but after limited use they were transferred to URNU service.[2][3]

URNU service

Archer became the training ship of the Aberdeen URNU in 1991, succeeding Chaser. Between 1991 and 1993 she was commanded by Lieutenant John Clink who subsequently achieved flag rank. The role of a training ship within an URNU is to provide opportunities for students to receive practical training and gain experience afloat. Archer's programme is generally divided into two durations of training – a weekend or the longer deployments that take place during the university Easter and summer holidays.

Deployments in the Easter and summer holidays venture further afield, Archer has visited ports from the Western Isles and east coast of Britain to the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and the Baltic. These longer deployments are often undertaken in company with other ships such as Example and Explorer.

The Aberdeen URNU operated from 1967 until 2012 before being moved to Edinburgh. In summer 2012, the ship was moved to Rosyth Dockyard to serve with Edinburgh URNU and to increase the presence of the RN in Edinburgh.

In June 2017, Archer, in company with HM Ships Smiter, Ranger and Exploit, deployed to the Baltic to take part in the NATO BALTOPS exercise, the first time that Royal Navy P2000s have been involved in such an exercise.[4]

Crew composition

Archer is permanently crewed by five RN personnel, and is captained by a lieutenant. Chief petty officer fills the role of executive officer and a Petty Officer is the marine engineering officer, and the yeoman and Deputy Marine engineering officer are junior rates of the appropriate service branches. With students embarked (up to a maximum of 10), a training officer is usually present who is typically a RNR lieutenant or sub-lieutenant.



  1. 5 ship's company, 1 training officer, 10 URNU students.
  2. When operational and not in URNU role.


  1. "HMS Archer returns to the water after capability boost". Royal Navy. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  2. "Patrol Boats – Archer class". Royal Navy. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  3. "Archer Class P2000 (URNU)". Armed Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  4. "1st Patrol Boat Squadron's Baltops endeavour". Royal Navy. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  5. "HMS Archer (Aberdeen) – URNU Affiliations". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 7 August 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2019.

External links