HMS Biter (P270)

From Encyclopedia Britannia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HMS Biter (P270) in Tobermory in April 2009 (2).jpg
HMS Biter alongside in Tobermory, Scotland in April 2009
United Kingdom
NameHMS Biter
OperatorRoyal Navy
BuilderWatercraft Ltd., Shoreham-by-Sea
Launched17 October 1985
Commissioned25 January 1986
In service
  • RNR: 1986
  • URNU: 1990
HomeportHMS Eaglet, Liverpool
StatusIn active service
General characteristics
Class and type Archer-class patrol vessel
Displacement54 tonnes
Length20.8 m (68 ft)
Beam5.8 m (19 ft)
Draught1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
Propulsion2 shafts, Cat C18 ACERT diesels, 873 bhp
  • 14 kn (26 km/h)
  • 45 kn (83 km/h) (Hull design, but limited due to engine fitted)
Range550 nmi (1,020 km)
  • 18 (training)[N 1]
  • 12 (operational)
Sensors and
processing systems
Decca 1216 navigation radar

HMS Biter is an Archer-class P2000-type patrol and training vessel of the British Royal Navy. She is assigned to Manchester & Salford Universities Royal Naval Unit, a Royal Naval Reserve unit based in Manchester. The ship is based at HMS Eaglet, the Royal Naval Headquarters in Liverpool. As part of her sea training programme, she often makes visits to local ports for ceremonial visits or occasions.


She was built by Watercraft Ltd. at Shoreham-by-Sea in 1986 as one of ten vessels ordered as the P2000 class.[1][2] The class was based on a design of an Omani coastguard cutter built by Watercraft Marine. They are twin-shaft vessels with moulded glass-reinforced plastic hulls. She has no dedicated armament though she can be fitted with pintle-mounted L7 7.62 mm GPMG machine guns. Biter is part of the First Patrol Boat Squadron (1PBS) based at HMNB Portsmouth.[3]

During overhaul, two Cat C18 ACERT propulsion engines were installed by Finning Power Systems. The two diesel engines, each rated at 873 bhp at 2200 rpm, form part of the propulsion package along with ZF 2000 RV marine reverse reduction gearboxes and ZF 9000 Series ClearCommand controls.[4]

Service history

Biter was commissioned in 1986 into the Royal Navy and she was attached to Mersey Division, a Royal Naval Reserve Unit. In 1990, she was transferred to Manchester and Salford University Royal Naval Unit. Biter's time at sea includes weekends visiting local ports such as Holyhead, Douglas and Barrow-in-Furness and deployments during the Easter and summer holidays when she visits ports around the UK and northern Europe. She is attached to the Manchester and Salford University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) and her main role is to provide Naval training to URNU students on weekends and in Easter and summer deployments.

As part of her sea training programme, she often makes visits to local ports for ceremonial visits or occasions. In May 1993, she attended the Battle of the Atlantic 50th Anniversary Fleet Review. In December 2005, she helped to start the Round the World Clipper Race in Liverpool.[5] Biter visited Barrow-in-Furness in July 2007 for the launching of HMS Astute, the first of class of the Astute-class submarine.[6] She also regularly visits her affiliated town of Silloth in Cumbria for Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

Ship's company

Biter is commanded by a lieutenant and is permanently crewed by four other Royal Navy personnel. Chief petty officers fill the roles of executive officer and marine engineering officer, and the yeoman and weapons engineering officer are junior rates of the appropriate service branches. With students embarked (up to a maximum of 12), a training officer is usually present who is typically an RNR lieutenant or sub-lieutenant.[7]



  1. 5 ship's company, 1 training officer, 12 URNU students.
  2. When operational and not in URNU role.


  1. "Patrol Boats – Archer class". Royal Navy. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  2. "Archer Class P2000 (URNU)". Armed Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  3. "Commodore Portsmouth Flotilla". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  4. "Finning re-powers HMS Biter". Maritime Journal. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  5. "First Base; Ins and Outs; September". Royal Navy. Fleet Support. December 2005. p. 12.
  6. "Excitement Builds as Four Royal Navy Ships Head to Barrow to Welcome Astute Launch". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 19 June 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2009.
  7. "HMS Biter (P270)". Royal Navy. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2017.

External links