HMS Portland (F79)

From Encyclopedia Britannia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HMS Portland Sails Near Huge Glacier in South Georgia MOD 45151714.jpg
HMS Portland, 2010
NameHMS Portland
OperatorRoyal Navy
OrderedFebruary 1996
BuilderMarconi Marine, Clyde
Laid down14 January 1998
Launched15 May 1999
Sponsored byLady Brigstocke
Commissioned3 May 2001
RefitLIFEX 2018 onwards
HomeportHMNB Devonport, Plymouth
  • Craignez Honte
  • "Fear Dishonour"
General characteristics
Class and typeType 23 Frigate
Displacement4,900 t (4,800 long tons; 5,400 short tons)[1]
Length133 m (436 ft 4 in)
Beam16.1 m (52 ft 10 in)
Draught7.3 m (23 ft 11 in)
SpeedIn excess of 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range7,500 nautical miles (14,000 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)
Complement185 (accommodation for up to 205)
Sensors and
processing systems
Sonar 2087
Electronic warfare
& decoys
Aircraft carried
Aviation facilities

HMS Portland is a Type 23 frigate of the British Royal Navy. She is the eighth ship to bear the name and is the fifteenth and penultimate ship of the 'Duke' class of frigates, and is named for the currently extinct title of the Dukedom of Portland, and more particularly for the third Duke, who was Prime Minister.

Operational history


The ship was accepted into service by the Royal Navy on 15 December 2000 and was commissioned on 3 May the following year. Present at the commissioning ceremony was Portland's sponsor Lady Brigstocke, wife of Admiral Sir John Brigstocke, a former Second Sea Lord; Lady Brigstocke launched the ship in 1999.[2]

During sea trials Portland attained a top speed of 30.8 knots (57.0 km/h), the fastest speed attained by any Type 23 frigate at that time.[3]

Portland's Lynx helicopter (XZ724) was lost at sea on 8 December 2004. The aircraft had been launched following the potential sighting of a man overboard. All four crew were killed, including Lieutenant David Cole RN, the flight commander, who had embarked to augment the duty crew.[4]

Portland assisted in the search for men lost from a capsized yacht on 3 February 2007.[5]

She was deployed to the Caribbean for seven months in 2007, intercepting 3.5 tonnes of cocaine in cooperation with a United States Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) and conducting disaster relief in Belize following Hurricane Dean.[6]

In April 2008, Portland visited Liverpool with HMS Mersey and berthed at the cruise liner terminal at Prince's Dock.[7]

In June 2009 while taking part in anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, Portland intercepted ten alleged pirates but because the suspects were not caught in the immediate act of piracy, the vessel was unable legally to detain them.[8]

In late April 2010, Portland relieved HMS York on the Atlantic Patrol Task (South).[9]


Commander Sarah West in 2013

June 2011 saw Portland conducting night Naval Gunnery practice off Gibraltar in the Mediterranean. Towards the end of the month she sailed to Edinburgh to take part in Armed Forces Day.[10] She was the first major warship in the Royal Navy to be commanded by a woman: Commander Sarah West assumed command of HMS Portland on 21 May 2012,[11] but was relieved of command in July 2014 following an alleged affair with one of the ship's officers.[12]

Portland spent 2012 at Rosyth in a 50-week refit that saw her upgraded with Sonar 2087, new IT systems, Sea Wolf mid-life overhaul, gun replacements, galley refurbishment and accommodation improvements. She left Rosyth on 14 December 2012 for three months of sea trials.[13]

In August 2013, she was announced as the Fleet Ready Escort for the next two months.[14] She participated in Exercise Joint Warrior 2013.[15]

On 2 August 2014, she completed the 7 month task of the Atlantic Patrol ship.[16]

On 20 June 2016, Portland departed Devonport for a nine-month patrol covering the Middle East and the South Atlantic Ocean.[17] Portland was the last Royal Navy ship to carry Radar 996 and was the last ship to conduct a Replenishment at Sea with RFA Gold Rover prior to the latter ship's decommissioning[18]



  1. "Type 23 Frigates". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 1 January 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  2. "HMS Portland Commissions". Warship News. 3 May 2001. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  3. "HMS Portland". Royal Navy. 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  4.[bare URL]
  5. "Man killed when vessel capsizes". BBC News. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
  6. "HMS Portland in dramatic Atlantic drugs bust". Ministry of Defence. 29 October 2007. Archived from the original on 8 August 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  7. "HMS Portland and HMS Mersey to visit Liverpool". Shipping Times. 2 April 2008. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
  8. "British Navy stops pirate action". BBC News. 4 June 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  9. "HMS Portland is off to patrol the Falkland Island seas". This is Plymouth. 14 April 2010. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
  10. "From Guy Fawkes Night To Armed Forces Day For HMS Portland". Navy News.[dead link]
  11. "First woman to command a major Navy warship takes up post". Ministry of Defence (UK) (Press release). 22 May 2012. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  12. "First female navy commander removed after affair claim". BBC News. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  13. "HMS Portland leaves Rosyth yard ship shape after £27 million refit". Royal Navy. 14 December 2012. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013.
  14. "Portland protects the nation on 24-hour call after completing six months training". Royal Navy. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  15. "Scotland Set To Host Exercise Joint Warrior". Royal Navy. 2 October 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  16. "Royal Navy warship welcomed home from patrol". Royal Navy. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  17. "HMS Portland sails on a nine-month patrol". Royal Navy. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  18. "They think it's all Rover… It is now as tanker performs last RAS". Navy News. 9 February 2017. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2019.

External links