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HMS Iron Duke (F234): Wikis


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HMS Iron Duke F234.jpg
HMS Iron Duke (F234)
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Iron Duke
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: July 1988
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 12 December 1988
Launched: 2 March 1991
Commissioned: 20 May 1993
Motto: Virtutis Fortuna Comes
"Fortune is the companion of valour"
Status: in active service, as of 2010
General characteristics
Class and type: 'Duke'-class Type 23 frigate
Displacement: 4,900 tonnes
Length: 133 m (463 ft 3 in)
Beam: 16.1 m (52 ft 10 in)
Draught: 7.3 m (23 ft 11 in)
Propulsion: CODLAG (Combined Diesel-eLectric And Gas)
2 × Rolls-Royce Spey boost gas-turbines
4 × Paxman Valenta diesel engines
2 × GEC electric motors
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h)
15 knots (28 km/h) on diesel-electric
Range: 7,800 nautical miles (14,400 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 185
Armament: 2 × ASuW Harpoon quad launchers
Vertical launch system Sea Wolf missiles
1 × BAE 4.5 inch (110 mm) Mk 8 Mod 1 gun
2 × Oerlikon 30 mm guns
4 × Sting Ray torpedo tubes
Seagnat and DFL3 decoy launchers
Aircraft carried: 1 × Lynx HMA8

HMS Iron Duke (F234) is a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy, and the third ship to bear the name. Iron Duke was launched on 2 March 1991 by Lady Jane King in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Wellington. Her home town is Kingston upon Hull, and she is named after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington (the "Iron Duke"). She was the fifth Duke class Type 23 frigate to be launched for the Royal Navy at a cost of £140 million.

The motto of HMS Iron Duke is Virtutis Fortuna Comes (latin: "Fortune is the companion of valour") - inherited from the 33rd (The Duke of Wellington's) Regiment of Foot.

HMS Iron Duke carries a vast array of weapons and sensors. Although her primary role is anti-submarine warfare, she can be employed in a variety of roles. She carries a Lynx Helicopter which can also be used for a number of purposes.[1]

Iron Duke has intercepted several large consignments of illegal drugs being sent from the Caribbean to Europe, in many case with the aid of embarked United States Coast Guard personnel.

From late June 2008 Prince William served for 5 weeks on HMS Iron Duke.

As of 18 December 2008 (2008 -12-18) Commander Andrew Stacey is HMS IRON DUKE's commanding officer.



In 2000, Iron Duke was part of the Royal Navy task force—comprising Illustrious, Ocean, Argyll, Chatham, and four RFA ships—that deployed to Sierra Leone during the civil war there. Iron Duke relieved HMS Argyll from her duties in September.[2] During this incident Argyll, assisted by HMS Ocean, laid the foundation for the Iron Duke Community School. This is a school for orphans in Freetown. President Kabbah of Sierra Leone decreed the school be named after the crew of HMS Iron Duke for completing the construction of the six classrooms.[3]

In May 2002 Iron Duke re-entered service after a refit, armed with a new 4.5 inch Mod 1 gun. Under the command of Commander Phil Warwick, F234 sailed into Portsmouth for her re-dedication. Amongst those in attendance were the present Duke of Wellington and Earl Jellicoe, both related to figures associated with the ship's name and career.[4] The following January Iron Duke deployed to the Caribbean for counter-drugs operations, hurricane season disaster relief standby, and visiting UK Overseas Territories for diplomatic purposes. This was the frigate's first operation since completing her refit at the end of 2001 and comprehensive training including multi-national exercises off Scotland. [5]

In February 2006 Iron Duke conducted trials in Loch Goil and Loch Fyne. In Loch Goil Iron Duke practiced buoy-hopping with 4 mooring buoys. In Loch Fyne she spent two days sailing up and down while being monitored from the shore.[6]

In September 2006 Iron Duke, under Commander Andy Jordan, was providing a presence for UK overseas territories in the Caribbean and providing the UK contribution to the U.S. war on drugs. She stopped at St Kitts, Tortola and other places Iron Duke. At St Kitts, Iron Duke was asked to attend the national parade.

Iron Duke returned to the UK in December 2006. During her six-month deployment, the Iron Duke steamed over 31,000 miles, and made 22 port visits to 18 different locations.[7]

In 2007 Iron Duke, now under the command of Commander Mark Newland, was drydocked for ten months at HMNB Portsmouth. Various systems were upgraded including the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) equipment, and the ability to operate the Merlin helicopter added. The first installation of a NATO Radial Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear (CBRN) filter system was made; this filter was undergoing trials prior to installation across the fleet, if successful.[8][9]

After 18 months of refit and upgrading, by March 2008 HMS Iron Duke was halfway through her Operational Sea Training (OST), in readiness for deployment to the North Atlantic at the end of May. All aspects of warfare were included in the training, including the infamous 'Thursday War' training exercise.[10]

The OST also tests the readiness of the medical personnel to deal with combat casualties. All warship doctors, including Iron Duke's, can perform routine medical tasks and the Medical Organisation For Action (MOFA) during combat. MOFA boosts the complement of the medical staff with ten extra first-aiders who are chefs and stewards when not in action.[11]

In 18 April 2008 Iron Duke deployed to Avonmouth to train in sea and harbour safety. Avon and Somerset Police assisted in training in the co-operation between the Royal Navy and uniformed police in the event of harbour security being breached. Civic dignitaries also viewed the ship.[12] Later in April the Iron Duke's Operational Sea Training increased in difficulty with a simulation of tension between Brownian and Ginger forces with negotiations in neutral Freeport (Devonport) and a high risk of terrorist attacks. This exercise tested the defensive capabilities of the ship and the flexibility of proportional response to threats. Later in the series of exercises a hurricane hit the simulated island of Bullpoint, allowing the Iron Duke to test her disaster relief capabilities including first aid, providing food and shelter to the survivors and helping to rebuild basic amenities.[13]

Iron Duke visited her home town, Kingston upon Hull, over the weekend of 26-29 April 2008 and was open to the public for 6 hours.[14][15]

By Friday 13 June Iron Duke arrived in Lisbon, Portugal after two Operational Stand-Offs in order to determine that she was ready to deploy operationally. Iron Duke was briefed by the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre-Narcotics, a pan-European counter-narcotics agency, about intelligence on criminal matters such as cannabis and cocaine smuggling on the high seas. She then moved on to Gibraltar for re-supply and the infamous Rock Run. Iron Duke was now on Maritime Security Patrol in the North Atlantic.[16]

As of 31 August 2008 Iron Duke was dispatched to assist relief efforts for the Atlantic Hurricane Gustav.[17]


Interception of drugs shipments

Iron Duke has intercepted illegal drugs being shipped from the Caribbean to Europe on several occasions, often aided by embarked United States Coast Guard personnel. Large shipments were intercepted on 25 June 2003 (3.7 tonnes of cocaine on MV Yalta)[18], 2 June 2008 (900 kilograms of cocaine in a speedboat which later sank)[19], late July 2009 (drugs with a street value of £33m on a speedboat later sunk by gunfire)[20] and September 2009 (5.5 tonnes of cocaine)[21]

Notable billeting

Prince William served on Iron Duke in the Caribbean for 5 weeks from late June 2008 with the rank of Sub Lieutenant.[22]


External links


  1. ^ History : HMS Iron Duke : Type 23 Frigates : Surface Fleet : Operations and Support : Royal Navy
  2. ^ "Summer 2000: Duties In Sierra Leone.". The Worshipful Company of Paviors. 2000-11-28.  
  3. ^ "Iron Duke completes 33,000-mile voyage.". Navy news newspaper. 2001-02-26.  
  4. ^ "HMS IRON DUKE RE-ENTERS SERVICE.". Royal Navy. 2002-05-22.  
  5. ^ "FRIGATE SAILS FOR COUNTER-DRUGS OPERATIONS.". Royal Navy. 2003-01-21.  
  6. ^ "Scottish Trials for Iron Duke.". Royal Navy. 2006-02-28.  
  7. ^ "Six Ships Return To Portsmouth In Three Days.". Royal Navy. 2006-12-11.  
  8. ^ "Refit Period for Iron Duke.". Royal Navy. 2007-07-06.  
  9. ^ "New CBRN Fit on HMS Iron Duke.". Royal Navy. 2007-12-14.  
  10. ^ "HMS Iron Duke - Progress with Sea training.". Royal Navy. 2008-03-26.  
  11. ^ "Operational Sea Training - The View From The Doctor’s Surgery.". Royal Navy. 2008-03-27.  
  12. ^ "Pressure Is On As Royal Navy Warship Is Put Through Its Paces in Avonmouth.". Royal Navy. 2008-04-16.  
  13. ^ "Operational Sea Training – Disaster in the Caribbean!". Royal Navy. 2008-04-22.  
  14. ^ "Hull Welcomes Its Very Own Duke.". Royal Navy. 2008-04-23.  
  15. ^ "Iron Duke Rounds off Successful Visit to Hull.". Royal Navy. 2008-04-29.  
  16. ^ "Operational Stand Offs Prepare Iron Duke for Imminent Operations.". Royal Navy. 2008-06-13.  
  17. ^ "Navy ships help after hurricane.". BBC News. 2008-08-31.  
  18. ^ "IRON DUKE IN £250 MILLION DRUG SWOOP.". Royal Navy. 2003-06-30.  
  19. ^ "William's ship seizes drugs haul.". BBC News. 2008-07-02.  
  20. ^ BBC: Navy blasts drugs speedboat
  21. ^ BBC: Navy seizes cocaine 'worth £240m'.
  22. ^ Stone, Mark (2008-05-31). "Prince To Tackle Smugglers In Caribbean". Sky News (BSkyB).,,30100-1317716,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-01.  


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