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Warship spotting

Posted: 26 Apr 2015, 10:59
by Tizer
While in Cornwall last week we spent half a day (21st April 2015) at Kingsand which is on the Cornish side of Plymouth Sound. In that short time we saw and photographed three warships passing by. Luckily we had binoculars and were able to see the numbers on the sides of the ships which allowed me to search for their identities. That wasn't as easy as I expected because two of them were not in the Royal Navy list shown on Wikipedia. The first was the easiest one, the frigate HMS St Albans, F83...


The next was a very sleek modern-looking vessel with the number F362. Not being in the RN list I had to look elsewhere and traced it to the Royal Danish Navy....HDMS Peter Willemoes, which came into service last year. That big radar on the back of the ship was spinning frantically at about a revolution every two seconds - perhaps they didn't trust the Royal Navy!


Finally, a bigger and quite different vessel of about 33,000 tonnes and again not in the Wikipedia list of RN ships. That turned out to be because it's the Royal Fleet Auxiliary RFA Fort Victoria, now described as a fleet replenishment vessel. RFA ships are manned by civilians, even though this class can carry Merlin and Lynx helicopters and can be used to back up RN warships if necessary. Wikipdia states: "Fort Victoria is a 'one-stop' replenishment ship, capable of providing under way refuelling and dry cargoes (I.e rearming, victualling and spares). ... The Wave-class, Fort Victoria and the Fort Rosalie-class have generous aviation facilities, providing aviation support and training facilities and significant vertical replenishment capabilities. They are capable of operating and supporting several Merlin and Lynx Wildcat helicopters, both of which are significant weapons platforms. The presence of aviation facilities on RFA ships allows for them to be used as 'force multipliers' for the task groups they support in line with Royal Navy doctrine."


Confirmation photos are shown here:
HMS St Albans ... 153373.jpg
HDMS Peter Willemoes ... id=1973056
RFA Fort Victoria ... 387_BB.jpg

Re: Warship spotting

Posted: 27 Apr 2015, 04:25
by Stanley
Sounds as though you saw most of the Royal Navy! I noted the other day that the flagship of the RN fleet is HMS Bulwark. I looked it up and found it was basically a 20,000 tons support vessel... A far cry from the Royal Navy I grew up with which was said to 'Rule the Waves'!!
(What's the ratio of ships to admirals these days....?)