HOME | US Navy - ships | US Navy - air units | USMC - air units | International Navies | Weapon Systems | Special Reports


Royal Navy - Guided Missile Frigate

F 234 HMS Iron Duke

f 234 hms iron duke insignia crest patch badge type 23 duke class frigate royal navy
hms iron duke f 234 type 23 class frigate royal navy
Type, class: Guided Missile Frigate; Type 23 / Duke class
Builder: GEC Marconi Marine (YSL), Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
Laid down: December 12, 1988
Launched: March 2, 1991
Commissioned: May 20, 1993

Homeport: HMNB Portsmouth
Namesake: Duke of Wellington (The Iron Duke)
Ships Motto: VIRTUTIS FORTUNA COMES (fortune is the companion of valour)
Technical Data: see INFO > Duke / Type 23 class Guided Missile Frigate

ship images

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 03

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 02

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 17 liverpool docks

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 07

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 04

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 09

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 05 portsmouth

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 13

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 15

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 14

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 12

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 11

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 08 rgm-84 harpoon ssm launch

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 10 lynx hma.8 helicopter

hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy 16
HMS Iron Duke 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 King in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Wellington. Her affiliated 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 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.

Iron Duke carries a number of weapons and sensors which make her a multi-purpose combat vessel. Like all T23s, her original design role was anti-submarine warfare, but she can be employed in a variety of roles. She carries a Lynx Helicopter which can be used in an anti-submarine and anti-surface role as well as for humanitarian and search and rescue purposes.

Iron Duke has intercepted several large consignments of illegal drugs being sent from the Caribbean to Europe, in many cases with the aid of embarked United States Coast Guard personnel. She was also involved in action off Libya in 2011 on her way back from a patrol in the Persian Gulf.

More recently, Iron Duke has been the First of Class fit for the Royal Navy's new Type 997 Artisan 3D, successfully firing her missile system, using the new radar combined with the updated 'SWMLU' Seawolf missile targeting system, in the English Channel.


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 Argyll of her duties in September. During this incident Argyll, assisted by 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 Iron Duke for completing the construction of the six classrooms.

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, Iron Duke 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. 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.

In February 2006 Iron Duke conducted trials in Loch Goil and Loch Fyne.

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 US war on drugs. She returned to the UK in December 2006. During her six-month deployment, Iron Duke steamed over 31,000 nautical miles (57,000 km), and made 22 port visits to 18 different locations.

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

After 18 months of refit and upgrading, by March 2008 Iron Duke was halfway through her Operational Sea Training, 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.

On 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. 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 Iron Duke to test her disaster relief capabilities including first aid, providing food and shelter to the survivors and helping to rebuild basic amenities.

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

By Friday 13 June Iron Duke arrived in Lisbon, Portugal after two operational stand-offs 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 to Gibraltar for re-supply and the infamous Rock Run. Iron Duke was now on Maritime Security Patrol in the North Atlantic.

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

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

In March 2012 Iron Duke began a major refit in HM Naval Base, Portsmouth. Some major parts of the work package took place for the first time on a Type 23 class of ship, as the MOD looks to extend the life of the Type 23 frigates beyond the original time frame to coincide with the introduction of the Type 26 class of ships, the first which is currently expected to enter service as soon as possible after 2020. Also included in the refit was the installation of BAE Systems Artisan medium-range 3D surveillance radar and in June 2013 she was put back at sea. She test fired 7.62mm rounds from her General Purpose Machine Guns and Mini-Guns, 3lb ceremonial guns and the torpedo system. In early 2014, she successfully fired her new 'SWMLU' Seawolf missile system against towed targets, destroying two simulated hostile aircraft skimming the surface of the sea, targeting from the brand new 3D radar system.

On 20 June 2014, Iron Duke deployed on operations for the first time since her refit. The frigate will sail down the Atlantic, gradually working its way down south via the west coast of Africa to the British Overseas Territories in the region. It is a routine deployment known as Atlantic Patrol Tasking (South).

On 20 August 2014, HMS Iron Duke received a 21 gun salute as she approached Robben Island to dock at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa.

In January 2016, Iron Duke sailed on a nine-month deployment including being tasked to Standing NATO Maritime Group 1. She took part in Exercise Dynamic Guard.

source: wikipedia
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (May 1, 1769 - September 14, 1852), was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain. His defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 put him in the top rank of Britain's military heroes. In 2002, he was number 14 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

Wellesley was born in Dublin, belonging to the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. He was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was also elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons. He was a colonel by 1796, and saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and, as a newly appointed major-general, won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803.

Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, together with a Prussian army under Blücher. Wellesley's battle record is exemplary; he ultimately participated in some 60 battles during the course of his military career.

Wellesley is famous for his adaptive defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against a numerically superior force while minimising his own losses. He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, and many of his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world.

After ending his active military career, Wellesley returned to politics. He was twice British prime minister as part of the Tory party: from 1828 to 1830, and for a little less than a month in 1834. He oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832. He continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.

"The Iron Duke"
This commonly used nickname originally related to his consistent political resolve rather than to any particular incident. In various cases its editorial use appears to be disparaging. It is likely that its use became more widespread after an incident in 1832 in which he installed metal shutters to prevent rioters breaking windows at Apsley House. The term may have been made increasingly popular by Punch cartoons published in 1844-45.

source: wikipedia


hms iron duke f-234 type 23 class frigate royal navy insignia crest patch badge 04
| seaforces.org | Royal Navy start page |