|Photographer:||Chris Howell [View profile]||Title:||HMS ARDENT F184||Added:||Jul 10, 2012|
|Location:||Portsmouth, United Kingdom|
|owned negative with copyright
photo Peter Davey
Complted in 1977 the seventh of the eight ship Type 21 – Amazon class General Purpose frigates. She was the third of three Ardent’s to be lost by enemy action in the twentieth century.
2750 tons standard
The Type 21’s were the first class built from the onset with gas turbines.
She had two Olympus turbines for high speed – 25000 shp -30 knots – range 1200 miles
Two Tyne RMIC turbines for cruising – 10000 shp -18 knots – range 4000 miles
1 x 4.5 inch, 4 x 20 mm, 4 x Exocet missle launchers,1 x Seacat missle launchers,1 x Lynx helicopter,2 x A/S TT
She was built by Yarrow’s at Glasgow and was launched 9/5/1975 and commissioned at Devonport 14/10/1977 as a member of the 6th frigate flotilla. 8/11/1977 in collision with freighter Friso off Portsmouth, which resulted in a 12 feet gash, in her bows.
She then deployed to the Baltic, Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
In 1981 she became a member of the 4th frigate flotilla all of which would be involved in the Falklands War.
During April 1982 she was called up as part of the Falklands Task force and arrived at Ascension Island 16/4/1982.
She led the amphibious group into Falkland Sound arriving in style at 30 knots taking up station during the morning of the 21/5/1982.
Her first task was to provide gunfire support for the SAS at Goose Green firing over a 150 rounds at the airfield. This however did not stop flight operations and during this time Pucaras from Goose Green and Daggers from mainland Argentina made attacks on her. Soon after three A-4Q-Skyhawks attacked and reminiscent of the Mediterranean attacks of WW2 she turned into the wind at maximum speed to complicate there attack runs. However the Seacat refused to fire and the 4.5 could not bear and she was hit by three of nine 500Ib bombs dropped, two landing in the hanger and one which did not explode in the machinery room. Ten of her crew died and the Lynx was destroyed and the Seacat blown 80 feet approx in the sky. She was still capable of 17.5 knots and made her way towards San Carlos Anchorage and survived an attack by three Daggers soon after. She was then was attacked by two more groups of aircraft, three Skyhawks which hit her twice with 500Ib bombs and three Mirages which scored no hits. At this stage she was out of control at 18 knots heading for Grantham Island, but the engines were stopped just in time, and she dropped her anchor approx 800 yards from the shore heavily on fire. At this stage her Captain decided to abandon ship and HMS Yarmouth came alongside and took off 142 uninjured crew and 37 wounded crew. 22 had been killed in the attacks. She sank at 0200, 22/6/1982. Crew members were awarded two DSC’s and a George medal as well as being Mentioned in Desptaches four times.