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RFA Argus Giant of the Waves Returns Home to Belfast

29th September 2015

#NavyHospital - One the largest and most unusual military vessels in the world came home to Belfast for the weekend and where sea cadets had a tour, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

The RFA Argus (A135) will be a feature of the Belfast skyline until tomorrow (today,29 Sept), docked at Gotto Wharf on the Co Antrim side of the Lagan.

RFA Argus was originally an Italian container ship before becoming one of several taken from trade by the Ministry of Defence for use in the 1982 Falklands War.

She was utilised as an aircraft transport, ferrying aircraft on deck, before coming to Harland & Wolff in Belfast during 1985 to be converted into an aviation training ship.

The ship, which is recently back from service in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis as part of the Operation Gritrock response, will today (yesterday) welcome on board workers from Harland & Wolff who converted her 20 years ago.

For more on the homeport visit, click here. adds that the RFA Argus is registered in Belfast and is as a Primary Casualty Receiving Ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service of the Royal Navy. A 100-bed medical complex can be uniquely tailored to deliver cutting-edge treatment afloat.

She has a flight deck where she can carry Merlin Mk2 helicopters and among the roles they are used for the UK’s Maritime Force Protection and airborne anti-submarine warfare capability for the foreseeable future.

RFA Argus has a gross tonnage of 18,820, a length of 175m and a crew of 80.

As for weapons she is equipped with a single Oerlikon 30mm gun, designed as a ship-protection system to defend Royal Navy frigates from various short range missiles, rockets, grenades and explosives.

In addition a hand operated mounting carrying a single Oerlikon KAA200 automatic cannon. This can fire 1000 rounds a minute and has a range of 2000m.

Published in Belfast Lough
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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