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Small Yet Fast Royal Navy Patrol Craft to Pay Visit

6th April 2017
HMS Blazer, one of a pair of Royal Navy 'Archer' class fast inshore patrol vessels that are to pay a visit to Dublin.  HMS Blazer, one of a pair of Royal Navy 'Archer' class fast inshore patrol vessels that are to pay a visit to Dublin. Photo: RN

#FastPatrols  -A pair of small yet high-speed Royal Navy Inshore Patrol Craft in which one served in Gibraltar are to pay a visit to Dublin Port,writes Jehan Ashmore.

The ‘Archer’ class HMS Blazer along with HMS Ranger are to arrive today. They belong to the 14 strong P2000 Fast Inshore Patrol Craft that form the First Patrol Boat Squadron.

Primary role of the P2000’s is to support the University Royal Naval Units (URNU) but they also contribute to a wide range of Fleet tasking. Among them fishery protection duties and safeguarding the integrity of the UK's territorial waters.

The craft provide training and maritime experience for University Royal Naval Unit students and also provide support to Fleet tasking and exercises.

HMS Blazer (P279) is the URNU at Southampton Solent University, Portsmouth University and Southampton Institute.

As for HMS Ranger, this sister is the URNU at Sussex University, however she served for 13 years in the Gibraltar Squadron before returning to the UK in 2004.

Some characteristics of the Archer P2000 craft are listed below.

Tonne Displacement: 54
Top Speed: 25 knots
Nautical Range: (550 miles)
Weapons: DS3OB 30mm Gun and GAM BO 20mm Gun

The visiting Royal Navy pair are to berth at Ocean Pier from where HMS Portland also called in recent years. The Type 23 Duke class frigate was referred to related naval news regards the recently decommissioned RFA Gold Rover.

Published in Naval Visits
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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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.

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