A135 RFA Argus

UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary

1982 to present    


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Flight Deck: AS
Call Sign: GDSA


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History of UK A135 RFA Argus

1982-aprCommissionedAnchorage Delta mv Contender Bezant Operation Corporate taken up from trade (mv Contender Bezant) for South Atlantic operations. Departed Plymouth Sound 20 May 1982 with Wasp HAS.1 XS562/371 and XT427/372 embarked, returned to Southampton 1 Aug 1982.
1984Refituntil 1988 at Harland and Wolff
1984-febFate: transferedpurchased by MoD for RFA service
1984-marRefitHarland and Wolff Belfast conversion from RO-RO ferry in Belfast, until 3 Mar 1988.
1988-jul-26AircraftSea King HAS.5 ZE418 and Lynx XZ690 whilst on ship hot weather trials
1990-octRefitrapid refit to add primary casualty receiving facilities as response to Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
1990-octDeployment Operation Desert Shield/Storm departed HMNB Devonport for Persian Gulf, embarked Sea Kings of 846 NAS en route and arrived in theatre15 Nov.
1991-apr-2Port VisitPortland Harbour Portland, Dorset Arrived Portland Harbour and disembarked Sea Kings of 846 and 848 Squadrons after combat service in the Gulf.
1991-apr-20DeploymentTRIskenderun Operation Haven Departed UK with eight 846 NAS and two 845 NAS Sea King HC.4, plus six Lynx and four Gazelles from 3 CBAS, for Iskenderun to deploy the air assets as part of Operation Haven, arriving on 30 Apr.
1992-novDeploymentAdriatic Sea departed UK for the Adriatic, with 4 Sea King HC.4 of 845 Sq B Flt embarked..
1993-janDeploymentHRDalmatian coast UNPROFOR for Adriatic deployment to assist UNPROFOR, as aviation support for HMS Ark Royal, troop transportation and medical support for the group. Returned to UK in Jun.
1994-jan-11Portland Harbour major fire at Portland. Delayed return to service after refit
1999-jun-1DeploymentOperation Allied Force replaced HMS Invincible off Kosovo.
2002-nov-13AircraftAccident While operating in Lyme Bay, the rotors of 848 NAS Sea King ZF123/ZQ struck the ship and crashed.
2003-jan-15Deployment Operation Telic to support operations in Iraq as Primary Casualty Receiving Station with 2 Sea King from 820 NAS embarked, completing 28 May 2003.
2006-octRefitA and P Falmouth Refit weapons systems upgrade at A&P Falmouth Docks, completed mid Jan 2007
2009-jan-21RefitMajor refit of casualty receiving facilities at A&P Falmouth (pic 1), until Nov 2009
2010-jun-13FRRade d Hyeres Participated with 100 years AERONAVALE with R91 Charles de Gaulle at Rade d hyeres.
2011-nov-7TrialsLyme Bay Hosted first deck landing for Lynx Wildcat by 700W Squadron for c 1 month of type handling trials
2012-aprAircraft815 NAS 228 Flt Lynx HMA.8 /322 assigned as Argus Flt
2012-may-12Deploymentleft UK for a 7 month Caribbean maritime security and anti-narcotic deployment as Atlantic Patrol Task (North), and to be on station during the hurricane season to provide disaster relief
2012-aug-10Port Visit3 day visit to Cayman Islands during APT(N) deployment
2012-sep-5Port Visit3 day visit to Montserrat for disaster planning and coordination exercise
2012-novDeploymentoperating in Caribbean on counter-narcotics mission with Dutch Navy frigate ZrMs Van Amstel.
2013-jan-21Refitrefit at A&P Falmouth, principally addressing main machinery and engine control systems plus improvements to medical facilities, completing 10 Jul.
2013-oct-18Trialssea trials with AW139 Wildcat until Nov 7
2014-mar-31DeploymentNorth Western Approaches Exercise Joint Warrior 14-1 JW 14-1
2014-oct-11Port VisitA and P Falmouth Storing arrived in Falmouth, to load medical supplies before setting off for Sierra Leone as part of the UK contribution (Operation Gritrock, qv) to combat the 2014 Ebola outbreak. 3x Merlin HM.2 of 820 NAS embarked.
2014-oct-17DeploymentSLFreetown Port Operation Gritrock departed Falmouth for Sierra Leone to assist British nationals in fighting the Ebola outbreak. Arrived Freetown 30 Oct and first of 6 UK built hospitals opened on 5 Nov. Departed Freetown on 27 Mar 2015, for return to Mounts Bay (pic 2) on 6 Apr and Falmouth on 7 Apr.
2014-oct-17Aircraftembarked Merlin HM.2 ZH850, ZH856, ZH864 of 820 NAS. Disembarked to RNAS Culdrose on return to UK, from Mounts Bay, 6 Apr 2015
2014-nov-26NEWS SLFreetown Port Royal Navy Merlin Deliver Aid in Fight Against Ebola
2015-apr-11DeploymentNorth Western Approaches Exercise Joint Warrior 15-1 participated in JW 15-1, off NW Scotland
2015-mayRefitentered Falmouth for 11 month refit, completed 24 Mar 2016
2017-jun-24Port VisitGreenwich Reach Arrived at Greenwich for Armed Forces Day and Seafarers Day celebrations. Departed 28 Jun.
2019-oct-5DeploymentNorth Western Approaches JW19-2 Exercise Joint Warrior 19-2 Participated in JW19-2



    from Argus class
28480full load (tn)
175.10length (m)
30.65beam (m)
8.19draught (m)
20000range (nm)
18max speed (knots)
23400power (shp)
2Naval Engine diesel - SEMT Pielstick
2Naval Gun single 20 mm
1Naval Radar navigation radar Type 1006
1Naval Radar surface and low level air search radar Type 994



    Typical Max
UK Royal Navy Westland Sea King 06
UK Royal Navy AW EH101 04

The Max option implies only aircraft of this model onboard    

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