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Roebuck Class Inshore Survey Vessel

As long as there was expectation of sustaining 50 modern first rate frigates then there were sound reasons for avoiding construction or even discussion of 1500-2000 ton warships. As a result some opportunities to argue the case may have been lost. When HMS Dumbarton Castle sailed for the Falkland Islands and whilst Armilla/Corporate still demanded 4 FFIDDs, then there was a strong case for ordering a third (enhanced) 'Castle'. HMS Roebuck was ordered to a different diesel - electric design, but could not the hydrographic functions have been achieved by a Naval Party fitted into the basic 'Castle' design?

Constructed at Lowestoft by Brooke Marine, HMS Roebuck joined the survey fleet in 1986. Classified at a Coastal Survey Vessel (CSV) she is principally designed to survey the coastline of the United Kingdom, but is more than capable of operating overseas. Roebuck is bigger than Bulldog and Beagle, measuring 1,477 tonnes in displacement with a length of 64 metres, a beam of 13 metres and a draught of 4 metres. She had a complement of 51 and is unarmed. Powered by two Mirrlees Blackstone diesels she has a speed of 14 knots. She carries two survey motor boats and a Land Rover. In 1998 Roebuck's white hull was repainted grey while her pennant number changed from 'A130' to 'H130', furthur signifying the integration of the hydrographic flotilla into the front line surface fleet.

HMS Roebuck was commissioned on 3 October 1986. On 1995 plans, she will be withdrawn from service around the end of the century, as the capability of the hydrographic service is upgraded with the introduction of new vessels. the Navy envisaged that the future hydrographic surveying squadron will comprise five survey vessels, including the new ocean survey vessel, HMS Scott, an order for which was placed in January 1995. An order was expected in 1996 for two coastal survey vessels to replace Roebuck, Bulldog and Beagle but it wasn't until 2000 that Echo and Enterprise were finally ordered. Roebuck was withdrawn from service in 2003.

As of March 2000 the existing Royal Navy Hydrographic Survey Squadron includes HMS Herald, HMS Bulldog, HMS Beagle, and HMS Roebuck (HMS Hecla was taken out of service in December 1996). The first three of these vessels are planned to leave service between mid 2001 and early 2002 with HMS Roebuck being maintained into 2003. As of February 2004 HMS Roebuck was planned to begin a ship life extension programme in September 2004. The program will cover mechanical systems, hull structures, habitability, in-service support and the updating of her survey capability, including a new multibeam echo sounder. It will extend her life until around 2014. HMS Roebuck was sold in May 2010 for 4,800,000.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:59:42 ZULU