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Warship Wednesday15th June 2022

Warship Wednesday: HMS Scylla

To celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we focus Warship Wednesday for this month on HMS Scylla. Scylla was in the Silver Jubilee Royal Fleet Review. So let’s dive into the legacy of this historic ship and hear from Jim Morton, a former Royal Navy Officer who served onboard Scylla.



HMS Scylla was a “Broad-Beam” Leander class frigate, and was one of 26  Leander class frigates built for the Royal Navy. She had the distinction of being the last frigate to be built at Devonport Dockyard.

Image: Admiralty Ships Badges Original Patterns 1919-1994 Volume Two Mackay-Zulu, T.P. Stopford, 1996.


General Characteristics

HMS Scylla was built by Devonport Dockyard, laid down on 17 May 1967, launched on 8 August 1968 and first commissioned on 12 February 1970. It was decommissioned in December 1993 and sunk as an artificial reef on 27 March 2004.


Ex Janes Fighting Ships

2500 tons standard displacement (2982 tons full load), 372ft length overall, 43ft beam, 18ft draft maximum. Two geared turbines driving two shafts, maximum speed 30knots. Complement of 263 (17 officers and 246 ratings).

HMS Scylla, Frigate F71 in the basin during Navy Days.

Armament as built: 1 x twin 4.5-inch dual purpose turret, 1 x quadruple SeaCat anti-aircraft missile launcher, 1 x Limbo anti-submarine (AS) mortar, 1 x Westland Wasp helicopter.


HMS Scylla underwent a major refit from 1980 to 1984, when she was re-armed. Her armament following that refit comprised: 4 x MM38 Exocet anti-ship missile launchers, 1 x 6-barrelled GWS 25 SeaWolf anti-aircraft missile launcher, 2 x single 20mm Oerlikon/BMARC anti-aircraft guns, 2 x triple Mk32 torpedo tubes, and 1 x Westland Lynx helicopter.


We welcomed back former Royal Navy Officer Jim Morton to The Historic Dockyard Chatham as part of his 7,500 mile walk along the British Coastline, raising funds for the Gurkha Welfare Trust. Jim was stationed at Chatham between 1978-1981 on HMS Scylla.

Regarding his time on HMS Scylla, Jim wrote:

Scylla was coming out of dry dock in June 1978 when I joined her, later that year we sailed for 6 months in the west Indies and in February 1979 Scylla was present in St Lucia for independence buy 1980 she changed base port and moved to Plymouth for a 4 year refit having the Gun removed.”

With thanks to Jim Morton, best of luck on the rest of your walk Jim. This blog was written by Reading Room Volunteer, Jim Williamson.

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