HMS Lancaster

HMS Lancaster

HMS Lancaster was built on the Clyde as the fourth of the Type 23 frigates joining the Fleet in 1992. This versatile multi-role ship can typically be deployed drug-busting in the Caribbean or East of Suez on maritime security patrols.

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All the ships in the Type 23 class are named after Dukes, in this case, the Duke of Lancaster – who is also better known as Her Majesty the Queen.  The British Monarch is the ship's very special sponsor and Her Majesty takes a keen interest in Lancaster's activities around the globe. 

In 2013, HMS Lancaster spent seven months in the North Atlantic and Caribbean, successfully seizing drugs worth a total street value of £160m. During six raids, the ship intercepted 1.2 tonnes of cocaine and almost 1.5 tonnes of cannabis. 23 drug runners were detained, effectively disrupting the distribution of drugs throughout the region.

Lancaster visited all six of the British Overseas Territories in the region and the Commonwealth states of Jamaica, Belize and Barbados while also making calls into the islands of Curacao, Martinique and visiting Columbia in South America. The ship also took part in Exercise Unitas a multi-national exercise involving 16 warships and submarines from nine nations ranging from Canada to Chile. 

On returning from her deployments HMS Lancaster is often greeted, wherever possible, by a Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which provides a fly past over Portsmouth harbour.


On Deployment

This unit is currently on deployment find out how that might affect you.

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Schoolchildren learn about life on HMS Lancaster

Schoolchildren learn about life on HMS Lancaster


HMS Lancaster Latest News

HMS Lancaster deploys

HMS Lancaster leaves Portsmouth on deployment of 'firsts'

HMS Lancaster will sail in newest navy uniform for 70 years

HMS Lancaster will sail in newest navy uniform for 70 years

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Current operation Atlantic Patrol Tasking (South)

Ships and units on Atlantic Patrol Tasking (South) provide ongoing protection and reassurance to British interests in the South Atlantic, maintaining the continuous Royal Naval presence in the Atlantic.

  • Alongside

    Alongside in her home port of Portsmouth Naval Base

Providing security at sea

The UK has a responsibility to its citizens and its allies to endeavour to safeguard the high seas. This is why the Royal Navy protects home and international waters – making sure the global trade that Britain and the world depend on can proceed without a hitch.

International partnerships

As the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK has responsibilities towards its allies and partners. But Britain also has global ambitions – namely to protect the seaways underpinning the country’s prosperity. The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in fostering these enduring and lasting alliances with other nations.

Location South Atlantic

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Unit History

The First Lancaster1694

Lancaster was first built in the 17th Century, serving for almost 80 years and notably taking part in the siege of Louisburg in Canada. She was rebuilt several times and finally broken up in 1773.

The Second Lancaster1797

The second Lancaster was originally a merchant ship, but requisitioned by the Navy during the French Revolutionary War. She took part in the decisive victory at Camperdown in 1797. 

The Third Lancaster1823

The third Lancaster never saw combat despite a 40-year career during the era of Pax Britannica.

The Fourth Lancaster1902

Into the age of steam with the fourth Lancaster, a Monmouth-class armoured cruiser built at the turn of the 20th Century which served throughout World War 1.

The Fifth Lancaster1940

Formerly USS Philip, the fifth Lancaster was used as a minelayer escort in the UK-Iceland-Faeroes gap, interspersed with Atlantic and North Russian convoy duties.

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Commanding Officer Peter Laughton

Rank: Commander

Cdr Peter Laughton joined the Royal Navy in 1992 as a Midshipman. He assumed command of HMS Lancaster in November 2013.

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Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering)

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Ship's Motto

Nec aspera terrent – Difficulties be Damned

HMNB Portsmouth

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Displacement: 4,900 tonnes; length: 133m; beam: 16.1m; complement: 185