HMS Albion (L14)

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HMS Albion on the River Thames, October 2007
Career (United Kingdom) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Albion
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: 18 July 1996
Builder: BAE Systems Marine
Laid down: 23 May 1998 Barrow-in-Furness, England
Launched: 9 March 2001
Sponsored by: The Princess Royal
Commissioned: 19 June 2003
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Motto: Fortiter, Fideliter, Feliciter
"Boldly, Faithfully, Successfully"
Status: in active service, as of 2022
Badge: 100px
General characteristics
Class and type: Albion class landing platform dock
Displacement: 21,500 tonnes[1]
Length: 176 m (577 ft 3 in)
Beam: 28.9 m (94 ft 9 in)
Draught: 7.1 m (23 ft 3 in)
Propulsion: 2 × Wärtsilä 6.25MW & 2 × Wärtsilä 1.56MW Engines driving GEC Alstom generators feeding two GEC Alstom AC propulsion motors on twin shafts and a bowthruster unit, all operating at 6.6 kV
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h)
Range: 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km)
Complement: 325
Armament: 2 × Goalkeeper CIWS
2 × 20 mm close range guns
4 × Machine gun positions
Seagnat Decoy System

The ninth and current HMS Albion (2001-present) is a First-of-Class Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ship of the Royal Navy, and the lead ship of the Albion class landing platform dock. Albion was constructed by BAE Systems Marine, and was commissioned in 2003.

Design and construction

Ordered for the Royal Navy on 18 July 1996, Albion was constructed by BAE Systems Marine at their shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. The ship was laid down on 23 May 1998, and launched on 9 March 2001. She was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 19 June 2003 by her sponsor The Princess Royal

Albion is the nameship of the Albion class landing platform dock, which also includes HMS Bulwark. The ship also carries a permanently-embarked Royal Marines landing craft unit, 6 Assault Squadron, Royal Marines.

Operational history

File:HMS Albion 2006.jpg
HMS Albion at HMNB Devonport Navy Days, August 2006

In 2003, Albion received the Freedom of the City of Chester and also had a prominent role in the Queen's Colour Parade for the Royal Navy in Plymouth Sound; only the third time a Fleet Colour has been given in the Royal Navy's history.

In early 2004, the ship deployed on a multinational exercise for the first time, taking part in Exercise Joint Winter 04 off Norway, during which she completed her cold weather sea trials and was declared fully operational. Her next deployment was the Aurora exercises on the eastern seaboard of the United States. On 11 November 2004, the ship was directed towards Côte d'Ivoire to support Operation Phillis. Albion underwent a refit in early 2006. The refit included the installation of a new command, control and communications suite.

Albion attended the HMNB Devonport Navy Days, 26 - 28 August 2006. Also in attendance was sister ship Bulwark, just recently returned from the Lebanon evacuation. HMS Ocean was unable to attend the Navy Days due to three sailors contracting tuberculosis. For public safety reasons, Ocean was moved to HMNB Portsmouth.

During the Vela Deployment to West Africa,[2] Albion acted as the Amphibious Task Group flagship. The deployment lasted from 11 September to 22 November 2006. In total, approximately 3,000 British personnel and 11 ships of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary were involved. This deployment saw, for the first time, an Albion class vessel taking part in amphibious operations with a Bay class auxiliary landing ship dock, RFA Mounts Bay.

In late July and early August 2007, Albion was anchored off Sunderland during the city's Airshow.

During late 2008, HMS Albion undertook her first refit period. This was in order to upgrade various electronic and defence systems. During this docking period, Commanding Officer, Captain Wayne Keble OBE RN, assumed command of Albions sister ship, HMS Bulwark (L15).

In April 2010, during the air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, Albion was sent to Santander, Spain as part of Operation Cunningham to bring back soldiers from the third battalion The Rifles battlegroup, RAF personnel and stranded British citizens.[3][4]

Affiliations

References

External links

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