HMS Enterprise (H88)

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HMS Enterprise
HMS Enterprise
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Enterprise (H88)
Ordered: 19 June 2000
Builder: Appledore Shipbuilders
Launched: 2 May 2002
Sponsored by: Lady Sally Forbes
Commissioned: 17 October 2003
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Identification: Pennant number: H88
International callsign: GXUH[1]
Motto: Latin:Spes aspera levat
("Hope lightens difficulties")
Status: in active service, as of 2024
Badge: On a Field Red, a lion rampant under a star Silver
Ship's badge
General characteristics
Displacement: 3,470 t (3,415 long tons)
Length: 90.6 m (297 ft 3 in)
Beam: 16.8 m (55 ft 1 in)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric
3× diesel generators (4.8 MW)
2× 1.7 MW (2,279 hp) azimuth thrusters
1× 0.4 MW (536 hp) bow thruster
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range: 9,300 nmi (17,200 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Endurance: 35 days
Complement: 72
Sensors and
processing systems:
Integrated Survey System,[2] comprising:
  • Simrad EM 1002 multi beam echo sounder
  • Mk II Sea Soar Oceanic Profiler
  • Acoustic doppler current profiler
  • Sidescan sonar
  • Remote offshore tide gauges
  • Sub-bottom profiler
  • Bottom grab

HMS Enterprise, the tenth ship to bear this name, is a multi-role Survey Vessel - Hydrographic Oceanographic (SVHO) of the Royal Navy. She has a sister ship, HMS Echo, and together they make up the Echo class of survey vessels.


Echo and Enterprise are the first Royal Navy ships to be fitted with azimuth thrusters. Both azimuth thrusters and the bow thruster can be controlled through the Integrated Navigation System by a joystick providing high manoeuvrability. Complete control and monitoring for power generation and propulsion, together with all auxiliary plant systems, tank gauging and damage control functions is provided through the Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), accessible through workstations around the ship.


Enterprise and her sister ship are designed to conduct survey operations in support of submarines or amphibious operations. She can provide almost real-time tailored environmental information, and also has a secondary role as a Mine Countermeasure Tasking Authority platform, for which she is capable of embarking a dedicated Mine Counter Measures command team.[2]


Built by Appledore Shipbuilders under the prime contractor Vosper Thornycroft, Enterprise was launched on 27 April 2002, officially named by the ship's sponsor, Lady Sally Forbes, at her naming ceremony on 2 May 2002, and commissioned on 18 October 2003.[3] She is designed and built to Lloyd's Naval Ship Rules.


Enterprise's crew consists of 72 personnel, with 48 onboard at any one time, working a cycle of 75 days on, 30 days off. The ship can accommodate 81 personnel if necessary. The ship is operationally available 330 days a year.[4] In support of this high availability, all accommodation and recreational facilities are designed for an unusual (in a warship) degree of comfort. All personnel share double cabins with private facilities, except the Captain and Executive Officer who both have single cabins.[5]


2004 Mediterranean deployment

Her first operational overseas deployment was to the Mediterranean in October 2004, returning to Devonport in April 2005. She participated in a NATO exercise and conducted Oceanographic and Hydrographic survey.[3]

2005 Middle East deployment

She sailed in September 2005 to conduct survey operations in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. She also conducted a collaborative Hydrographic survey with the Saudi Military.[3]

2007 West Africa deployment

In 2007 Enterprise deployed for 19 months to West Africa, South Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. While in the Gulf she worked off the coast of Iraq in support of the UK and Iraqi governments.[3]

2009 Africa and Gulf deployment

Enterprise deployed in June 2009 for two years on an extended deployment to West Africa and plans to spend three months there before travelling through the Mediterranean to begin operations east of Suez later in the year.[6]


Enterprise is affiliated with 'D' (Royal Devon Yeomanry) Squadron Royal Wessex Yeomanry[citation needed] and the town of Tiverton, Devon which also includes the freedom of the city with the ship's company able to march through the town with flags flying whilst bearing arms.[7] She is also the affiliated ship of Reading Blue Coat School (RBCS) CCF Navy Section and the Worshipful Company of Cutlers.[8]


  1. "Royal Navy Bridge Card, February 2009". Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Echoes of a varied history - HMS Echo', ship of the month May 2004". Navy News. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "HMS Enterprise at the Royal Navy website". Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  4. "Navy's new survey ship named Enterprise". The Defence Procurement Agency Press Office. 2002-05-02.,navy,,39,s,new,survey,vessel,named,enterprise.html. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  5. "Hydrographic Vessels Operation and Support at the Royal Navy website". Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  6. "Three Royal Naval Ships Deploy To Iraq and Africa - Royal Navy website". Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  7. "Tiverton's HMS Enterprise officially commissioned". Truro Packet. 24 October 2003. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  8. "HMS Enterprise - Affiliations at the Royal Navy website". Retrieved 2009-06-20.