HMS Scott (H131)

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HMS Scott (H131)
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Scott
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: 20 January 1995
Builder: Appledore Shipbuilders
Launched: 13 October 1996
Commissioned: 30 June 1997
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Identification: Pennant number: H131
International Callsign: GCUP
Status: in active service, as of 2024
Badge: HMS Scott crest.jpg
General characteristics
Class and type: Scott-class Ocean Survey Vessel[1]
Displacement: 13,500 tons full load
Length: 131.1 m (430 ft)
Beam: 21.5 m (71 ft)
Draught: 8.3 m (27 ft)
  • 2 × Krupp MaK 9M32 9-cylinder diesel engines
  • Single shaft with controllable pitch propeller
  • Retractable bow thruster
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h)
Complement: 63
(42 onboard at any time)

HMS Scott is an Ocean Survey Vessel (OSV) of the Royal Navy, and the only vessel of her class. She is the third Royal Navy ship to carry the name, and the second to be named after the Antarctic explorer, Robert Falcon Scott.


She was ordered from BAeSEMA in 1995 to replace the ageing HMS Hecla. She was built at the Appledore Shipbuilders in North Devon and launched on 13 October 1996 by Mrs Carolyn Portillo,[2] wife of Michael Portillo, the then-Secretary of State for Defence. She was commissioned on 20 June 1997. Not only is she the largest vessel in the Royal Navy's Hydrographic Squadron, and the sixth largest in the entire fleet, but she is also the largest survey vessel in Western Europe.


Scott is now the Royal Navy's only Ocean Survey Vessel,[3] but she can remain at sea for up to 300 days a year, thanks to her novel crew rotation system. Her complement of 63 is divided into three sections: two sections are required to keep the ship operational, with the third on shore on leave or in training.[2] When the ship returns to port, one crew section on board is replaced by the section on shore. The ship can then deploy again almost immediately. As with all of the Royal Navy's large survey vessels, Scott has an auxiliary role in support of mine countermeasure vessels.


In February 2005 Scott surveyed the seabed around the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which varies in depth between 1,000 m (3,300 ft) and 5,000 m (16,000 ft). The survey, conducted using a high-resolution, multi-beam sonar system, revealed that the earthquake had made a huge impact on the topography of the seabed.

In September 2006, Scott was granted the Freedom of the City of Swansea.[4]

From August 2008 until June 2009 Scott was refitted in Portsmouth.[5]

On 26 October 2009,[5] Scott deployed to the South Atlantic and Antarctic. This is in part to cover for the non-availability of the Royal Navy icebreaker HMS Endurance.[6]