Alternative Cold War History 1994

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Royal Navy Patrol Craft

Patrol Craft

HMS Endurance (A171)

As the only ‘Ice Patrol’ ship in the RN, the Endurance is a Class 1 Icebreaker which spends 18 out of every 24 months in the southern oceans patrolling between the Falkland Islands, Antarctica and other British possessions in the region. She has assisted the British Antarctic Survey team by performing hydrographic surveys as well as environmental studies and also featuring in several BBC documentaries. Her two Lynx HAS.3 helicopters are modified to operate in polar conditions.

Castle Class

These two ships share their time by conducting fisheries and environmental patrols in the North Sea and as Guard ship in the Falklands. They are able to accommodate a Sea King helicopter, 120 troops for a short time and act as minelayers. They are also equipped with a detergent spraying apparatus for dispersing oil slicks.

Pennant Name Status Location
P258 HMS Leeds Castle Active North Sea
P265 HMS Dumbarton Castle Active Falklands

Island Class

Primarily procured for fisheries patrol, these vessels also patrol the North Sea oil and gas fields. They are lightly armed and can carry a small detachment of Royal Marines. The class has suffered much criticism over the years as being too small, too under equipped and too expensive for their role.

Pennant Name Status Location
P296 HMS Jura Active North Sea
FPV Westra Active Scotland, civilian operated
P277 HMS Anglesey Active Shetlands
P278 HMS Alderney Dry dock Glasgow
P295 HMS Jersey Active English Channel
P297 HMS Guernsey Active Irish Sea
P298 HMS Shetland Active North Sea
P299 HMS Orkney Active Hebrides
P300 HMS Lindisfarne Active Plymouth

Peacock Class

The five vessels in this class were constructed specifically for duty in Hong Kong. They had the seakeeping ability to remain at sea during a Typhoon and were fully air conditioned for operating in a tropical climate. They perform a multitude of tasks including drug interdiction and support to search and rescue. They are equipped with a decompression chamber, two RHIBs and maintained a small detachment of Royal Marines.

Pennant Name Status Location
P239 HMS Peacock Active Hong Kong
P240 HMS Plover Active Hong Kong
P241 HMS Starling Active Hong Kong
P242 HMS Swallow Active Hong Kong
P243 HMS Swift Active Hong Kong

Bird Class

Another disappointing class of patrol vessels. These five boats were never used as intended due to very poor sea keeping. They were slow, poorly armed, difficult to handle in any sort of weather and universally despised. Two remained in the training role while three were based in Northern Ireland.

Pennant Name Status Location
P260 HMS Kingfisher Active Northern Ireland
P261 HMS Cygnet Active Northern Ireland
P262 HMS Petrel Active Dartmouth
P263 HMS Sandpiper Active Dartmouth
P264 HMS Redpole Active Northern Ireland

Mine Craft

HMS Wilton (M1116)

Due for retirement later in 1994, this ship was the first in the world to be constructed with glass reinforced plastic to give her a low magnetic signature. After an active 20-year career, technology in mine hunting has moved on, but she still has equipment that may be useful. She is currently at Dartmouth on training duty.

River Class

The 12 vessels of this MCM (Mine Countermeasures) class were designed to sweep for deep sea mines laid by Soviet submarines. Two of them operating together would tow the Wire Sweep Mark 9 (WS 9) along the seabed at great depth, cutting the mooring lines. Historically this class, with the exception of one was operated by the RN Reserve but was withdrawn from service in 1993; in Northern Fury they remain.

Pennant Name Status Location
M2003 HMS Waveney Reserve South Wales
M2004 HMS Carron Reserve Bristol
M2005 HMS Dovey Reserve Clyde
M2006 HMS Helford Reserve Northern Ireland
M2007 HMS Humber Reserve London
M2008 HMS Blackwater Active Rosyth
M2009 HMS Itchen Reserve Wessex
M2010 HMS Helmsdale Reserve Tay
M2011 HMS Orewell Reserve Newcastle
M2012 HMS Ribble Reserve London
M2013 HMS Spey Reserve Northern Ireland
M2014 HMS Arun Reserve Northern Ireland

Hunt Class

The Hunt class demonstrate the evolution from a mine sweeper such as the River class to a true mine hunter. Equipped with two Remote Operated Submersible Vehicles (ROV) and mine hunting sonar, they patrol a suspected area to find mines, detach or disarm them then destroy them. These vessels will often deploy with NATO mine countermeasures task forces and there are currently six of 13 craft in the Persian Gulf.

Pennant Name Status Location
M29 HMS Brecon Active Portsmouth
M30 HMS Ledbury Active Bahrain
M31 HMS Cattistock Active Bahrain
M32 HMS Cottesmore Active Portsmouth
M33 HMS Brocklesby Active Portsmouth
M34 HMS Middleton Active Portsmouth
M35 HMS Dulverton Active Bahrain
M36 HMS Bicester Active Bahrain
M37 HMS Chiddingforld Active Portsmouth
M38 HMS Atherstone Active Bahrain
M39 HMS Hurworth Active Bahrain
M40 HMS Berkeley Active Portsmouth
M41 HMS Quorn Active Portsmouth

Sandown Class

The first five of these advanced MCM are in service by 1994. These vessels have a more cabable ROV, better sonars and a wider range of mine hunting equipment to complement the Hunt and River classes. The Sandown is currently in the Persian Gulf and one of these craft will be stationed there on a rotational basis until the mission is complete.

Pennant Name Status Location
M101 HMS Sandown Active Bahrain
M102 HMS Inverness Active Faslane
M103 HMS Cromer Active Faslane
M104 HMS Walney Active Faslane
M105 HMS Bridport Active Faslane


The RN uses PAP Mark 4 in the Hunt class MCMs and the PAP Mark 5 in the Sandown Class. These ROV remain tethered to the mother vessel and actively hunt for mines. Once they find a mine they can either set an explosive charge to blow the mine up in place or cut the tether and let the mine float to the surface where it will be engaged with deck guns from the MCM.