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HMS Broadsword (F88)

HMS Broadsword, 1982 (IWM)
HMS Broadsword in Portsmouth Harbour, 1982
RN EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Broadsword
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 7 February 1975
Launched: 12 May 1976
Commissioned: 4 May 1979
Decommissioned: 31 March 1995
Homeport: HMNB Devonport
Identification: Pennant number: F88
Fate: Sold to Brazil 30 June 1995
Brazilian Naval EnsignBrazil
Name: Greenhalgh
Operator: Brazilian Navy
Status: Active
General characteristics
Class and type: Type 22 frigate
Displacement: 4,400 tons
Length: 131.2 m (430 ft)
Beam: 14.8 m (48 ft)
Draught: 6.1 m (20 ft)
  • 18 knots (33 km/h) cruise
  • 30 knots (56 km/h) top speed
Complement: 222
Aircraft carried: 2 × Lynx MK 8 helicopters

HMS Broadsword was the lead ship and first Batch 1 unit of the Type 22 frigates of the Royal Navy.


Broadsword was ordered from Yarrow Shipbuilders on 8 February 1974 and was laid down at Yarrow's Scotstoun shipyard on 7 February 1975. She was launched on 12 May 1976 and commissioned on 3 May 1979.[1]

Royal Navy service

While on sea trials, Broadsword was called into service as the command ship during the large rescue operation required after storms struck the 1979 Fastnet race.[2]

Broadsword in formation with HMS Hermes in 1982

Broadsword took part in the 1982 Falklands War where, on 25 May 1982, she was providing air defence support to HMS Coventry. A technical fault in her Sea Wolf missile system allowed two Argentine Skyhawks to sink the Coventry.[3] Broadsword was hit by one bomb, which bounced up through the helicopter deck and put out of action a Lynx helicopter, before exiting and exploding harmlessly. She subsequently rescued 170 of the sunken Coventry's crew. She shot down one IAI Dagger of FAA Grupo 6 and shared an A-4C Skyhawk kill with HMS Antelope's Sea Cat, land-based Rapiers and Blowpipe SAMs.[4]

In 1993 Broadsword took part in the naval operation in support of Operation Grapple (Yugoslavia), in the Adriatic Sea. Upon completion on 8 July 1993, a fire broke out in the aft auxiliary machinery room. This resulted in the deaths of two on-watch engineers; LMEM(M) Mark Hunter, age 30, and MEM(M) Roy Ware, age 22.[5]

She was decommissioned on 31 March 1995 and was sold to the Brazilian Navy on 30 June 1995 and renamed Greenhalgh.

Commanding officers

From To Captain
21/02/1979 02/06/1980 Captain Anthony M Norman RN
02/06/1980 01/10/1981 Captain Anthony M.G. Pearson RN
01/10/1981 01/11/1982 Captain William R Canning RN
01/11/1982 18/10/1983 Captain Robert McQueen RN
18/10/1983 10/04/1985 Captain Anthony M Norman RN
10/04/1985 15/05/1986 Captain G W R Biggs RN
15/05/1986 13/10/1987 Captain Brian W Turner RN
13/10/1987 27/07/1988 Commander A B Gough RN
27/07/1988 18/05/1990 Commander M W G Kerr RN
18/05/1990 18/11/1991 Commander R N Lucy RN
18/11/1992 24/08/1993 Commander Robinson RN


  1. ^ Prézelin and Baker 1990, p. 711.
  2. ^ Rousmaniere, John. "Fastnet, The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing". Norton (1993). ISBN 978-0-393-30865-5
  3. ^ Hart Dyke, David. Four Weeks in May: The Loss of "HMS Coventry". Atlantic Books (2007). ISBN 978-1-84354-590-3
  4. ^ "List of Argentine Aircraft Destroyed". Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Two killed in frigate fire". The Independent. London. 9 July 1993. Retrieved 12 August 2010.


External links