HMS Ariadne (F72)
was a Leander class
The Leander class, or Type 12I frigates, comprising twenty-six vessels, was among the most numerous and long-lived classes of frigate in the Royal Navy's modern history. The class was built in three batches between 1959 and 1973...
frigate of the Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...
was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders
Yarrow Limited , often styled as simply Yarrows, was a major shipbuilding firm based in the Scotstoun district of Glasgow on the River Clyde...
Scotstoun is a historic district of Glasgow, Scotland, west of Glasgow City Centre. It is bounded by Yoker and Knightswood to the west, Victoria Park, Broomhill and Whiteinch to the east, Jordanhill to the north and the River Clyde to the south...
and was the last of the Leander
class to be completed, and the last warship to be built for the RN powered by steam. Ariadne
was launched on 10 September 1971 and commissioned on 10 February 1973.
Like the rest of the Leander
class, she was named after a figure of Greek mythology
Ariadne , in Greek mythology, was the daughter of King Minos of Crete, and his queen Pasiphaë, daughter of Helios, the Sun-titan. She aided Theseus in overcoming the Minotaur and was the bride of the god Dionysus.-Minos and Theseus:...
In the year of her commission, Ariadne
undertook a Fishery Protection Patrol during the Second Cod War with Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...
. In 1974 Ariadne in company with Fife (FOF2 embarked), Scylla, Danae, Londonderry, Tidespring, Tarbatness made a nine month deployment to the Far East. Ariadne also participated in Biera Patrol. Ariadne also refuelled from an old oiler permanently moored in Gan in the Indian Ocean. In 1976, Ariadne
completed a refit and the following year took part in the annual Group Deployment, visiting a variety of ports in South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...
and West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...
, as well as performing naval exercises. Later that year, Ariadne
took part in the Fleet Review of the Royal Navy, in celebration of HM the Queen's Silver Jubilee
The Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II marked the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other Commonwealth realms...
. In 1979, Ariadne
joined Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), a NATO
was intended for modernisation, which would have included the removal of her one 4.5-in Mk.6 gun, which would have been replaced by the Exocet
The Exocet is a French-built anti-ship missile whose various versions can be launched from surface vessels, submarines, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Hundreds were fired in combat during the 1980s.-Etymology:...
anti-ship missile, as well as the addition of the Sea Wolf missile
Sea Wolf is a naval guided missile system designed and built by BAC, later to become British Aerospace Dynamics . It is an automated point-defence weapon system designed as a final line of defence against both sea-skimming and high angle anti-ship missiles and aircraft...
, but the 1981 Defence Review
A Defence Review is the process by which government of the United Kingdom decides upon its overall defence policy and upon the means and resources devoted to achieving its defence objectives. Such reviews can happen when political or economic factors dictate, such as upon a change of Government...
by the defence minister John Nott
Sir John William Frederic Nott KCB is a former British Conservative Party politician prominent in the late 1970s and early 1980s...
, cancelled the modernisation for Ariadne
and other Batch Three Leader class frigates. In 1981 Ariadne
became the West Indies Guard Ship and, while there, performed a variety of duties in that region.
In 1982, during the Falklands war
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...
was targeted by an Argentinian commando who tried to sink her at Gibraltar (Operation Algeciras
Operation Algeciras was an ill-fated Argentine plan to sabotage a Royal Navy warship in Gibraltar during the Falklands War. The premise being that if the British military felt vulnerable in Europe, they would decide to keep some vessels in Europe rather than send them to the Falklands.A commando...
). In 1983 she shadowed the Soviet
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....
. It was a common practice during the Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...
, with Soviet warships quite often shadowing RN vessels too. In 1987 Ariadne
joined the 6th Frigate Squadron.
came out of refit in Rosyth Dockyard
Rosyth Dockyard is a large naval dockyard on the Firth of Forth at Rosyth, Fife, Scotland, owned by Babcock Marine, which primarily undertakes refitting of Royal Navy surface vessels.-History:...
, Fife, Scotland, in 1989 and replaced in the Dartmouth Training Squadron. In 1990, in consort with HM ships and , she took part in Endeavour '90
, a six-month circumnavigation
Circumnavigation – literally, "navigation of a circumference" – refers to travelling all the way around an island, a continent, or the entire planet Earth.- Global circumnavigation :...
of the globe. During this deployment she travelled 500,000 miles and was one of the first RN warships to visit Dutch Harbour
Unalaska is a city in the Aleutians West Census Area of the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. Unalaska is located on Unalaska Island and neighboring Amaknak Island in the Aleutian Islands off of mainland Alaska....
, in the Aleutian Islands
, since Captain James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...
landed there in HM Bark Endeavour
HMS Endeavour, also known as HM Bark Endeavour, was a British Royal Navy research vessel commanded by Lieutenant James Cook on his first voyage of discovery, to Australia and New Zealand from 1769 to 1771....
Ariadne was formally adopted by Scunthorpe Borough Council on 8 March 1973. The ship's anchor is still located outside the now North Lincolnshire Council's main administrative building Pittwood House and the ship's bell is situated outside the Council Chamber inside Pittwood House.
has the distinction of being the last RN warship to fire a 'true' broadside.
was finally decommissioned by the RN in May 1992 and was subsequently sold to Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...
, being renamed General Baquedano
. She was decommissioned from the Chilean Navy
-Independence Wars of Chile and Peru :The Chilean Navy dates back to 1817. A year before, following the Battle of Chacabuco, General Bernardo O'Higgins prophetically declared "this victory and another hundred shall be of no significance if we do not gain control of the sea".This led to the...
in December 1998 and sunk as target in 2004.