HMS Sutherland (F81)

HMS Sutherland is the 13th of the 16 Type 23 frigates to be built. Launched in 1996 at the Yarrow yard (now BAE) on the Clyde her home port is Devonport in Plymouth.

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HMS Sutherland is currently taking part in Joint Warrior, beginning with Exercise Griffin Strike.

She is working alongside the Fleet Flagship HMS Ocean, Assault Ship HMS Bulwark and RFA Lyme Bay as well as French Navy counterparts including the including the assault helicopter carrier FS Dixmude.

The aim of Ex Griffin Strike is to test the working partnership between the two countries and test the Ango-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force”, or CJEF.

The exercise will show how UK and French maritime, land and air forces can be deployed rapidly together for a wide range of bilateral operations and, if called upon, work together as part of a NATO, EU or UN coalition operation.

Despite being the 13th of 16 Type 23 frigates, HMS Sutherland has clocked up numerous firsts:

The first warship to pass under the Skye Bridge; first circumnavigation of the globe by a Royal Navy ship in 14 years; first ship to receive and fire the updated Seawolf air defence missile system; most rounds fired by a modified 4.5in ‘Kryten’ gun in one day (247 if you were wondering).

She is also Britain’s fastest frigate, reaching more than 34 knots (39mph) during trials in 2004.

Given her Scottish roots it’s perhaps only right that she was launched with the smashing of a bottle of whisky, not champagne, against the hull on the slipway at the Yarrow yard (now BAE) on the Clyde back in 1996.

HMS Sutherland was commissioned into the Navy one year later in Devonport.

If you ever visit the north-west tip of Scotland, you’ll find HMS Sutherland's name spelled out in giant boulders overlooking Loch Eriboll.

A resurrected tradition from the days when the great natural anchorage was used regularly by the Fleet and ship’s companies listed their vessels – such as Valiant and Hood – on the hillside.

HMS Sutherland escorts two Russian warships through the English Channel

HMS Sutherland escorts two Russian warships past UK coastline


HMS Sutherland (F81) Latest News

Royal Navy hosts international military students

HMS Sutherland

HMS Sutherland escorts Russian frigate through UK waters

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Current operation sea trials

Ships, units and aircraft need periods of maintenance and sea-going trials to ensure that they are at their best for any tasks asked of them.

  • Operation Recsyr

    the UK naval contribution to the Danish-led Task Group tasked to execute Operation “RECSYR”, an acronym that stands for “Removal of Chemical weapons from SYRia”

  • Alongside in Devonport

    Alongside in her home port of Devonport Naval Base.

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Unit History


In 1704 as HMS Reserve in Deptford. She was renamed Sutherland in 1716 and subsequently served as a hospital ship in the Mediterranean in the later years of a career lasting half a century.

The Second HMS Sutherland1741

The second Sutherland, a 50-gun fourth rate, was launched on 15 October 1741 and earned all four of the ship’s battle honours during a blistering four-year period.

The Battle of Louisberg1758

HMS Sutherland besieged the French-Canadian fortress of Louisburg over six weeks in the summer of 1758. When it fell, she joined the Fleet sent to capture Quebec.

Battle Honours1758

Louisburg 1758

Battle Honours1759

Quebec 1759

Warmer Climates1761

The ship participated in the capture of Dominica in 1761 then Martinique and Havana the following year during Britain’s brief occupation of the Cuban capital.

Battle Honours1762

Martinique 1762
Havana 1762


The second HMS Sutherland was sold out of the navy in 1770. It would be more than 200 years before another ship would be named HMS Sutherland.

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Commanding Officer Andrew Canale

Rank: Commander

Commander Andrew Canale joined the Royal Navy in 1996, he assumed command of HMS Sutherland in January 2017.

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Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering)

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Royal Navy’s fastest frigate, reaching more than 34 knots (39mph) during trials in 2004

HMNB Devonport

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Displacement: 4,900 tonnes; length: 133m; beam: 16.1m; complement: 185