RFA Argus

RFA Argus

RFA Argus is primarily the Primary Casualty Receiving Ship (PCRS). She has a fully equipped 100-bed medical complex onboard, which can be uniquely tailored to deliver cutting-edge treatment afloat.

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The Primary Casualty Receiving Facility consists of over 40 different medical and surgical specialties, and is manned by personnel drawn from the MOD Hospital Units and Royal Marine Band Service.

The unit has a state-of-the-art emergency department, resuscitation and surgical facilities, a radiology suite that includes a CT scanner, a critical care unit, high dependency unit and a 70-bed general ward.

RFA Argus does not comply with the Geneva Convention’s definition of a ‘hospital ship’ as she is fitted with self-defence guns and decoys and may have operational units embarked. This means that RFA Argus is not classified as a hospital ship and does not display the International Red Cross symbol.

While not operating in this role, RFA Argus with her large flight deck provides specialist aviation training to the helicopter pilots of the Fleet Air Arm. 

The ship is busy with a programme of operational flying training which will continue throughout much of 2014. 

Royal Naval Reservists at Bournemouth Air Festival


RFA Argus Latest News

Maritime reservists experience life at sea


Flying success at Bournemouth Air Festival

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Operation Complete Operation Exercise Joint Warrior 131

Joint Warrior (JW) Exercises are planned and conducted by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) based at Headquarters Northwood. JTEPS which is a joint organisation parented by both HQ Air Command & Navy Command (NCHQ).

  • Joint Warrior 141

    Europe's largest military exercise - a tri-Service, multinational exercise involving over 35 warships, 25 aircraft, marines and troops.

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Unit History

Ship Launching1981

RFA Argus was originally launched in 1981 as the commercially owned and operated Contender Bezant, a combination freight, Roll on Roll off ferry (RORO) and container ship.

Battle Honours1982

Contender Bezant's Battle Honour: Falkland Islands 1982

Falklands War1982

RFA Argus was one of the ships taken up from trade (STUFT) by the MOD for use in the 1982 Falklands War. During this period she was utilised as an aircraft transport, ferrying aircraft on deck.

Conversion to Aviation Training Ship1985

In 1985 she was converted to an aviation training ship at Harland & Wolff, Belfast, with extended accommodation, a flight deck, aircraft lifts and naval radar communications suites.

Ship History2009

Her principal role became Primary Casualty Receiving Ship during refit when a ramp for casualty transport replaced one of the aircraft hangars.

Securing Britain's Future

An island nation needs a powerful navy. A simple fact, often forgotten. Go behind the scenes of the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and discover its true scale and ambition.

Read about the new carrier

Captain David Buck

Rank: Captain

Captain David Buck joined the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service as a Deck Cadet in 1975, he assumed command of RFA Argus in November 2013.

Previous units

RFA Cadet Marine Engineer

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