HMS Ocean Crest

HMS Ocean

'Britain’s biggest warship', the helicopter carrier and assault ship HMS Ocean (L12) is the Flagship of the Royal Navy.

Add to favourites

In her role as a helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship, Ocean is designed to deliver troops by helicopter or by landing craft – the ship has six helicopters and carries four Mk5 landing craft vehicle and personnel (LCVP).

in 2015 HMS Ocean completed fitting new communications and IT systems which now allows the ship to host a staff, headed by a Rear Admiral, commanding UK and NATO Task Groups.

As well as the ship’s role as the Royal Navy’s Flagship, the headquarters staff in Ocean will be the Maritime Component Commander of the NATO Response Force (NRF) in 2016.


On Deployment

This unit is currently on deployment find out how that might affect you.

Read more

HMS Ocean flies the flag in Egypt


HMS Ocean Latest News

The carrier’s first squadron: refreshed, refocussed, remarinised


1,500 UK maritime forces take part in exercise with Albania

See all news for HMS Ocean

Current operation Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime)

The task group will provide a powerful military capability, giving HM Government a range of options to allow the UK to respond rapidly in the event of an overseas crisis.

  • Exercise Trident Juncture

    Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 will be held through October and November, predominantly in, over and on the seas around Portugal, Spain and Italy. It is one of a series of long-planned exercises to ensure that NATO Allies are ready to deal with any emerging crisis, from any direction, and that they are able to work effectively with partners in tackling any crisis.

  • Cougar 15

    Cougar is the annual deployment of the UK’s high readiness maritime joint expeditionary force

International partnerships

As the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK has responsibilities towards its allies and partners. But Britain also has global ambitions – namely to protect the seaways underpinning the country’s prosperity. The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in fostering these enduring and lasting alliances with other nations.

Providing security at sea

The UK has a responsibility to its citizens and its allies to endeavour to safeguard the high seas. This is why the Royal Navy protects home and international waters – making sure the global trade that Britain and the world depend on can proceed without a hitch.

Location Mediterranean

prev next

Unit History

The First Ocean1761

The first Ocean began the strong links with the West Country in 1770 as Flagship to Plymouth. Ocean saw her first real action against the French in 1778 under the lead of HMS Victory.

Battle Honours1781

Ushant 1781

The Second Ocean1805

Ocean’s next incarnation was a second-rate 98-gun warship, she spent the bulk of her service in the Mediterranean.
She was converted into a depot ship in 1841 and broken up in 1875.

The Third Ocean1867

The next was an ironclad of 50 guns. She holds the record for the longest days under sail by any British ironclad:  243 miles to the Far East. She was Flagship on the China Station from 1867.

The Fourth Ocean1898

The fourth Ocean earned a reputation as an unlucky ship, suffering various mishaps during build. Ocean served on the China Station during which time she was hit by a typhoon.

Battle Honours1915

Dardanelles 1915
Suez Canal 1915

The Fourth Ocean1915

In March 1915, as she attempted to rescue the mine-struck HMS Irresistible,  Ocean hit a mine – flooding and under fire, she was abandoned and sank that evening.

The Fifth Ocean1945

The fifth HMS Ocean  cemented her links with naval aviation. The Colossus-class aircraft carrier had a brief but active service career after commissioning in July 1945. 

Battle Honours1952

Korea 1952-53

The Sixth HMS Ocean1998

Commissioned in September 1998 in Devonport, HMS Ocean is at the heart of the Navy’s amphibious fleet. Until the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth class carriers, she is the largest UK warship.

Battle Honours2003

Al Faw 2003

Operation Unified Protector2011

As Libyan rebels fought Gaddafi forces, HMS Ocean launched Britain’s first seaborne Apache raid, destroying military vehicles, installations and communications equipment.

Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers Future

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

Read about the new carrier

Commanding Officer Robert Pedre

Rank: Captain

Captain Robert Pedre was selected for Royal Navy university sponsorship in 1993. He assumed Command of HMS Ocean in August 2016.

Previous units

Download full profile

Aircraft Controller

Join us


HMS Ocean weighs a staggering 22,000 tonnes

HMNB Devonport

Learn more