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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Indicative of her strong links to her namesake Scottish county, it’s perhaps only right that she was launched with the smashing of a bottle of whisky, not champagne back in 1996 before being commissioned into the Navy one year later in Devonport.

Affectionately known as ‘The Fighting Clan’, HMS Sutherland has proven her fighting worth by being the first ship to receive and fire the updated Seawolf air defence missile system whilst she has also fired the most rounds of 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.

Recently she sailed 42,000 miles during her Far East Deployment working with international task groups, hosting key defence and diplomatic engagements in support of the new Type 26 Frigate and conducting operations in support of UNSCR sanctions.

Her next major milestone is a period of high readiness for contingent national tasking around the UK. To prepare for this task, the last few months have seen the Ship return to sea for training and trials designed to get her and her crew ready for the challenges ahead and regain her cutting edge war-fighting capabilities.

HMS Sutherland is unique in the Royal Navy as in reference to her new county’s flag. The recent design depicts a white flag overlaid with Saltire and Nordic crosses to denote Sutherland’s unique Viking history, with a golden sun constructed from the arms of the crosses symbolising the sun raised high in the south for the county’s origin name South Land. The historic moment was marked by a poignant flag raising ceremony with ship members leading proceedings during a ceremony at the Highland Council’s offices in Drummuie, Golspie.

For more information and to keep up with HMS Sutherland follow her on twitter @HMSSutherland.


On Deployment

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

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HMS Sutherland on the gunnery range


HMS Sutherland (F81) Latest News

HMS Sutherland navigators tested to the limit


HMS Sutherland on visit to namesake County

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Current operation Fleet Ready Escort

The Fleet Ready Escort is at short notice to react to any maritime threat to the UK including terrorism and smuggling of arms or narcotics and the like. The Fleet Ready Escort will spend the majority of the year in and around UK waters conducting training and exercises with various UK and military agencies and organisations.

  • Maritime security

    British ships and units, which include the Royal Marines, are committed to operations around the world. Operations focus on maritime security, reassurance and wider regional engagement to build regional maritime capability.

  • Winter Deployment

    Cold Weather training brings together ships, aircraft and marines in the Arctic

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.

Protecting our economy

Maritime trade is the lifeblood of the UK economy and industry. 95% of Britain’s economic activity depends on the oceans. And every year Britain imports goods worth £524 billion.

The UK is so dependent on the seas for its prosperity, that without the Royal Navy acting as a deterrent the effect on the economy would be overwhelming.

Location UK

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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 Tom Weaver

Rank: Commander

Commander joined the Royal Navy in 2001, he is now in command of HMS Sutherland.

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HMNB Devonport

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

Ships motto

'Sans Peur' Without Fear

Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering)

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