HMS Archer returns to the water after capability boost

Royal Navy P2000 Patrol Boat HMS Archer recently celebrated her 30th anniversary with a new lease of life.

Affiliated to Edinburgh Universities’ Royal Naval Unit (URNU), Archer has just returned to the water after a refit which saw her receive a substantial power-boost in the form of two new Caterpillar engines.

The upgrade comes as the boat’s crew mark her three-decades of service, having been launched at Shoreham-by-Sea in 1985.

The recent work was carried out by UK Docks in South Shields and took nine-months to complete.  One of the first P2000s to receive an upgrade, the rest of the Archer Class vessels will soon follow.  

We are very excited to have HMS Archer back in the water.

Officer Cadet Simon Goodman

The power-up of the entire class is expected to complete by 2017. 

Recently appointed Commanding Officer of HMS Archer, Lieutenant Andrew Platt, said:  “The new engines open up much greater training opportunities for students, as well as increasing our capability to conduct other tasks and extending our reach.”

Although currently on the River Tyne, covering for Newcastle-based sister ship HMS Example while she undergoes her own upgrade, Archer is still very much involved with the students of Edinburgh Universities. 

Many of the 40-strong Edinburgh URNU students will benefit from training opportunities with the ship in Easter and summer 2016 when Archer navigates the Scottish coastline and lochs.

Officer Cadet Simon Goodman, a student at Edinburgh URNU, said:  “We are very excited to have HMS Archer back in the water. 

“It is a great advantage to have a dedicated training vessel.  It allows us to consolidate our classroom training and apply what we’ve learned during practise during weekends and at Easter and summer.”

The Royal Navy operates fourteen Archer Class P2000 Fast Inshore Patrol Craft. 

They form the First Patrol Boat Squadron, whose main role is to support the University Royal Naval Units. 

The Squadron also contributes to a wide range of Fleet operations, with HMS Raider and HMS Tracker making up the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron – part of a team responsible for protecting high value shipping on the Clyde.

HMS Archer became the training vessel for Edinburgh Universities’ Royal Naval Unit in July 2012.  Edinburgh URNU is the newest of the 14 Units that were first formed in 1967. 

Each UNRU provides high-quality sea training to undergraduates from universities, helping to develop seamanship, team building and leadership skills.