HMS Express

HMS Express (P163)

HMS Express is an Archer-class patrol vessel attached to the Wales University Royal Navy Unit (URNU). Her main role is to provide Officer Cadets with the skills and attributes required for a career in the Royal Navy.

HMS Express is based at Penarth Marina in Cardiff Bay. She is proud to be affiliated with: HMS Dragon, HM Submarine Trenchant, 846 Commando Helicopter Squadron, Aberystwyth town, Sea Cadet Units: TS Cossack (Barry), TS Glamorgan (Penarth) and Dean Close School.

Facts & figures

Facts & figures

20+ knots

Top speed


Total length

54 tonnes

Total displacement

Our skills

Our skills

HMS Express can accommodate up to ten students from Wales URNU, in addition to her permanent ship’s company of five Royal Navy personnel. Together, their activities and responsibilities include:

  • Naval experience
  • Naval training
  • Navigation training
  • Officer training
  • Providing support on Royal Navy and NATO exercises
  • Personal development
  • Leadership training
  • Our operations

    Current operation

    University Training

    United Kingdom

    Broadening the understanding of the Royal Navy among university students by offering them a taste of life at sea.

    Our base

    Our base

    United Kingdom

    Get Directions

    Commanding Officer

    Lieutenant Leah Payne

    HMS Express's role

    The primary role of HMS Express is to serve as a training vessel for the Wales URNU, with undergraduates drawn from Cardiff and Swansea Universities, the University of South Wales and the University of Wales Institute Cardiff.

    During their time on board HMS Express, Wales URNU students acquire the navigational skills and seamanship that are essential for a Naval career.

    Unit history

    Royal Navy careers

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