^ HMS Archer (P264)Introduction
The Archer class (or P2000) is a class of patrol and training vessel in service with the United Kingdom's Royal Navy, commonly referred to as a Fast Training Boat. Most are assigned to University Royal Naval Units, although HMS Tracker and HMS Raider are armed and provide maritime force protection to high value shipping in the Firth of Clyde although are most commonly employed as escorts for submarines transiting to Faslane.Development
Ten vessels were ordered as the P2000 class, based on a design of an Omani coastguard cutter, from Watercraft Marine. They are twin-shaft vessels with moulded glass-reinforced plastic hulls. After that company went into liquidation, the balance of the order was completed by Vosper Thornycroft.
The Archers were initially used as Royal Navy patrol craft and as training tenders for the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) and University Royal Naval Units (URNU). Four identical vessels were ordered for the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service (RNXS) as Example-class tenders. When that service was disbanded in 1994, the Examples were transferred to the Royal Navy for similar duties as their Archer-class brethren (under the same names under which they served as "XSVs", all of which begin with the first syllable "Ex"). Until 2005, the 4 Examples were still painted with a black hull.
In 1998 two additional vessels (Raider and Tracker) of this design were commissioned into the Royal Navy from Ailsa Shipbuilding Company, to replace Loyal Watcher and Loyal Chancellor as URNU training vessels for the two newest URNUs, serving Cambridge and Oxford Universities respectively (Raider was later transferred to Bristol URNU whilst Trumpeter became the ship of Cambridge URNU). This brought the total of Archer class vessels in the Royal Navy to 16, of which 14 form the 1st Patrol Boat Squadron (formerly the Inshore Training Squadron), each one attached to an URNU (one per unit) under the command of a Lieutenant. The remaining 2 vessels (Pursuer and Dasher), having formed the Cyprus Squadron from 2003 to 2010, and URNU vessels before that, returned to the UK in April 2010 to form the Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron, performing security duties within HMNB Clyde.
In 2012 Dasher and Pursuer were replaced by Raider and Tracker - these can be identified by a number of pintle-mounted L7 7.62 mm GPMG machine guns and armour plating. Ranger and Trumpeter were also formerly allocated to the Gibraltar Squadron for guard ship and search and rescue duties, but were replaced by the dedicated Scimitar class. These two ships were also used during the Thames River Pageant, escorting the Royal Barge during the Queens Diamond Jubilee. Unlike the remainder of the class, both these ships remain capable of being mounted with a 20 mm cannon on the fo'c'sle.
The NATO designation of a P2000 is "PBR", denoting a "Patrol Boat - Riverine and Harbours".
1. HMS Archer (P264) Commissioned 1985 (Edinburgh URNU)
2. HMS Biter (P270) Commissioned 1986 (Manchester URNU)
3. HMS Smiter (P272) Commissioned 1988 (Oxford URNU)
4. HMS Pursuer (P273) Commissioned 1988 (Glasgow URNU)
5. HMS Blazer (P279) Commissioned 1988 (Southampton URNU)
6. HMS Dasher (P280) Commissioned 1988 (Bristol URNU)
7. HMS Puncher (P291) Commissioned 1988 (London URNU)
8. HMS Charger (P292) Commissioned 1988 (Liverpool URNU)
9. HMS Ranger (P293) Commissioned 1988 (Sussex URNU)
10 HMS Trumpeter (P294) Commissioned 1988 (Cambridge URNU)
11. HMS Example (P165) Commissioned 1985 (ex-XSV Example, ex-A153) (Northumbrian URNU)
12. HMS Explorer (P164) Commissioned 1986 (ex-XSV Explorer, ex-A154) (Yorkshire URNU)
13. HMS Express (P163) Commissioned 1988 (ex-XSV Express, ex-A163) (Wales URNU)
14. HMS Exploit (P167) Commissioned 1988 (ex-XSV Exploit, ex-A167) (Birmingham URNU)
15. HMS Tracker (P274) Commissioned 1998 (Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron)
16. HMS Raider (P275) Commissioned 1998 (Faslane Patrol Boat Squadron)Type:
Patrol boat & training vesselDisplacement:
2 shafts, Cat C18 ACERT dieselsSpeed:
25 kn (46 km/h)
45 kn (83 km/h) (Hull design, but limited due to engine fitted)Range:
550 nmi (1,020 km)Crew Complement:
12 (operational)Sensors and processing systems:
Decca 1216 navigation radarArmament:
1 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon on fo'c'sle ("for but not with")
3 × General purpose machine guns (Tracker & Raider)