HMS Penelope (F127)

From Academic Kids

HMS Penelope
Career RN Ensign
Laid down: 14th March 1961
Launched: 17th August 1962
Commissioned: 31st October 1963
Decommissioned: Decommissioned from the RN in 1991
Fate: Sold to Ecuador in 1991. She was renamed Presidente Eloy Alfaro
General Characteristics

HMS Penelope (F127) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). Like other ships of the class, Penelope was named after a figure of mythology. HMS Penelope was launched on the 17th August 1962 and commissioned on the 31st October 1963. Penelope was intended to be part of the Salisbury-class and was to have been named Coventry (and before that Panther), but instead became part of the Leander-class.

Upon commissioning, Penelope joined the 20th Frigate Squadron which was based in the UK. In 1966, Penelope underwent a refit that re-roled her into a trials ship and led to the removal of much of her weapons including her one twin 4.5-in gun and later the whole turret.

In 1968, Penelope assisted in the aftermath of the Aer Lingus Flight 712 crash in the Irish Sea, killing all sixty-one passengers and crew. There has been a number of conspiracy theories about the crash, including the alleged involvement of Penelope. The theory goes that Penelope, while performing tests, mistook the aircraft for a target drone and shot her down. All conspiracy theories have been refuted by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The following year, Penelope was present in West Germany during the Kieler Woche festival which combined a yachting race and festival events. Penelope took part in a variety of tests in the 1970s, including SeaWolf missile tests in 1977. In 1981, Penelope was fitted with the Exocet missile with the intention of using Penelope to test it.

In 1982, Penelope took part in the Falklands War as part of 'Bristol Group', which included two other Leanders, and did not reach the Falkland Islands area of operations until the 26th May. Upon arrival, Penelope mainly performed escort duties, including escorting the damaged Leander Argonaut in late May, who had suffered damage after being hit by cannon fire and bombs.

On the 13th June, Penelope's Lynx helicoper struck the Argentinian patrol boat Rio Iguazu with a Sea Skua missile. Also that day, Penelope, along with Nordic Ferry, a merchant ship she was escorting, came under attack from Argentinian aircraft, one firing an Exocet missile. Thankfully, Penelope's crew acted quickly, taking evasive action and firing her AA weapons as-well as Chaff, the missile missed Penelope thanks to the quick response of her crew. Penelope returned home in September 1982.

Soon after, Penelope undertook a Falklands patrol in the tense aftermath after the war, and did not return home until June 1983. The following year, Penelope deployed to the South Atlantic yet again, patrolling and performing other duties in that region. In 1988, Penelope unfortunately collided with HMCS Provider, a Canadian supply ship, suffering damage in the process. In 1991, Penelope was decommissioned and subsequently sold, along with Danae, to Ecuador, being renamed Presidente Eloy Alfaro.

See HMS Penelope for other ships of the name.

Leander-class frigate
Achilles | Ajax | Andromeda | Apollo | Arethusa | Ariadne | Argonaut | Aurora | Bacchante | Charybdis | Cleopatra | Danae | Dido | Diomede | Euryalus | Galatea | Hermione | Juno | Jupiter | Leander | Minerva | Naiad | Penelope | Phoebe | Scylla | Sirius

List of frigates of the Royal Navy

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