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.

Add to favourites

HMS Sutherland is currently taking part in Joint Warrior, beginning with Exercise Griffin Strike.

She is working alongside the Fleet Flagship HMS Ocean, Assault Ship HMS Bulwark and RFA Lyme Bay as well as French Navy counterparts including the including the assault helicopter carrier FS Dixmude.

The aim of Ex Griffin Strike is to test the working partnership between the two countries and test the Ango-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force”, or CJEF.

The exercise will show how UK and French maritime, land and air forces can be deployed rapidly together for a wide range of bilateral operations and, if called upon, work together as part of a NATO, EU or UN coalition operation.

Despite being the 13th of 16 Type 23 frigates, HMS Sutherland has clocked up numerous firsts:

The first warship to pass under the Skye Bridge; first circumnavigation of the globe by a Royal Navy ship in 14 years; first ship to receive and fire the updated Seawolf air defence missile system; most rounds fired by 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.

Given her Scottish roots it’s perhaps only right that she was launched with the smashing of a bottle of whisky, not champagne, against the hull on the slipway at the Yarrow yard (now BAE) on the Clyde back in 1996.

HMS Sutherland was commissioned into the Navy one year later in Devonport.

If you ever visit the north-west tip of Scotland, you’ll find HMS Sutherland's name spelled out in giant boulders overlooking Loch Eriboll.

A resurrected tradition from the days when the great natural anchorage was used regularly by the Fleet and ship’s companies listed their vessels – such as Valiant and Hood – on the hillside.


On Deployment

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

Read more

Trainee engineers learn the ropes thanks to HMS Sutherland


HMS Sutherland (F81) Latest News

Wildcat helicopter returns to Yeovilton after groundbreaking deployment

Wildcat helicopter returns to Yeovilton after groundbreaking deployment

HMS Sutherland homecoming

HMS Sutherland home after seven-month deployment

See all news for HMS Sutherland (F81)

Current operation 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.

  • Operation Recsyr

    the UK naval contribution to the Danish-led Task Group tasked to execute Operation “RECSYR”, an acronym that stands for “Removal of Chemical weapons from SYRia”

  • Alongside in Devonport

    Alongside in her home port of Devonport Naval Base.

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.

International partnerships

As the fifth largest economy in the world, the UK has responsibilities towards its allies and partners. But Britain also has global ambitions – namely to protect the seaways underpinning the country’s prosperity. The Royal Navy plays a crucial role in fostering these enduring and lasting alliances with other nations.

Location Global

prev next

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.

Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers Future

An island nation needs a powerful navy. A simple fact, often forgotten. Go behind the scenes of the new aircraft carrier and discover its true scale and ambition.

Read about the new carrier

Commanding Officer Andrew Canale

Rank: Commander

Commander Andrew Canale joined the Royal Navy in 1996, he assumed command of HMS Sutherland in January 2017.

Previous units

Download full profile

HMNB Devonport

Learn more


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


Displacement: 4,900 tonnes; length: 133m; beam: 16.1m; complement: 185

Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering)

Join us