Royal Navy retires two patrol boats after nearly 30 years of service

The Royal Navy has decommissioned patrol boats HMS Sabre and HMS Scimitar in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Royal Navy
Photo by: Royal Navy

The last sailors to serve on Sabre and Scimitar gathered at the base for the decommissioning ceremony attended by affiliates and Royal Navy seniors on 30 March.

Photo by: Royal Navy

Both HMS Sabre and Scimitar started off their service in the Royal Navy under different names.

Scimitar was known as Grey Fox while Sabre was known as Grey Wolf during their stint on operations in Northern Ireland. They served as Royal Marines’ patrol crafts having joined the fleet in 1993. 

The vessels have spent nearly 30 years in service, serving in Northern Ireland in their early career and as guard ships with the Gibraltar Squadron from 2003 to late 2020. 

They returned to the UK two years ago from Gibraltar, with HMS Dasher and HMS Pursuer taking over duties around the Rock temporarily while two patrol boats, HMS Cutlass and HMS Dagger, worked towards full operations.

The first replacement, HMS Cutlass, was recently handed over to the Gibraltar Squadron after three months of trials ahead of being declared fully operational this spring, while the second, HMS Dagger, is due to arrive later this year. 

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