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Forces: U.S. & Coalition/Royal Navy
Casualties | POW/MIA
Forces




British Naval Task Group 2003 was scheduled to deploy to the Far East to participate in Exercise Flying Fish but was sent to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Telic, the British name for the war in Iraq. The following ships made up the Task Group, which also included some 4,000 Royal Marines.

HMS Ark Royal
Type of vessel: Invincible-class aircraft carrier
Date deployed: January 11, 2003. The ship left the Persian Gulf in April 2003 and returned to Portsmouth, England on May 17, accompanied by the destroyer HMS York and RFA Fort Victoria.
Destination: Persian Gulf
Home port: Portsmouth, England
Total personnel: 1,052 -- 686 sailors plus 366 air group personnel
Aircraft: Depending on deployment, a mix of Sea Harriers FA2, Royal Air Force Harrier GR7, and Sea King helicopters
Armament: three Phalanx 20 mm rapid-fire close-range weapons systems; two 20 mm guns
Performance/Propulsion: More than 30 knots (gas turbine)
Length: 686 feet
Commissioned: July 1 1985
Embarked forces: Royal Marines from 40th Commando, Chinook helicopters from the Royal Air Force's 18th Squadron and Sea King helicopters from the 849th Naval Air Squadron


HMS Ocean
Type of vessel: Amphibious helicopter carrier that also carries an embarked military force
Date deployed: January 11, 2003
Destination: Persian Gulf
Home port: Portsmouth, England
Crew: 445 -- 265 sailors plus 180 air crew
Length: 667.3 feet (203.4 meters)
Performance/Propulsion: 19 knots (diesel)
Aircraft: 12 Sea King HC4 medium support helicopters and 6 Lynx AH7 or 6 Gazelle light helicopters
Armament: Three Phalanx 20 mm rapid-fire close-range weapons systems; four 30 mm close-range guns
Commissioned: September 30, 1998
Embarked forces: The 9th Assault Squadron of the Royal Marines, consisting of two officers and 28 enlisted men, is permanently assigned to the HMS Ocean. The squadron also mans the four landing craft vehicles for ship-to-shore movement of an embarked Royal Marine commando unit.


HMS Liverpool
Type of vessel: Sheffield-class (Type 42) guided missile destroyer
Date deployed: January 11, 2003
Destination: Persian Gulf
Home port: Portsmouth, England
Crew: 253
Length: 412 feet (125 meters)
Performance/Propulsion: 28 knots (gas turbine)
Aircraft: Lynx MK-8 helicopters
Armament: twin Sea Dart missile launcher; 114 mm (55 caliber) gun; two 30 mm close-range guns; two Phalanx 20 mm rapid-fire close-range weapons systems; six 20 mm close-range guns; two triple anti-submarine torpedo tubes
Commissioned: July 9, 1982


HMS Edinburgh
Type of vessel: Sheffield-class (Type 42) guided missile destroyer
Date deployed: January 11, 2003
Destination: Persian Gulf
Home port: Portsmouth, England
Crew: 301
Performance/Propulsion: 30 knots (gas turbine)
Length 462 feet (141 meters)
Aircraft: Lynx MK-8 helicopters
Armament: twin Sea Dart missile launcher; 114 mm (55 caliber) gun; two 30 mm close-range guns; two Phalanx 20 mm rapid-fire close-range weapons systems; six 20 mm close-range guns; two triple anti-submarine torpedo tubes
Commissioned: December 18, 1995


HMS York
Type of vessel: Sheffield-class (Type 42) guided missile destroyer
Date deployed: January 11, 2003. Scheduled to return to Great Britian in mid-May with the HMS Ark Royal and RFA Fort Victoria.
Destination: Persian Gulf
Home port: Portsmouth, England
Crew: 301
Length: 462 feet (141 meters)
Performance/Propulsion: 30 knots (gas turbine)
Aircraft: Lynx MK-8 helicopters
Armament: twin Sea Dart missile launcher; 114 mm (55 caliber) gun; two 30 mm close-range guns; two rapid-fire close-range weapons systems; six 20 mm close-range guns; two triple anti-submarine torpedo tubes
Commissioned: August 9, 1985


HMS Marlborough
Type of vessel: Duke-class (Type 23) frigate
Date deployed: January 17, 2003
Destination: Persian Gulf
Home port: Portsmouth, England
Crew: 185
Length: 485.9 feet (33 meters)
Performance/Propulsion: 28 knots (gas turbine)
Aircraft: MK 8 Lynx helicopters
Armament: two quad Harpoon missile launchers; Sea Wolf anti-missile system; 114 mm (55 caliber) gun; two 20 mm close-range guns; two twin anti-submarine torpedo tubes
Commissioned: June 14, 1991


HMS Grimsby
Type of vessel: Sandown-class mine hunter
Date deployed: January 20, 2003
Destination: Persian Gulf
Home port: Portsmouth, England
Crew: 34
Performance/Propulsion: 15 knots (diesel)
Length: 53 meters
Armament: one 30 mm close-range gun
In service: September 25, 1999


HMS Ledbury
Type of vessel: Hunt-class mine hunter/minesweeper
Date deployed: January 20, 2003
Destination: Persian Gulf
Home port: Portsmouth, England
Crew: 45
Performance/Propulsion: 17 knots (diesel)
Length: 60 meters
Armament: one 30 mm gun; one twin 20 mm guns; two 7.62 mm machine guns
In service: June 11, 1981


HMS Splendid
Type of ship: Swiftsure-class attack submarine
Propulsion: One nuclear reactor and two steam turbines
Complement: 116
Armament: Five torpedo tubes capable of firing Tomahawk cruise missiles, Spearfish and Tigerfish torpedoes; and Harpoon missiles
In service: March 21, 1981


HMS Turbulent
Deployed to: Persian Gulf
Type of ship: Trafalgar-class attack submarines
Propulsion: One nuclear reactor
Crew: 130
Armament: Five torpedo tubes capable of firing Spearfish and Tigerfish torpedoes; Harpoon missiles.
Commissioned: April 28, 1984


Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service
Also traveling with the Task Force 2003 are seven ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service (RFA). The RFA is staffed by civilians and owned by the Ministry of Defense. Its main task is to supply Royal Navy warships at sea with fuel, food, stores and ammunition so they can remain operational while away from port.

RFA Argus
Type of vessel: Aviation training and primary casualty reception ship
Crew: 80 civilians plus 137 in the Royal Navy air squadron.
Performance/Propulsion:> 22 knots (diesel generated electric)
Flight deck: Five spots for Chinook, Sea King or Lynx helicopters; Sea Harrier jump jets may also be carried
Armament: two 30 mm guns, four 7.62 mm machine guns


RFA Sir Tristram
Type of vessel: Tank landing ship
Crew: 51
Performance/Propulsion: 18 knots (diesel)
Aft Flight deck: One spot for Sea King helicopter
Vehicle deck: One spot for Sea King or Lynx or Chinook helicopter
Armament: two 20 mm guns; two 12.7 mm machine guns


RFA Sir Galahad
Type of vessel: Tank landing ship
Crew: 49
Performance/Propulsion: 18 knots (diesel)
Aft Flight deck: One spot for Sea King helicopter
Vehicle deck: One spot for Sea King, Lynx or Chinook helicopter
Armament: two 20 mm guns; two 12.7 mm machine guns

RFA Sir Percivale
Type of vessel: Tank landing ship
Crew: 51
Performance/Propulsion: 18 knots (diesel)
Aft Flight deck: One spot for Sea King helicopter
Vehicle deck: One spot for Sea King or Lynx or Chinook helicopter
Armament: two 20 mm guns; two 12.7 mm machine guns


RFA Fort Victoria
Type of vessel: Combined fleet support tanker and supply ship
Crew: 95 civilians plus 154 Royal Navy
Performance/Propulsion: 20 knots (diesel)
Flight deck: Two spots for Sea King or Lynx helicopter
Armament: two 30 mm guns; two Phalanx 20 mm rapid-fire, close-range weapons systems; two 30 mm guns

RFA Fort Rosalie
Type of vessel: Fleet supply ship
Crew: 114 plus 45 in the Royal Navy air squadron
Performance/Propulsion: 20 knots (diesel)
Main Flight deck: One spot for Sea King or Lynx helicopter
Flight deck: One spot for Sea King or Lynx helicopter
Armament: two 20 mm guns; four 7.62 mm machine guns


RFA Fort Austin
Type of vessel: Fleet supply ship
Crew: 114 plus 45 in the Royal Navy air squadron
Performance/Propulsion: 20 knots (diesel)
Main Flight deck: One spot for Sea King or Lynx helicopter
Auxiliary Flight deck: One spot for Sea King or Lynx helicopter
Armament: two 20 mm guns; four 7.62 mm machine guns

SOURCES
British Ministry of Defense, Periscope
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