Royal Navy Cyprus Squadron
The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 Cyprus Squadron
(RNCS) was a Royal Naval Squadron based on the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 island of Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

. It was formed in February 2003 in support of Operation Telic
Operation Telic
Operation TELIC was the codename under which all British military operations in Iraq were conducted between the start of the Invasion of Iraq on 19 March 2003 and the withdrawal of the last remaining British forces on 22 May 2011...

, the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and disbanded in April 2010. The squadron comprised two P2000-class
Archer class patrol vessel
The Archer class is a class of patrol and training vessels in service with the British Royal Navy, commonly referred to as a Fast Training Boat.-History & operations:...

 patrol ships, and ; these ships were reassigned to the Clyde Naval Base at Faslane in 2010.

The ships were based at Akrotiri Mole near RAF Akrotiri
RAF Akrotiri
Royal Air Force Station Akrotiri, more commonly known as RAF Akrotiri , is a large Royal Air Force station, on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. It is located in the Western Sovereign Base Area, one of two areas which comprise Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a British Overseas Territory, administered as a...

 and were employed in the protection of visiting ships and other British Forces Cyprus
British Forces Cyprus
British Forces Cyprus is the name given to the British Armed Forces stationed in the UK sovereign base areas of Dhekelia and Akrotiri on the island of Cyprus...

 equipment designated as high value. The Squadron was also employed in Internal Security patrols of the Sovereign Base Areas
Sovereign Base Areas
The Sovereign Base Areas are military bases located on territory in which the United Kingdom is sovereign, but which are separated from the ordinary British territory....

 (SBA), and training for visiting Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 ships. They had a secondary role supporting the police and customs and excise of the Sovereign Base Area.

Commanding officer

The last commanding officer (December 2009) was Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...

 Charlie Barrow. He assumed command of the Cyprus Squadron in July 2009.

RN Ships

The two ships of the squadron—Dasher and Pursuer—were fitted with Kevlar
Kevlar is the registered trademark for a para-aramid synthetic fiber, related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora. Developed at DuPont in 1965, this high strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires...

 armour and the armament consisted of three FN MAG General Purpose Machine Gun
The FN MAG is a Belgian 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun, designed in the early 1950s at Fabrique Nationale by Ernest Vervier. It has been used by more than 80 countries, and it has been made under licence in countries such as Argentina, Egypt, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the...

s, the ships' crews had one extra member (compared to the P2000s assigned to URNU duties) employed as a Gunners Yeoman, because of the weapons fitted.


  • 16m Fast Patrol Class Statistics Displacement: 54 t (53.1 LT)
  • Length: 20.5 metre
  • Beam: 5.8 metre
  • Draught: 2.2 metre
  • Complement: 6
  • Top Speed: 16 kn (31.4 km/h; 19.5 mph)
  • Cruising Speed: 12 kn (23.5 km/h; 14.6 mph)
  • Propulsion: 2 x Perkins CV 12 (Challenger 2 tank
    Challenger 2 tank
    FV4034 Challenger 2 is a British main battle tank currently in service with the armies of the United Kingdom and Oman. It was designed and built by the British company Vickers Defence Systems . The manufacturer advertises it as the world's most reliable main battle tank...

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