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HMS Zulu (F124)

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Name  HMS Zulu
Commissioned  17 April 1964
Identification  Pennant number F124
Construction started  13 December 1960
Laid down  13 December 1960
Decommissioned  1984
Fate  Sold to Indonesia
Launched  3 July 1962
HMS Zulu (F124) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Builder  Alexander Stephen and Sons

HMS Zulu was a Tribal-class frigate of the Royal Navy in service from 1964 to 1984. She was the third ship bearing the name of HMS Zulu, having been named after an ethnic group located primarily in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Zulu was built by Alexander Stephen and Sons, of Govan, at a cost of £5,100,000. She was launched on 3 July 1962 and commissioned on 17 April 1964. Zulu was the only Tribal built with Sea Cat missiles; her six sister frigates were built with two 40 mm Bofors guns and fitted with the Sea Cat system during later refits.


She was sold to the Indonesian Navy in 1984 and renamed Martha Khristina Tiyahahu.

Royal Navy Service

In 1966, Zulu contributed to the Beira Patrol off the coast of East Africa, assisting in the enforcement of an oil blockade on Rhodesia.

In 1972, a United States Navy P-3 Orion aircraft crashed on a mountain in northern Morocco with the loss of 14 crew. Zulu's Westland Wasp helicopter was sent to the wreckage site, where five bodies were found. In 1974, Zulu deployed to the West Indies. When Guatemala threatened to annex Belize in 1975, Zulu steamed to the area from an American port to augment British forces. Such was the urgency that Zulu left 20 sailors behind.

In 1977, Zulu was presented at the Spithead Fleet Review, held in honour of Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee. At this time she was part of the 4th Frigate Squadron. Later that year, Zulu formed part of the eight-ship Group 6 deployment, led by the cruiser Tiger, on naval exercises in the Far East.

Manpower shortages in the Royal Navy necessitated Zulu being reduced to reserve in 1979, as part of the Standby Squadron. She was placed on the disposal list in 1981. During the Falklands War, Zulu was taken out of reserve and prepared for active service. She operated in home waters, West Indies Guard Ship and, in 1983, became the Gibraltar Guardship. Before decommissioning in 1984, Zulu fired the Royal Navy's last "full" broadside.

Indonesian Navy Service

Indonesia bought Zulu in 1984, renaming the frigate Martha Kristina Tiyahahu, in honour of Martha Christina Tiahahu, who fought against Dutch colonial forces. The frigate was struck from the Indonesian Naval Vessel Register in 1984 and currently awaits scrapping.


  • Colledge, J. J. & Warlow, Ben (2010) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (4th Rev. ed.). London: Chatham. ISBN 978-1-935149-07-1.
  • Gardiner, Robert & Chesneau, Roger (1995), Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships, 1947-1995, Conway Maritime Press, London, ISBN 978-0-8517-7605-7.
  • References

    HMS Zulu (F124) Wikipedia

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