RFA Argus by Graham Hill

RFA Argus by Graham Hill

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Overall Size: 24" x 16"

This masterful rendition of the RFA Argus by Graham Hill is exclusive to The Colours Call online military art gallery and represents a rare opportunity to own a limited edition fine art print of this legendary ship.

History of RFA Argus

RFA Argus (A135) is an aviation training ship with a secondary role of primary casualty receiving ship in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Italian-built, Argus was formerly the container ship MV Contender Bezant. The ship was requisitioned for service in the Falklands War and purchased outright in 1984.

After a four year conversion at Harland and Wolff in Belfast the ship entered RFA service in 1988, replacing RFA Engadine in the aviation training role. As a container ship, her directional stability when unloaded would greatly exceed that suitable for a warship. Therefore, her superstructure is deliberately heavily built (weighing some 800 tons), and she has 1,800 tons of concrete ballast carried in former hatch covers, which have been inverted to form tray-like structures

Argus has proven to be a versatile vessel, serving in many wars. Argus was fitted with a fully functional hospital for the 1991 Gulf crisis, which has since been added to providing a fully functional, 100 bed hospital. It is equipped with the best of equipment: x-ray facilities, CAT scanner, ITU ward etc. Casualties can be quickly transferred from the deck directly into the assessment area. In recent conflicts, the ship's role as a Primary Casualty Receiving Ship (referred to as such rather than a hospital ship as the vessel is_ armed, thus not meeting the Geneva Convention definition of a hospital ship) has been more prominent than its aviation training duties.

The ship deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 for service in the Gulf War, and also saw service in the Adriatic in 1993 and 1999 supporting British operations in Bosnia and over Kosovo respectively. During this period, Argus operated in part as an LPH. Her unsuitability for this role was a major factor in the commissioning of HMS Ocean. In 2003 Argus was deployed again to the Gulf as part of a 33 ship fleet to support a British amphibious assault of the Al Faw peninsula. Argus operated in its PCRS role.

In 2007 the ship was refitted with upgraded hospital facilities, generators and aviation systems to give an operational life until 2020.


300 Limited edition prints signed by the artist, Graham Hill 65

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