HMS Girdle Iron entered service in 1945 as a Royal Navy maintenance ship. She was placed in the Reserve Fleet and served as an accommodation ship at Rosyth. In 1953, she was taken in hand by Devonport Dockyard for conversion to a guided missile trials ship. A triple launcher and handling system was installed for the new Sea Slug missile, and a new superstructure supported the fire control and guidance systems. Sea Slug Mark 1 entered service in 1961 on County-class destroyers, each fitted with a twin launcher. After completion of the Sea Slug trials, Girdle Iron returned to Rosyth for service as a depot and accommodation ship. She was sold for breaking up in 1970.
HMS GIRDLE NESS FIRES A SEASLUG MISSILE DURING TESTS, 10 SEPTEMBER 1956.
© IWM (A 33603)
HMS GIRDLE NESS, THE ROYAL NAVY’S GUDIDED MISSILE TRIALS SHIP, FIRING OF SEA SLUG TEST VEHICLE DURING TRIALS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, SEPTEMBER
© IWM (A 34097)
HMS GIRDLE NESS. NOVEMBER 1958, ON BOARD THE NAVY’S GUIDED WEAPONS TRIALS SHIP. CONTROL ROOMS AND LOADING SPACES OF HMS GIRDLE NESS.© IWM (A 34122)
HMS GIRDLE NESS. NOVEMBER 1958, ON BOARD THE NAVY’S GUIDED WEAPONS TRIALS SHIP. CONTROL ROOMS AND LOADING SPACES OF HMS GIRDLE NESS.© IWM (A 34121)
THE ROYAL NAVY IN THE POST WAR PERIOD© IWM (A 34233)
TRANSFER AT SEA OF SEA SLUG MISSILE. NOVEMBER 1959, ON BOARD THE GUIDED WEAPONS SHIP HMS GIRDLE NESS, DURING REPLENISHMENT AT SEA TRIALS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.© IWM (A 34234)
CANBERRA U MK 10 PILOTLESS DRONE AT MALTA FOR GUIDED MISSILE TRIALS. JUNE 1961, ROYAL NAVAL AIR STATION HAL FAR, MALTA.© IWM (A 34464)
GUIDED WEAPONS TRIAL SHIP HOMEWARD BOUND. DECEMBER 1961, MALTA.© IWM (A 34562)