HMS Dido (F104) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). She was built by Yarrow of Glasgow. Dido was launched on the 22nd December 1961 and commissioned on the 18th September 1963.
In 1964, Dido joined the 22nd Escort Group which was stationed in the Far East, which at the time had a significant RN presence, normally including a number of carriers, destroyers, frigates and a variety of RFA vessels. While in the Far East, Dido took part in the Indonesian Confrontation, when Indonesian dictator Sukarno invaded Borneo. She performed a number of patrols around the waters of Borneo. In 1965, Dido joined the 21st Escort Group, becoming its leader ship.
In 1969, Dido joined the Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), part of NATO, and only created in 1967. Also that year, as part of that force, she took part in a multi-national Fleet Review at Spithead to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of NATO. Dido, under the command of Captain A. R. Rawbone, was positioned near the Dutch frigate Evertsen, who was part of a class based on the British Leanders.
In 1975, Dido underwent modernisation that included the removal of Dido’s one twin 4.5 in (114 mm) gun, with it being replaced by the Ikara anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missile launcher, in effect creating Dido into a specialised ASW warship. The refit was completed in 1978. In 1983, Dido had a brief stint with STANAVFORLANT before, due to defence cuts, she was sold to the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and was renamed Southland, becoming the third RNZN Leander in the process. The others being Waikato and Wellington, the latter was formerly HMS Bacchante. HMS Dido, now Southland, was decommissioned in 1995.
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