HMS Biter (P270)

HMS Biter's primary tasking is in support of Manchester and Salford University Royal Naval Unit (URNU), taking students to sea for weekends in the Irish Sea and for extended periods in UK and foreign waters. 

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Other tasking includes supporting Royal Navy exercises and training, working with youth groups and cadets, and engagement with the local community

Manchester & Salford URNU was formed in 1990 to provide training to students from Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and Salford Universities, and to educate them about the Royal Navy. 

The syllabus is based primarily around navigation and seamanship both ashore and at sea, and also provides opportunities for travel, both around the UK and overseas, and for personal development and leadership training.

These drill nights include theoretical instruction, practical chartwork and an insight into Naval and military activities. Sport and Adventurous Training plays an important role in developing teamwork and leadership within the unit.

In addition each student will normally attend three sea-training weekends and a two-week deployment over the Easter or Summer holidays. Recruiting takes place at the start of each academic year in early October.

For more information please contact us: Manchester & Salford URNU, University Barracks, Boundary Lane, Manchester, M15 6DH

Tel: 0161 2373308


On Deployment

This unit is currently on deployment find out how that might affect you.

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URNU Weapon Engineer Officer Insight Scheme visit HMNB Devonport


HMS Biter (P270) Latest News

Royal Navy’s smallest ships take part in squadron exercise

P2000s’ morale boost for strongman Ross on epic 2,000-mile swim

P2000s’ morale boost for strongman Ross on epic 2,000-mile swim

See all news for HMS Biter (P270)

Current operation University Training

  • Alongside in Portsmouth

    Alongside in her home port of Portsmouth Naval Base. Training our team and maintaining our equipment to make sure we are fighting fit for the challenge.

  • Alongside

    Alongside in her home port of Clyde Naval Base. Training our team and maintaining our equipment to make sure we are fighting fit for the challenge.

Location UK

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Unit History

The First Biter1797

The first Biter was a gun boat with 12 guns. Built by Wells of Rotherhithe, she was launched in April 1797 and saw 5 years of Naval Service before being sold.

The Second Biter1804

The second Biter was built by Wallis, Blackwall, and launched in July 1804. Unfortunately she was wrecked near Calais 16 months later.

The Third Biter1855

The third Biter saw action during the bombardment of Sveaborg in August 1855. She was a ‘Dapper’ class wood steam boat, and saw 10 years service before being sold as a coal hulk.

The Fourth Biter1940

The fourth HMS Biter was a 8200 ton Escort Carrier which saw active service in WW2. Built in Pennsylvania in December 1940, she was transferred to the RN in May 1942 on Lend-Lease.

Operation Torch1940

Carrying 15 aircraft, the fourth HMS Biter's first action was during Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa.


In March 1943 HMS Biter was seconded to the Fifth Escort Group in the North Atlantic and was instrumental in sinking U203 with her embarked swordfish aircraft.


In August 1944, HMS Biter suffered a major fire and played no further part in the war. In 1945 she was sold to the French Navy as Dixmude and served until 1966.

The Present Biter1985

The present HMS Biter is the fifth Ship to bear the name. She was built by Watercraft in Shoreham, launched in 1985 and operated by the Royal Naval Reserve in Liverpool.

The Present Biter1985

In 1990 HMS Biter was transferred to Manchester and Salford URNU.

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Commanding Officer Matthew Smith

Rank: Lieutenant

Lieutenant Matthew Smith joined the Royal Navy in 2012, he assumed command of HMS Biter March 2019

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Manchester and Salford URNU meet every Thursday at 1900 during term time


HMS Biter has a top speed of 14 knots

HMNB Portsmouth

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