The UK's Maritime Role 3 Platform
The principal role of RFA Argus is to serve as a Primary Casualty Receiving Ship (PCRS). She has a fully equipped 100-bed medical complex on board, which can be uniquely tailored to deliver cutting-edge treatment afloat. This medical facility is called the Primary Casualty Receiving Facility (PCRF) and consists of over 40 different medical and surgical specialties. It is manned by personnel drawn from all three services, regular and reserve, and from across the whole spectrum of Defence Medical Services.
The PCRF has a state-of-the-art Emergency Department, an Operating Theatre, a radiology suite that includes a CT scanner, a Critical Care unit, a High Dependency Unit and a 70-bed general ward.
The PCRF has been used to support operations in the Middle East and, more recently, to support the UK's efforts to help the fight against Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone. Regular medical exercises take place to allow clinical staff the opportunity to train in maritime environment, ready to deploy at short notice if needed.
Why is RFA Argus not a Hospital Ship? As the platform is fitted with self-defence guns and decoys and may have operational units and aircraft embarked, she is not designated as a Hospital Ship as defined by the Geneva Convention and so does not display the International Red Cross symbol.
Her secondary role is to provide specialist aviation training facilities for the Fleet Air Arm.