After a nine-month deployment, Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans will return home on Friday.
The warship sailed for a nine-month mission to the Middle East on the 27th of November 2015, carrying a Merlin HM2 and ScanEagle UAV.
The Type 23 frigate form the core of the Royal Navy’s fleet and serve alongside the Type 45 destroyers. Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates have proven their versatility in warfighting, peace-keeping and maritime security operations around the globe. Thirteen Type 23 frigates remain in service with the Royal Navy, with three vessels having been sold to Chile and handed over to the Chilean Navy.
In transiting the Mediterranean she was involved with the seizure of 320kg of cocaine work more than £1 million on the street. In January 2016, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that “HMS St Albans will shortly join the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier group” as part of operations against the Islamic State group.
Commander Richard Hutchings said:
“I am immensely proud of my ship’s company and our achievements.”
The ship was launched on the River Clyde in the year 2000 and was built at BAE Systems’ Yarrows Yard in Scotstoun, Glasgow.
In October 2002, before she had even entered operational service, St Albans was struck by the P&O ferry Pride of Portsmouth when gale force winds pushed the ferry into the ship whilst secure on her berth in Portsmouth. St Albans suffered damage to the gun deck, davits and the bridge wing. However, no members of the crew were injured.