“The seventh, and current, HMS Richmond (F239) is the 10th of 16 Type 23 Duke Class Frigates to join the Royal Navy. She was built at Swan Hunter Shipbuilders on the Tyne, laid down on 16 February 1992, launched 6 April 1993, and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 22 June 1995.”
I joined HMS RICHMOND at the end of January as she was going through her deep refit. Already three months into it the ship was in dry dock at Devonport Naval Base. The Type 23 Frigates look big when they are alongside the jetty but when in dry dock the ability to look up at the monolith that is the ship is fantastic.
Her underside had been completely refitted and a fresh coat of paint made her look ready to cut through the oceans waves’ right there and then. There was however the minor issue of engines, weapons, sensors, food and accommodation. These are services that we have been diligently working to reinstall and get operational in a very short space of time. The ship, our home, has gone from being a building site covered in scaffolding to a vessel sea worthy and ready to prove that she is functional. This is largely due to the very hard work the men and women working on board have put in. Many a long night has been spent by the various departments to ensure that inspection dates were met and targets achieved.
Days away from taking her back to sea, she looked particularly splendid with flags adorning her rigging in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend. However, come Friday June 08, 2012, the dressings were down and the lads and lasses turned-to ready to batten down the hatches and cast off the docking ropes, and proceed to sea.
Lt RN HMS Richmond