HMS Cardiff returns to Royal Navy fleet as a Type 26 frigate

The Royal Navy’s next Type 26 frigate will be named HMS Cardiff, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones has announced.

HMS Cardiff is joining HMS Glasgow and HMS Belfast as the final ship in the first batch of three frigates to be built under a contract from 2017.

Cardiff was named on St David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales, and “reflects the Royal Navy’s long-standing bond with the city and the people of Wales,” Admiral Jones said.

The Type 26 frigate is the fourth Royal Navy ship to be named after the Welsh capital.

“HMS Cardiff brings with it a proud history. A century ago the light cruiser HMS Cardiff famously led the German High Seas Fleet into internment at Scapa Flow at the end of the First World War,” Admiral Jones said.

“The last HMS Cardiff, a Type 42 destroyer, also distinguished herself on operations around the world, including the 1982 Falklands campaign, the 1991 Gulf War and service in the Adriatic during the 1999 crisis in Kosovo.”

The eight new frigates which are planned for construction will also be referred to as the City-class.

“This is a very proud moment not only for the Royal Navy but for the whole of Wales,” Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said. “Wales has a strong military footprint, and this announcement is a celebration of the contribution our nation makes to the defense of the UK.”

The announcement comes as BAE Systems have awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to equip the Type 26 with the MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems capable of launching anti-air, anti-submarine, surface-to-surface and strike-length missiles. Three will be fitted on each ship. The Royal Navy has ordered an initial nine modules for the first three ships, including HMS Cardiff.

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