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Royal Navy - Guided Missile Frigate

F 83 HMS St. Albans

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Type, class: Guided Missile Frigate; Type 23 / Duke class
Builder: GEC Marconi Marine (YSL), Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
Laid down: April 18, 1999
Launched: May 6, 2000
Commissioned: June 6, 2002

Homeport: HMNB Portsmouth
Namesake: Duke of St. Albans
Ships Motto:
Technical Data: see INFO > Duke / Type 23 class Guided Missile Frigate

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HMS St Albans is a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy. She is the sixth ship to bear the name and is the sixteenth and final ship in the 'Duke' class of frigates. She is based in Portsmouth.

Operational history:

The ship was launched on the River Clyde on Saturday 6 May 2000. She was built at BAE Systems' Yarrows Yard in Scotstoun, Glasgow.

On 27 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, the sea boat supports (davits) and the bridge wing. However, no members of the crew were injured.

In 2004, Commander Steve Dainton RN took command and the ship was deployed on Operation Oracle duties in the Arabian Sea.

In July 2004 the crew were granted Freedom of the City by the Mayor of St Albans.

On 13 February 2006, St Albans departed on a six-month deployment to the Gulf region. She arrived in the region in early April, where her tasks included protecting Iraqi oil platforms as well as patrol duties in the northern Gulf. During the trip, she provided a diplomatic role by visiting 16 countries, including Algeria, Albania, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Lebanon (before the 2006 conflict with Israel).

Evacuation of British citizens from Lebanon:

As of 12 July 2006, the ship had completed her tour in the Gulf and had begun her long journey back to Portsmouth. However, on the same day, the conflict between Israel and Lebanon began. As a result, it was announced on Monday 17 July by The Ministry of Defence that St Albans, which was on a route that would take it through the eastern Mediterranean (via the Suez canal), had been redeployed to assist in the evacuation of British citizens trapped in Lebanon (Operation Highbrow). She arrived in the area on Thursday 20 July and on Friday 21 July she picked up 243 evacuees from the dock in Beirut and safely transported them to Cyprus. After completing her role in the evacuation, she remained on operational stand-by in the vicinity of Beirut for a short time before being ordered to return home, their original aim. The ship finally arrived back in Portsmouth on 18 August 2006.

After the tour:

Following the ship's successful 6-month tour, St Albans underwent maintenance. During this time, the ship received a new commanding officer, Commander Mark Newland RN. He took over from Commander Steve Dainton RN, commanding officer for the previous two years. The ship stayed in British waters, participated in submarine training in the Irish Sea, weapon training off the south coast and visited Glasgow on 11 November 2006 to take part in Remembrance Sunday events. From 5 January until 15 January 2007 the ship was open to the public as part of the London Boat Show. Following this, the ship conducted various training exercises and engineering trials in the UK. The ship's crew then went on Easter leave before returning to conduct more training activities.


In May 2007, St Albans entered a period of maintenance that lasted over a year. The maintenance programme took place in dry dock, situated in Rosyth. Many systems were overhauled and replaced and the ship's crew temporarily reassigned to other vessels while the ship underwent work. A skeleton crew of engineers supervised the work for the year. Included in the maintenance was the installation of a new Type 2087 sonar system and a conversion to allow the operation of Merlin helicopters, making the ship one of the Fleet’s most advanced frigates.

The upgrade took 15 months and cost £15 million. The ship then returned to its home port of Portsmouth and was accepted back into the fleet in July 2008. The ship was then put through various equipment tests & training routines throughout the later part of the year.


St Albans left Portsmouth on 19 January 2009 to conduct maritime security patrols in the Mediterranean. The ship joined a NATO Task Group in the Mediterranean and will be protecting busy shipping trade routes. St Albans was also a part of the NATO Response Force (NRF), capable of being deployed anywhere that NATO decides at short notice. The ship also visited ports in Majorca, Italy and Egypt whilst in the region. She arrived on the Clyde on 7 May 2009 at 1500hrs, heading for Faslane.

St Albans was deployed in the Gulf until mid-2010. She left Portsmouth on 1000hrs on Monday 1 February. Her deployment included supporting international efforts in "tackling piracy, illegal trafficking, and smuggling."

Later in the deployment St Albans helped the Iraqi government "protect their oil platforms, and provide security to ensure regional stability".

In July 2010 after completing her tour in the Middle East, she visited Grand Harbour, Malta for four days on her way back to the United Kingdom.

The warship helped in the recovery of a diver who had got into difficulties near Salcombe on 26 March 2011, although the diver was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

On 1 July 2011, St Albans rescued 13 sailors of the coast of Oman from the stricken tanker MV Pavit, which had spent three days drifting in a heavy storm after losing power. St Albans used her Merlin helicopter embarked from 829 Naval Air Squadron to winch the crew to safety. The rescued sailors were later transferred to their sister ship, the MV Jag Pushpa. After operating in the Middle East conducting counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations, having relieved the frigate HMS Iron Duke, she returned to Portsmouth, via Malta and Lisbon, in December 2011.

The Worshipful Company of Marketors became affiliated to HMS St Albans in 2011.


In March 2012, HMS St Albans visited the Pool of London where she entertained a number of her affiliate organisations and other guests before returning to her home port of Portsmouth to conduct exercises in the Western Approaches. In May, she visited Iceland, where the captain Cdr Tom Sharpe and Britain’s Ambassador to Iceland Ian Whitting cast a wreath into Hvalfjördur – once a vital staging point for the Arctic Convoys to the Soviet Union. Over 1½ million people saw the ship's return to Portsmouth as part of world’s largest harbour festival. The frigate sailed up the Elbe to Hamburg to take part in the port's 823rd birthday celebrations. In June, St Albans visited the home of the German Navy in Kiel, joining in the huge maritime event attended by 50 countries, 2000 yachts and pleasure craft and more than 5,000 yachtsmen and women. Before joining in the celebrations, members of the ship’s company including Commanding Officer Commander Tom Sharpe OBE RN, two platoons and the ship’s guard headed to a remembrance service and wreath laying at the Commonwealth Cemetery at Nordfriedhof.


Under her new commanding officer, Commander Andrew Block RN, HMS St Albans continued her home duties visiting the Channel Islands and Holyhead with an extended tour visiting Stavanger, Oslo and Amsterdam. During this deployment she was the last ship to fire the Royal Navy's 4.5" Mk.8 Mod 0 gun off Stavanger. In May 2013 she was handed over to BAe Systems for her refit in Portsmouth Harbour, her home port, silently coached into C lock. She will remain in dock until Spring 2014 to be modernised for another 10 years.

In December 2013, Commander Catherine Jordan RN, one of the few female Commanding Officers in the Royal Navy, took command of the ship.


A new crew has been assembled and the ship finished her £25million refit to schedule in the Spring followed by a period of intense trials and will rejoin the fleet in Summer 2014.

Since May 2014 HMS St Albans has been on extended trails developing her military capability and testing her systems integration. She is now fitted with the Artisan 3D radar, the all electric 'Kryten'4.5" Mod1 gun, mid-life upgrade to her Sea Wolf missile system together with a wide range of more detailed improvements. During the trails HMS St Albans visited Plymouth and Falmouth. Her Rededication Ceremony was on Friday 1 August 2014.

On Monday 3 November 2014 HMS St Albans passed her Material Assessment and Safety Check.

In December 2014 HMS St Albans visited London mooring alongside HMS Belfast in the Pool of London and then sailed across the North Sea and down the Nieuwe Maas to visit Rotterdam.


Still based in Portsmouth she continued trials in the Western English Channel and then visited Trondheim in Norway and continued live firing trials.

After completing her extensive FOST trails, based at Plymouth, she entered West India Dock, London on 7 July 2015 and then sailed back to Portsmouth arriving 16 July 2015 ready to be the Guard Ship for the Portsmouth America's Cup races later in the month.

St Albans sailed for a nine-month mission to the Middle East on 27 November 2015, carrying a Merlin HM2 and ScanEagle UAV.


In transiting the Mediterranean she was involved with the seizure of 320 kg of cocaine work more than £1 million on the street. On 11 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.

source: wikipedia
Duke of St Albans is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1684 for Charles Beauclerk, 1st Earl of Burford, then fourteen years old. King Charles II had accepted that Burford was his illegitimate son by Eleanor Gwynn (commonly known as 'Nell'), an actress, and awarded him the Dukedom just as he had awarded the Dukedoms of Monmouth, Richmond, Lennox, Southampton and Grafton on his other illegitimate sons.

The subsidiary titles of the Duke are: Earl of Burford, in the County of Oxford (1676), Baron Heddington, in the County of Oxford (1676) and Baron Vere, of Hanworth in the County of Middlesex (1750). The Earldom and the Barony of Heddington are in the Peerage of England, and the Barony of Vere is in the Peerage of Great Britain. The Dukes of St Albans also bear the hereditary title of Grand Falconer of England, and Hereditary Registrar of the Court of Chancery.

The eldest son and heir of the Duke of St Albans is known by the courtesy title Earl of Burford, and Lord Burford's eldest son and heir is known as Lord Vere.

Recent Dukes of St Albans have not held a landed estate. Former seats of the Dukes of St Albans were Bestwood in Nottinghamshire and Upper Gatton in Surrey.


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