On commissioning Hardy served in the Third Training Squadron at Londonderry before transferring to the Second Training Squadron in Portland in 1957. In 1960 she underwent a major modernisation and refit, before joining the Twentieth Frigade Squadron in Londonderry. In 1967 Hardytransferred to the Second Frigate Squadron and attended Portsmouth Navy Days. The after 40 mm gun in these ships were removed early in their careers due to hull strengthening problems.
Serving mainly in the Londonderry and Portland areas, Hardy attended the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review off Spithead when she was part of the 2nd Frigate Squadron.
She paid off to the Standby Squadron in August 1977, then, after another short spell of operational service at Portland, became a stores accommodation ship in Portsmouth in October 1979. She was used as a target for Exocet missiles and was finally sunk, by torpedo, in the Western Approaches 3 July 1984.