HMS Marlborough (F233)
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HMS Marlborough in Portsmouth Harbour, 2005
|Builder:||Swan Hunter, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom|
|Laid down:||27 October 1987|
|Launched:||21 January 1989|
|Commissioned:||14 June 1991|
|Decommissioned:||8 July 2005|
|Fate:||Sold to Chile|
|Class and type:||'Duke' Class Type 23 frigate|
|Length:||133 m (436 ft)|
|Beam:||16.1 m (53 ft)|
|Draught:||7.3 m (24 ft)|
|Range:||7,800 nautical miles (14,400 km; 9,000 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
|Aircraft carried:||1 × Lynx HMA8|
Marlborough was the third 'Duke' class Type 23 frigate to be commissioned, the first being Norfolk, F230 and the second Argyll, F231. She carried pennant number F233 rather than the sequential number of F232 which was considered unlucky, Form S.232 being the formal notification of a grounding or collision. The course 232 is also traditionally not given for the same reason, with a course heading of half degree either side of 232 being the alternative.
Marlborough was the first naval ship on the scene to assist the stricken USS Cole after she was attacked in Aden, Yemen in October 2000. Marlborough, under the command of Captain Anthony Rix, was on passage to the UK after a six-month deployment in the Gulf and had a full medical detachment on board; when her offer of assistance was accepted she immediately diverted to Aden.
Marlborough played a key role in the second Gulf War, under the command of Captain Mark Anderson.
In July 2004, it was announced that Marlborough would be one of three Type 23 ships to be decommissioned by the end of 2006.
In October 2004 Marlborough again came to the aid of a stricken ally when she was dispatched to assist HMCS Chicoutimi, adrift off the northwest Irish coast and arrived at the scene where RFA Wave Knight and Marlborough's sister-ship Montrose were present. Montrose had been the first ship to make contact with the boat. Other ships were also dispatched, including RFA Argus.
Transfer to Chile
The 2003 defence cuts committed Marlborough to pay off by March 2006. In June 2005, it was announced that Marlborough would be sold to the Chilean Navy. The Chilean Navy officially welcomed their new Almirante Condell into the fleet at a Commissioning Ceremony on 28 May 2008. The vessel was the last of three former Royal Navy Type-23 frigates to be handed over to Chile, under a £134 million pound sales agreement arranged by the MOD’s Disposal Services Authority and signed in September 2005. She joins her sister ships in the Chilean Navy, the former HMS Norfolk and former HMS Grafton, handed over in November 2006 and March 2007 respectively.
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