HMS Norfolk (F230)

The sixth HMS Norfolk was laid down in 1985 by Yarrow Shipbuilders
Yarrow Shipbuilders
Yarrow Limited , often styled as simply Yarrows, was a major shipbuilding firm based in the Scotstoun district of Glasgow on the River Clyde...

. She was launched on the Clyde
River Clyde
The River Clyde is a major river in Scotland. It is the ninth longest river in the United Kingdom, and the third longest in Scotland. Flowing through the major city of Glasgow, it was an important river for shipbuilding and trade in the British Empire....

 by Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon in July 1987. She was commissioned on the 1st of June 1990. Norfolk was the 'first of class', as well as being the first of a new generation of 'lean manned' ships. She was commissioned into the Chilean Navy in 2006 as Almirante Cochrane.

Royal Navy career

In 1994, Norfolk became the first Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 warship to visit South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 in over 20 years, a visit designed to show that the commonwealth was ready to accept South Africa as an ally resulting from the abolition of apartheid. Since then, she has conducted many operations, including a deployment to Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

 in 2000 as part of a Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 task force to assist in restoration of peace and stability to the war-torn West African nation. 2000 was a busy year for Norfolk with a deployment under Commander Bruce Williams to the United States. Amongst the places visited were Savannah, Wilmington, Port Canaveral and Nassau. She has also served in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, as well as being involved in Standing Naval Force Atlantic. Other duties included acting as guardship for the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

, as well as the Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...


A chance encounter in 2000 attracted a local bottlenose dolphin whilst on exercises. A photograph of the encounter was taken and the dolphin, frequently seen in the area, was named Norfolk in honour of this encounter.

2002 saw a busy year for Norfolk, commanded by Commander Richard Talbot. She was deployed with vessels from Portugal, Norway, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United States of America as part of her role within the Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL). As part of SNFL she was involved in a simulated volcanic eruption disaster relief exercise. March saw Exercise 'Strong Resolve' off Northern Norway, then in April she was in the Mediterranean as part of Operation Direct Endeavour for NATO. During the Mediterranean deployment there was a visit to Malta, including hosting the Princess Royal. The 30000 nautical miles (55,560 km) voyage was also the last for Mr Chick MBE, a laundryman who served for 50 years including the Yangtze Incident, Korea and Suez through to the Falklands Campaign and Gulf War. Norfolk then attended the 2002 Navy days at Devonport.

2003 saw the crew of Norfolk deployed with 'Green Goddess
Green Goddess
The Green Goddess is the colloquial name for the Bedford RLHZ Self Propelled Pump, a fire engine used originally by the Auxiliary Fire Service , and latterly by the British Armed Forces. These green-painted vehicles were built between 1953 and 1956 for the Auxiliary Fire Service...

' fire engines to compensate for the fire service strike. Norfolk spent 169 days alongside the wall at HMP Portsmouth. May 2003 saw Norfolk sail to her home base of Devonport and resume her active role of training ready for deployment. Amongst the simulations were attack runs by small attack craft, similar to the one which attacked the .

Norfolk was the first ship to be armed with the Vertical Launch Seawolf missile system.
Norfolk was also the first Royal Navy warship to be re-armed with the new 4.5 inch (114 mm) Mod 1 gun system. 2004 saw Norfolk involved in the celebrations of the centenary of the Entente Cordiale with France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Norfolk also took part in the 2004 amphibious warfare-themed Devonport Navy days. In July 2004, it was announced that Norfolk would be one of three Type 23 frigates decommissioned by the end of 2007. Norfolk entered her home port for the last time at then end of November 2004 was decommissioned at Devonport
HMNB Devonport
Her Majesty's Naval Base Devonport , is one of three operating bases in the United Kingdom for the Royal Navy . HMNB Devonport is located in Devonport, in the west of the city of Plymouth in Devon, England...

 on 15 April 2005, the guest of honour being then Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band
Jonathon Band
Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, GCB, DL, ADC , from 2006 to 2009, was the First Sea Lord of the United Kingdom, the most senior serving officer in the Royal Navy. Before serving as First Sea Lord he was Commander-in-Chief Fleet...

, who had been Norfolks first commanding officer.

Chilean Navy career

In June 2005 it was announced that Norfolk would be sold to the Chilean Navy
Chilean Navy
-Independence Wars of Chile and Peru :The Chilean Navy dates back to 1817. A year before, following the Battle of Chacabuco, General Bernardo O'Higgins prophetically declared "this victory and another hundred shall be of no significance if we do not gain control of the sea".This led to the...

. She was commissioned into the Chilean Navy on 22 November 2006 as Almirante Cochrane (named after Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, 1st Marquess of Maranhão, GCB, ODM , styled Lord Cochrane between 1778 and 1831, was a senior British naval flag officer and radical politician....

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