The fate of four Type 22 frigates, controversially decommissioned in 2011 as part of cost-cutting measures in the last defence review, has been decided. Not unsurprisingly, all have been sold for scrap. With the government keen to encourage the UK’s shipbreaking capability, the dismantling of Cornwall will be carried out by Swansea Drydocks Ltd, at their recently certified ship-recycling facility in South Wales.
Campbeltown, Chatham and Cumberland, however, are destined for the Ministry’s favourite Turkish scrapyard in Aliaga. The tried and trusted Leyal has no problems in dealing with any number of former Royal Navy warships deemed surplus to requirements. The Turkish shipbreaker has previously won contracts to dispose of the aircraft carriers Ark Royal and Invincible, six Type 42 destroyers and three auxiliary tankers.
Already stripped of any reusable equipment, the hulks of the ships are expected to be towed from Portsmouth Harbour and to the breakers before the onset of winter.