The Disposal Services Authority (DSA) has invited tenders for the sale of the Type 22 frigates Campbeltown, Chatham, Cornwall and Cumberland. The ships were prematurely decommissioned between September and October 2011 as part of the government’s controversial defence cuts, after which they were rapidly stripped of serviceable equipment and left to rust in the warship graveyard at Fareham Creek near Portsmouth.
Perhaps as a consequence of the criticisms surrounding the bidding process for the disposal of Ark Royal, the DSA is to offer the ships, subject to strict environmental conditions, for sinking as artificial reefs or for recycling, with the intention of awarding at least one contract to a UK ship recycler. That is assuming that they are not sold for further use, which is unlikely given their deteriorating condition. The ships will be open for viewing by approved bidders between 25 February and 15 March 2013.