New warship to be named HMS Cardiff

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One of the Royal Navy’s new warships is set to be called HMS Cardiff, the Defence Secretary has said on St David’s Day.

The ship, which will be one of the new Type 26 anti-submarine warfare frigates is the third of eight to be named in the force’s City class and is expected to enter service in the 2020s.

HMS Cardiff will provide advanced protection for the likes of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said she would be a “terrific tribute to Wales and its capital city”.

“She will bolster the United Kingdom’s defences across the seven seas – protecting our aircraft carriers and defending our waters from intensifying threats,” he said.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones said the name HMS Cardiff would bring with it a “proud history” and it was great to see it return.

Three previous Navy ships have borne the name; the first in the 1600s, which was renamed after being captured from the Dutch and more recently the light cruiser HMS Cardiff led the German High Seas Fleet into internment at Scapa Flow at the end of the First World War.

The last HMS Cardiff, a Type 42 destroyer, was used in operations around the world including the 1982 Falklands campaign, the 1991 Gulf War in the Adriatic during the 1999 crisis in Kosovo.

The previous HMS Cardiff, a type 42 destroyer, in the Arabian Gulf in 2002 (Matthew Fearn/PA)
The previous HMS Cardiff, a type 42 destroyer, in the Arabian Gulf in 2002 (Matthew Fearn/PA)

HMS Cardiff will be built at the BAE Systems shipyard in Govan, Glasgow along with her sister ships HMS Glasgow and HMS Belfast and will be the second to enter production as part of the £3.7 billion contract for the three ships, announced by the MOD in 2017.

Defence minister Guto Bebb is set to mark the naming at an event at Mansion House in Cardiff on Thursday where he will be joined by students from the Welsh University Royal Naval Unit.

He said: “As a proud Welshman, it is a great honour to herald another era of a warship with the name HMS Cardiff protecting the UK at home and abroad.

“These students show great passion for everything the Royal Navy stands for, and if they do go on to be captains of the future, they could be at the helm of a truly formidable, cutting-edge warship in HMS Cardiff.”

The original HMS Cardiff in 1919 (PA Archive)
The light cruiser HMS Cardiff led the German High Seas Fleet in 1919 (PA Archive)

Secretary of state for Wales Alun Cairns said the announcement was a proud moment for the country.

“Wales has a strong military footprint, and this announcement is a celebration of the contribution our nation makes to the defence of the UK,” he said.

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