HMS Cornwall (F99)

HMS Cornwall was a Batch 3 Type 22 frigate of the Royal Navy. She was the first Batch 3 to be built, and the last to decommission. Cornwall was based at HMNB Devonport in Devon, England, part of the Devonport Flotilla.

HMS Cornwall in the Persian Gulf
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Cornwall
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 14 December 1983
Launched: 14 October 1985
Sponsored by: Diana, Princess of Wales
Commissioned: 23 April 1988
Decommissioned: 30 June 2011[1]
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
  • Unus et omnes
  • "One and all"
  • "The Fighting 99"
  • "Ice cream frigate"[1]
Fate: Scrapped October 2013
General characteristics
Class and type: Type 22 frigate
Displacement: 5,300 tons
Length: 148.1 m (485 ft 11 in)
Beam: 14.8 m (48 ft 7 in)
Draught: 6.4 m (21 ft 0 in)
  • 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) (cruise)
  • 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) (maximum)
Complement: 250 (max. 301)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Type 1007 navigation radar
  • Type 967 and 968 surveillance radar
  • 2 × Type 911 Sea Wolf tracking radars
  • UAT Electronic Surveillance System Type 2050 active sonar
Aircraft carried:
  • 2 × Lynx Mk.8 helicopters (but only 1 Lynx in peacetime)
  • Armed with
    • 4 × Sea Skua anti-ships missiles
    • 2 × Sting Ray anti-submarine torpedoes
    • 2 × Mk 11 depth charges
    • 2 × Machine guns

She was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders and launched by Diana, Princess of Wales at Scotstoun on the River Clyde in October 1985 and commissioned at Falmouth in 1988 by the ship's sponsor, Diana, Princess of Wales (who was also the Duchess of Cornwall).


HMS Cornwall had battle honours from Barfleur in 1692, the Falkland Islands in 1914 and the Dardanelles in 1915.

Cornwall undertook duties in the North and South Atlantic Ocean, Adriatic, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Baltic Seas throughout her time in service, and completed several patrols to the Persian Gulf and deployments to the Far East. In 1996 she served as flagship of the First Sea Lord in Saint Petersburg, during the 300th anniversary celebrations of the Russian Navy, followed by a period as flagship of NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic. In 2001 she was part of the Royal Navy Task Force engaged in the invasion of Afghanistan. In 2003 she was again committed to Standing Naval Force Atlantic, supporting Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean

Following the death of the Princess of Wales in 1997 the role of sponsor was assumed by Mary Holborow, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall.

Ceremonial activities have included acting as flagship for the Battle of the Atlantic Fleet Review in 1993, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, and in 2002 delivering a 21-gun salute as part of celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

On 28 January 2006 Cornwall was rededicated, following a period of docked maintenance, in a ceremony at Falmouth attended by Lady Mary Holborow.

On 23 March 2007, fifteen sailors and Royal Marines from HMS Cornwall were detained by elements of the Navy of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution following a routine search of a vessel suspected of smuggling, in the vicinity of disputed territorial waters.[4]

In February 2011, while operating in the Gulf of Aden as part of the Combined Maritime Forces, boarding teams from HMS Cornwall participated in the rescue of five Yemeni fishermen and the capture of 17 Somali pirates from a fishing dhow, which had been seized by pirates on 11 November 2010.[5]

Decommissioning and disposal

On 26 April 2011 she returned to Plymouth for the last time, and decommissioned on 30 June 2011.[6] Her decommissioning pennant was presented to the Davidstow Airfield and Cornwall at War Museum on 5 October 2011. The ship's bell was presented to Truro Cathedral on 18 October 2011.[7]

She was later towed to HMNB Portsmouth, where she lay with sister ships HMS Cumberland, HMS Campbeltown, HMS Chatham. All four were put up for sale in January 2013[8] and in July sold to Swansea Drydocks for demolition. She left Portsmouth, being towed to Swansea, on 24 October 2013.[9]

Should a future ship be named Cornwall, her ship's company will be able to visit Truro to revive the Royal Navy's links with the County and return the Bell to the County's affiliated ship.[10]

Commanding officers


19881989Captain Chris Wreford-Brown RN
19891990Captain Richard T R Phillips RN
19901992Captain Paul Branscombe RN
19921993Captain David A J Blackburn RN
19931994Captain Charles J Freeman RN
19941996Captain Geoffrey Billson RN
19961998Captain Anthony Dymock RN
19981999Captain James C Rapp RN
19992001Captain Timothy McClement RN
20012002Captain Steven R Kirby RN
20102011Commander David Wilkinson RN


Cornwall was affiliated with a number of military and civilian organisations and bodies:[12]


  2. "Royal Navy Bridge Card, February 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  4. "UK sailors captured at gunpoint". BBC News. 23 March 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  5. "British Navy confirms rescue of pirated ship in Gulf of Aden". 16 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  6. "HMS Cornwall returns to Plymouth base for final time". BBC. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  7. "Ship's Bell presented to Cathedral". Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  8. "Four Royal Navy frigates in Portsmouth Harbour for sale". BBC News. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  9. "Third frigate leaves Portsmouth for the scrapyard". BBC News. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  10. "HMS Cornwall presents Ship's Bell to Truro Cathedral". Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  11. Mackie, Colin. "II: Royal Navy- Captains Commanding Warships". British Armed Forces (1900–). Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  12. "HMS Cornwall at Royal Navy website". Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2009.


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