Former Type 23 frigate HMS Grafton was delivered Wednesday in Portsmouth to the Chilean Navy and renamed Almirante Lynch, according to a release from the Chilean Embassy in London.
Chilean Ambassador Rafael Moreno and Navy Deputy Secretary Carolina Echeverría were the top Chilean officials present at the ceremony. Chile's Defense minister was originally scheduled but a last minute cabinet reshuffle forced a change of plans. The 4.000 tons vessel is the second of three purchased by the Chilean Navy following an agreement signed September 2005 and involving 195 million Euros. The first to be incorporated was under the name of "Almirante Cochrane" and took place last November in Portsmouth. The third is scheduled to be delivered next November 2007. Major General Malcolm Wood, head of the British Army's Logistics said the event is evidence of the long history of close cooperation between the Royal Navy and the Chilean Navy. "The delivery of this frigate is another landmark in the long tradition of the Royal Navy's links with Chile", said Woods. HMS Grafton was launched by Lady Abbott at Yarrow's Shipbuilders in Glasgow in 1994. Her disposal is part of UK government plans announced in 2004 to reduce the Navy's fleet of Type 23 frigates from 16 to 13. HMS Norfolk and Marlborough were decommissioned last year.