Chile officially welcomed the Almirante Condell (the former-HMS Marlborough) into the Chilean fleet at a Commissioning Ceremony yesterday, Wednesday 28 May 2008.
The former HMS Marlborough was re-named the Almirante Condell and the Director General of Procurement, Vice-Admiral Cristian Jantes, officially invested her new commanding officer, Captain Jorge Cruz at Her Majesty’s Naval Base, Portsmouth.
The vessel is the last of three former Royal Navy Type-23 frigates to be handed over to Chile, under a £134 million pound sales agreement arranged by the MOD’s Disposal Services Authority (DSA) and signed in September 2005. She joins her sister ships in the Chilean Navy, the former HMS Norfolk and former HMS Grafton, handed over in November 2006 and March 2007 respectively.
Attending the Commissioning Ceremony, the 1st Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band said:
"I am delighted to be here today to mark this important event. The Royal Navy and the Chilean Navy have enjoyed a long history of close co-operation that endures to the present day.
"The commissioning of the former HMS Marlborough is another milestone in the long tradition of our naval links with Chile.
"I wish Captain Cruz and his Ship’s Company good fortune as they embark on the next phase of this programme."
HM Ships Norfolk, Grafton and Marlborough were declared surplus to the Royal Navy’s requirements in 2004 following a review of assets against operational demands.
Under the 2005 agreement, BAE Systems was appointed as the Prime Contractor to carry out a major programme of refurbishment and reactivation work to equip the ships to the Chilean Navy’s exact requirements.