Two NATO warships from Romania and Croatia entered Valletta Harbour yesterday and berthed at Pinto Wharf. The ships, ROS Regina Maria (F222) Frigate from the Forțele Navale Române (Romanian Navy) and the Croatian Navy Missile Boat HRM Vukovar (RTOP-41). The Romanian Navy frigate ROS Regina Maria is the flagship of the current focused operations of #NATO Operation Sea Guardian.
The Romanian vessel is ex HMS London (F 95) was a Type 22 frigate of the Royal Navy, originally named Bloodhound but renamed London at the request of the Lord Mayor of London. She was the flagship of the Royal Navy task force during the First Gulf War in 1991.
She was decommissioned on 14 January 1999 and sold to the Romanian Navy on 14 January 2003, being commissioned as Regina Maria on 21 April 2005 after Queen Marie of Romania, wife of King Ferdinand I of Romania.
The Croatian Navy Missile Boat RTOP 41 VUKOVAR was built at the Wärtsilä Shipyard in Finland in 1985 and put into service in the Finnish Navy under the name FNS 62 Oulu, until the year 2000.
The ship was withdrawn from service in the Finnish Navy in 2007 and was sold to the Croatian Navy as part of the “offset” program for the purchase of Patria AMV armoured vehicles to Croatia for 9 million euros. In addition to RTOP-41 Vukovar, the Croatian Navy includes another ship of the same class RTOP-42 Dubrovnik.