This morning Valletta saw the arrival of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Richmond F239. The frigate is visiting Valletta for a number of days of rest on their return to the United Kingdom after a six month deployment. The vessel is part of the Carrier Strike Group 21 a British-led naval force currently deployed on Operation Fortis since May 2021. The ship is headed by HMS Queen Elizabeth R08 the Royal Navy’s flagship.
It’s the first strike group deployment for the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, and the UK Carrier Strike Group’s first operational deployment since 2011. The deployment is the world’s largest single deployment of F-35 fighter aircraft since the program began in 2006, as well as the world’s largest fifth-generation fighter carrier air wing.
HMS Richmond is a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 6 April 1993 by Lady Hill-Norton, wife of the late Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Hill-Norton, and was the last warship to be built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders. She sailed from the builders on the River Tyne in November 1994.