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Royal Navy puts HMS Bristol, its sole Type 82 destroyer, up for sale

Type 82 destroyer HMS Bristol in Portsmouth Dockyard
Photo: Wikimedia/Random Acts of Language

The UK Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) has put the Royal Navy’s only Type 82 destroyer ever built, the former HMS Bristol, up for sale.

The notice said the sale was for “recycling only.”

Currently moored at HM Naval Base Portsmouth, from where it will also be sold, the ship spent the past 30 years of its life as a moored accommodation/training ship.

Type 82 destroyers were set to protect the CVA-01 aircraft carriers, but the navy cancelled that project and HMS Bristol ended up being the only ship in her class to be built. In addition to performing combat tasks, the destroyer served as a testbed for technologies that were to be used on future ships.

She served her nation for 20 years – and saw action in the Falklands in 1982 – in an air defence/command ship role before she was decommissioned in 1991.

Two years later she was converted into a training and accommodation ship to replace HMS Kent. The ship’s role as a training platform ended in October 2020.

Interested buyers will be also able to buy former Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Diligence as the agency decided to amalgamate the sale of the two ships because of international travel restrictions due to COVID-19. This means there will only be one invitation to tender, but interested parties will be permitted to bid for either or both vessels on the one ITT.

In addition to HMS Bristol, DESA noted that there are two more ships available for sale, former Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships Austin and Rosalie.