Duke-class Type 23 Frigate
The ninth ship of the class to enter service with the Royal Navy, on the 29 May 1997. She was built by Yarrow Shipbuilders and launched on the 5 November 1994. Operationally she was designed for anti-submarine warfare. With a length of 133m (436 ft) and a beam of 16.1m (53 ft) displacing 4,900 tonnes. Propelled by a CODLAG (Combined Diesel-eLectric And Gas) with two Rolls-Royce Spey boost gas-turbines and four Paxman Valenta diesel engines. Also equipped with two GEC electric motors producing a maximum speed of 28 kts (52 km/h; 32 mph) and 15 kts (28 km/h; 17 mph) on diesel-electric. With a range of 7,800 nautical miles (14,400 km; 9,000 mi) at 15 kts (28 km/h; 17 mph).
In 2003, HMS Grafton was used for the ITV drama series 'Making Waves' as the fictional Royal Navy warship Suffolk. In early 2004, she deployed to the Persian Gulf. Surprisingly, it was announced that she would be one of three Type 23 frigates to be decommissioned by the end of 2006, and was sold to the Chilean Navy and renamed Almirante Lynch . On her last visit to Ipswich in 2006, the Ship's Bell was presented to the town as a reminder of the affiliation between Grafton and Ipswich. The bell is on display at Grafton House, the Ipswich Borough Council offices, named after the frigate.
Photographer: Ross Watton