New ARDENT Building for BAE Systems Scotstoun

29 Jun
Type 26 ‘City Class’ Frigate

The Association is excited to announce that after an extensive refurbishment period, lasting from June 2020 to January 2021, to support the new Type 26 Frigate build programme, the current ‘Dauntless’ building will be renamed ARDENT after the Type 21 frigate.

The proposal for the name ARDENT to be used came from a Type 26 frigate engineering officer Lieutenant Grant Sabin RN with this commentary:

Having spent a lot of my time down the Falklands, 2 x 6 month deployments on HMS LIVERPOOL and just over 2 years on HMS PROTECTOR, I developed an interest in the Falklands War and started reading different accounts. Firstly, I read David Hart-Dyke’s re-telling of the sinking of HMS COVENTRY, chosen because of my Type 42 Destroyer background. However of all the books I read, the one that stood out for me the most was ‘Through Fire and Water’ by Mark Higgitt.

If you ask people about ships that were sunk in the Falklands war, HMS COVENTRY, HMS SHEFFIELD and ATLANTIC CONVEYOR all spring to mind, but not many people can tell you many others, especially the fate of HMS ARDENT. Acting as a picket boat in Falkland Sound on 21 May 1982 ARDENT was attacked by Argentinian aircraft, being hit 17 times in 22 minutes. The mortality rate was the highest of any British ship during the conflict with 1 in 4 of the crew either killed or injured. Although abandoned, HMS ARDENT put up a good fight, not sinking until 0630 the next day. The last person off was the Captain, Alan West, who later became First Sea Lord (2002 – 2006).

The reason I put the name ARDENT forward was due to her ties with Glasgow having been built on the Clyde, laid down 26 February 1974 and launched 9 May 1975, at Yarrow shipbuilders Ltd., now BAE Systems. Also, with the 40 year anniversary of the Falklands war closing in, I feel it is a nice tribute to a ship which has largely been forgotten. Lastly, whilst we build the latest batch of Frigates, it’s always good to be reminded of previous ships of the class, as a Type 21 frigate, I couldn’t think of a more poignant and timely reminder of Glasgow’s frigate building heritage.

On reopening the ARDENT building will serve Ministry of Defence (MoD) personnel and each of the 8 Type 26 frigate ship’s staff throughout the build project and signifies a new start for the MoD and Royal Navy with shipbuilding on the Clyde.

The survivors of the sinking of HMS ARDENT in 1982 are honoured to have a key shipbuilding facility on the Clyde named after their ship. This commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of those lost aboard the ship in the successful retaking of the Islands and also the history of world beating Clyde built warships that have fought successfully for our nation.

Admiral Lord West of Spithead

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