Published 26 April 2024

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RFA Diligence, a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship previously involved in the Falklands and Gulf conflicts, has arrived in Turkey after being sold for recycling by our Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA).

Reflecting our ongoing commitment to sustainability and ethical recycling, the ship was sold to new owner LEYAL Ship Recycling Group by the DE&S team specialising in the disposal of vehicles, vessels and equipment no longer needed by UK Armed Forces.

Having previously undertaken duties as a forward repair ship for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, providing support to fleets of vessels and submarines away from UK bases, RFA Diligence was decommissioned in 2015. Her sale for recycling avoids unnecessary environmental and financial costs while generating income for the UK.

Richard Whalley, Head of DESA, who also previously served on RFA Diligence in 1992, said:

“Responsible disposal of surplus defence assets is a key part of DESA business. Following a period of marketing the ship for further use, we have now sold her for recycling, providing a return for the Royal Navy and ensuring appropriate disposal.”

During the early stages of DESA’s recycling tender exercise the global COVID-19 pandemic struck and prevented any international travel which consequently limited overseas competitors for the sale. Once international travel restrictions were lifted and overseas bidders were able to view the vessel, Turkey-based LEYAL Ship Recycling Group was awarded the contract.

RFA Diligence was previously chartered by the British government to support naval activities during The Falklands in 1982. She later became a fleet maintenance vessel and was used in multiple forward deployments, including as a support ship during both Gulf conflicts.

In more recent years, she was a familiar fixture in Portsmouth harbour before setting sail to make the journey to her final destination in Turkey.

Find out more about DESA Ship recycling in its published reports on the website.