RFA Cardigan Bay

RFA Cardigan Bay

RFA Cardigan Bay is a Bay class ship; highly agile and useful ships that are integral to the delivery of a responsive Royal Navy which can deploy anywhere in the world.

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An adaptation of the Dutch Rotterdam class, the Bay class replaced the ageing ‘Sir’ class of RFA ships.

The Bay class provide major amphibious capability to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, with the ability to embark nearly 400 troops, and carry up to 150 trucks or 24 Challenger tanks.

With a floodable dock at the stern, RFA Cardigan Bay can offload her embarked troops through landing craft or from her large flight deck. The ship can also carry mexeflotes, 120ft-long powered pontoons that can be used to ferry equipment ashore.

Cardigan Bay's large medical department can cope with an enhanced medical team, allowing her to act as a Primary Casualty Receiving Ship at need - a role usually carried out by RFA Argus.


On Deployment

This unit is currently on deployment find out how that might affect you.

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Anglo-American mine warfare ‘jigsaw’ ensures Allies are ready in Gulf

Anglo-American mine warfare ‘jigsaw’ ensures Allies are ready in Gulf


RFA Cardigan Bay Latest News

Minehunters draw their daggers in Omani exercis

Minehunters draw their daggers in Omani exercis

Cardigan Bay during UK-US medical exercise

RFA Cardigan Bay hosts week-long UK-US medical exercise

See all news for RFA Cardigan Bay

Current operation Operation Kipion

Units of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have been on patrol in the Gulf since October 1980, after the Iran/Iraq conflict of that year, and more recently operations have extended further south with the increase in piracy off the Somalia coast.

Having warships present in the region is one of the main tools the UK has to show our commitment to this part of the world.

Protecting our economy

Maritime trade is the lifeblood of the UK economy and industry. 95% of Britain’s economic activity depends on the oceans. And every year Britain imports goods worth £524 billion.

The UK is so dependent on the seas for its prosperity, that without the Royal Navy acting as a deterrent the effect on the economy would be overwhelming.

Providing security at sea

The UK has a responsibility to its citizens and its allies to endeavour to safeguard the high seas. This is why the Royal Navy protects home and international waters – making sure the global trade that Britain and the world depend on can proceed without a hitch.

Location middle east

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Unit History


RFA Cardigan Bay was launched in 2005 and entered service in 2006; she was the first ship of the class to join the RFA.

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Commanding Officer Chris Clarke MBE MA

Rank: Captain RFA

Captain Chris Clarke MBE MA RFA is the Commanding Officer of RFA Cardigan Bay.

Previous units

Deck Officer (RFA)

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RFA Cardigan Bay maintains close links with the HMS Cardigan Bay association