Frigate HMS Portland left Plymouth on a nine-month deployment to the Middle East and South Atlantic.
The Royal Navy say that the Type 23 frigate will undertake operations to “promote stability and deter illegitimate use of the sea in the Middle East and Atlantic Ocean”.
She is also due to take part in multi-national maritime operations with navies from several nations, strengthening the UK’s defence relationships, while working together to ensure freedom of navigation and trade.
The Type 23 frigate form the core of the Royal Navy’s destroyer and frigate fleet and serve alongside the Type 45 destroyers. Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates have proven their versatility in warfighting, peace-keeping and maritime security operations around the globe.
The ship’s commanding officer, Captain Paul Stroude, said:
“I am immensely proud to be leading my ship’s company on this important deployment. We have all worked hard to get to this point and although we will miss our families hugely, we are looking forward to the challenges ahead.
The UK in entirely dependent upon uninterrupted international seaborne trade, both for our prosperity and to provide the essentials of everyday life. My team and I will do our utmost to protect our nation’s interests and secure the safe passage of this trade.”
The vessel has also recently completed major engineering work to upgrade various systems and prepare for deployment.