HMS Edinburgh leaves Wednesday for a seven months patrol of the British South Atlantic Islands, including the Falklands and South Georgia. She will be conducting maritime security patrols, policing and protecting Islanders living in the British Overseas Territories.
During her journey south she Type 42 destroyer will call at the Cape Verde Islands and a variety of countries off the west coast of Africa before arriving in the Falklands in the midst of the southern hemisphere winter.
The last few months have seen the ship’s company put through their paces with operational sea training from January to April, while the ship itself has undergone maintenance. The ship also put her Sea Dart missile system to the test, firing several missiles on the Royal Navy's Hebrides firing range.
Her Commanding Officer, Commander Paul Russell, said: Since emerging from refit last year, through trials and operational training, Edinburgh’s team has been focused on this deployment to the South Atlantic, a region of high profile political and joint military interest where the Royal Navy has had a continuous and significant effect over many years.
“I am delighted with my ship's company's response to recent training and am hugely grateful for the first rate engineering support provided by Portsmouth Naval Base to ensure we sail in a safe and sustainable material state.
By sheer distance from the UK, and in the face of a harsh South Atlantic winter, the deployment will present real operational challenges for us all, but this will be balanced by the visits to some wonderfully diverse countries and the opportunity for the Royal Navy to demonstrate its impressive global reach and versatility.”
On completion of her tasking in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, Edinburgh will carry out a number of high profile regional engagement visits in South America, the Caribbean and the USA.
As a Type 42 destroyer, HMS Edinburgh provides the backbone of the Royal Navy's anti-air capability. Equipped with the Sea Dart medium range air defense missile system, providing area air defense to a group of ships, it is also effective against surface targets at sea.
In addition to their air defense role, the Type 42 destroyers operate independently carrying out patrol and boarding operations, recently carrying out anti-narcotics and anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf, Caribbean, and the South Atlantic as well as providing humanitarian assistance when required.
“The Fortress of the Sea” was the penultimate and largest of the Type 42 destroyers built for the Royal Navy at Cammell Laird shipyard in Liverpool. She is the sixth Royal Navy ship to bear the name and was launched by Lady Heseltine in 1983.