The Royal Navy’s destroyer HMS Edinburgh left on Monday Portsmouth on her final planned deployment. It marks a historic milestone for both the ship and the Royal Navy as it will be the last time a Type 42 destroyer deploys on operations as they make way for the new-generation Type 45 destroyers.
Once sister ship HMS York decommissions next week (27 September), HMS Edinburgh will be the final ship of her kind operational in the Royal Navy, marking the end of 30 years of service for the class.
HMS Edinburgh is scheduled to undertake a range of tasks across the length of the Atlantic in support of British interests worldwide. Her tasking will see her supporting counter narcotics efforts in the West African region as well as providing reassurance to UK territories and dependencies in the South Atlantic such as the Falklands and South Georgia Islands.
Since returning from her previous deployment in December last year, HMS Edinburgh has undertaken an intensive period of training and maintenance to prepare her for the tasks ahead.
The largest of the Type 42 destroyers built for the Royal Navy, it was launched in 1983 and served in the 2003 Iraq war. It underwent a £17.5m refit in 2010. The ships are being sold as part of the British government's 2010 Strategic Defence Review, which will see the Royal Navy's surface fleet cut from 23 to 19 ships.
Her Commanding Officer, Commander Nick Borbone, said he was “extremely proud of the way my ship's company has responded to the many challenges we have faced during our preparations for this operational deployment”.
“HMS Edinburgh might be the last of the class but she remains a capable ship with a highly-trained and motivated ship's company that is determined to preserve the fine tradition that the T42s have established in 30 years of service.''
On completion of her tasking in the South Atlantic, the ship will undertake a number of high-profile regional engagement visits in the Caribbean and the US. She is due to return to Portsmouth in March 2013.
On Atlantic patrol HMS Edinburgh takes over from HMS Dauntless, the second of the T45 Destroyers which joined the Fleet in November 2010 and which visited the Falklands and other South Atlantic islands for the first time during the first half of 2012.