HMS Daring has called into Gibraltar for the first time as she makes her way to the Middle East.
The new £1bn warship stopped at The Rock five days after leaving Portsmouth Naval Base for her first operational deployment.
The Type 45 destroyer – hailed as ‘staggeringly capable’ by her captain – is going to the Gulf at a time of rising tensions with Iran.
During the ship’s visit, Captain Guy Robinson hosted a lunch on board with the governor, the chief minister and other ministers.
Daring also hosted visits from schools and the Sea Scouts before weighing anchor and continuing on her 7,000 mile journey east.
The ship and her crew of 200 has been bolstered by a specialist Royal Marines boarding team from the Fleet Protection Group.
She will spend the next seven months east of Suez safeguarding sea lanes and working with UK allies to combat piracy.
The warship could also be a vital asset for military chiefs should international relations with Iran continue to break down.
The Islamic Republic has threatened to close the busy Strait of Hormuz to shipping in retaliation to western calls for a trade embargo on Iran’s oil exports because of its nuclear programme.
Defence secretary Philip Hammond has warned Iran the UK would respond militarily if it attempts to carry out the threat.