Destroyer heads to Falklands for five-month mission

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HMS York was due to leave Portsmouth today for a five-month deployment in the South Atlantic.

The Type 42 destroyer will spend the majority of the five months away patrolling the Falklands and South Georgia.

On her journey south, York will call at Gran Canaria and the Cape Verdi Islands. She is due to arrive at East Cove Military Port on East Falkland in mid-March.

She was due to leave Portsmouth at 11am today.

York’s captain, Cdr Simon Staley, said: ‘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.’

Over the last few months the ship has undergone a considerable amount of maintenance and has been fitted with two new Rolls-Royce gas turbine engines, which should see York through to her planned retirement in 2014.