ONE of the Royal Navy’s frigates has been pounding the waves with her newly-refurbished weapons.
It marks a significant milestone for the 180-strong crew of HMS Iron Duke, who are due to deploy on operations soon.
The Type 23 frigate sailed to the English Channel to test fire her weapons.
The ship’s main gun was last fired in action off Libya in 2011.
Lieutenant Commander Chris L’Amie, the ship’s gunnery officer, said: ‘It was an extremely proud moment to fire the 4.5inch gun following our refit.
‘It’s an important step in our regeneration.’
HMS Iron Duke is nearing the end of a number of trials, after which she will enter a period of intensive training before deploying on operations.
The weapons tests include firing all of the newly-fitted systems, at the highest and lowest angles, and to the extreme lefts and rights.
The ship’s main gun is used for surface warfare and gunfire support to troops on the ground.
The main gun was tested near Dorset, with the practice firings testing both the weapons and the gunners’ ability to use it correctly.
A spokesman for the Royal Navy said: ‘The firings in the English Channel of the main gun and the 30mm automatic cannons prove the newly-fitted systems are working correctly and will reliably operate when needed.
‘In UK waters, safe firings are of paramount importance and safety features highly in firing procedures.
‘These trials demonstrate the ability to accurately and quickly respond to events, knowing that the gun will deliver the right effect when needed.
‘Naval gunfire support is a key component of core navy business.’
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DUKE PICTURED IN 1915 ON REMEMBER WHEN n PAGE 31