Iron Duke is a ship for all seasons as she leaves Portsmouth for deployment

HMS Iron Duke passes the Round Tower with the Spinnaker Tower in the background Picture: L(Phot) Alex Knott
HMS Iron Duke passes the Round Tower with the Spinnaker Tower in the background Picture: L(Phot) Alex Knott
Picture: Amber Beasley

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Bristling with new technology after a multi-million pound upgrade, HMS Iron Duke is off to test her kit in all climates.

The Type 23 frigate sailed from Portsmouth yesterday morning for a six-month deployment across the Atlantic.

Portsmouth-based warship HMS Iron Duke left her home port of Portsmouth today  (Friday June 20) for a routine deployment across the Atlantic where she will be visiting various far-flung destinations in all seasons in both northern and southern hemispheres ' enjoying summer and winter in the space of three months.''During six months away the Type 23 frigate will protect UK interests and promote the nation's capabilities abroad. At times she will work with partner nations to develop their armed forces training to defend their own waters. She may be called upon to lend assistance for humanitarian disasters or tackle piracy on the high seas. Her recent visit to Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) in Plymouth has equipped her crew of 180 for every eventuality. *** Local Caption *** Pictured here is Portsmouth-based warship HMS Iron Duke as she left her home port of Portsmouth today  (Friday June 20) for a routine deployment across the Atlantic.'Image By LA(Phot) Keith Morgan

Portsmouth-based warship HMS Iron Duke left her home port of Portsmouth today (Friday June 20) for a routine deployment across the Atlantic where she will be visiting various far-flung destinations in all seasons in both northern and southern hemispheres ' enjoying summer and winter in the space of three months.''During six months away the Type 23 frigate will protect UK interests and promote the nation's capabilities abroad. At times she will work with partner nations to develop their armed forces training to defend their own waters. She may be called upon to lend assistance for humanitarian disasters or tackle piracy on the high seas. Her recent visit to Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) in Plymouth has equipped her crew of 180 for every eventuality. *** Local Caption *** Pictured here is Portsmouth-based warship HMS Iron Duke as she left her home port of Portsmouth today (Friday June 20) for a routine deployment across the Atlantic.'Image By LA(Phot) Keith Morgan

Her ship’s company have packed kit for both tropical weather and freezing temperatures as they expect to visit both northern and southern hemispheres — experiencing summer and winter in three months.

Leading Seaman John Haslam is one of the ship’s operations room supervisors.

He said: ‘This trip is going to be amazing.

‘I’ll be going to some places I’d never visit.

‘I’ve had to pack loads of extra kit because we’re going tropical as well as freezing on the same deployment.’

Yesterday families packed the Round Tower and the Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth to wave goodbye to their loved ones for six months.

Rosemary White, 47, of Broad Street in Old Portsmouth, was there to bid farewell to the ship.

She said: ‘I don’t know anybody on board but I always think it’s a wonderful sight.

‘It must be difficult for the people who are left behind but you can see they obviously feel very proud.’

The deployment is the first for HMS Iron Duke since undergoing a major upgrade.

She is the first Royal Navy warship to be fitted with Artisan — a new 3D radar which is billed as being five times better than the one it replaces.

During her six months away, the warship will be working with partner nations to develop their armed forces’ abilities to protect their own 
waters.

She may be called upon to lend assistance in the wake of humanitarian disasters or tackle piracy on the high seas.

The ship’s company recently went through Flag Officer Sea Training in Plymouth, which prepared her crew of 180 sailors for every eventuality.

Their training taught them to deal with displaced populations in the event of a humanitarian disaster, evacuees, hospital forces and visiting dignitaries along with their regular war fighting practice.

For many of the ship’s company, this deployment will be their first lengthy sea time away from home.

They are expected to return some time in December.

· Photographs by L(Phot) Alex Knott, LA(Phot) Keith Morgan and Lt Cdr Shamus Roster