Richmond in South China Sea exercise

The Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov as seen from HMS Somerset in the Moray Firth

Royal Navy ship shadows a Russian destroyer

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HMS Richmond has led nine Commonwealth warships in operations in the Far East.

The Portsmouth-based frigate was in charge of Exercise Bersama Shield 11 – the latest in a series of war games under the banner of the Five Powers Defence Arrangement, an alliance the UK has had with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore for 40 years.

Nine ships and dozens of other aircraft came together in the South China Sea to practice air, sea and submarine attacks. They also had chance to bring out the big guns on gunnery ranges off the Malaysian coast.

During the training exercises, sailors also had to respond to fire and flood scenarios onboard their ships.

Richmond’s commanding officer, Captain Mike Walliker, said: ‘It was a significant challenge. Fortunately, years of previous exercise experience between the five nations and a genuine willingness to work together and share ideas eased this task.’

Richmond left Portsmouth in January. She is scheduled to return home next month.