HMS Iron Duke departs Portsmouth for the Atlantic

(l-r) PO Craig Vaughan hands some more stores to Leading Chef Sam Clode. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141708-5266)
(l-r) PO Craig Vaughan hands some more stores to Leading Chef Sam Clode. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141708-5266)

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AFTER making their final preparations on board HMS Iron Duke, these sailors today set sail for far-flung destinations on a six-month deployment.

The Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate left the city this morning for a routine deployment across the Atlantic.

It will see the frigate experience both summer and winter in the space of three months as she travels across the northern and southern hemispheres.

Leading Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) Michael Fyans, 31, from Southsea, said: ‘This will be the first time I have been away from my baby boy Sebastian who is 15 months so I’m feeling a bit apprehensive but I’m looking forward to the challenges.’

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 five times better than the old version it replaces.

Commander Tom Tredray, the ship’s commanding officer, said: ‘We have had a great deal of work done to upgrade the ship to be one of the most capable units in the fleet.

‘Also, the ship’s company have all put in a great deal of effort to achieve success. I am very proud of my team and the ship and am looking forward to the deployment.’

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