The Devonport-based Type 23 Frigate, HMS Northumberland has left port today for a six-month mission to carry out maritime security duties in the Middle East and patrol the South Atlantic.
The ship will sail through three oceans, Indian, Atlantic , and Pacific, pass through the Suez and Panama canals and rounding Cape Hope and Cape Horn.
She will operate round the horn of Africa and the Gulf of Oman with other coalition vessels carrying out vital security patrols to deter illegal activity such as people and drug trafficking and help alleviate the threat from international terrorism. Her deployment will also include supporting the UK presence in the South Atlantic around the Falkland Island and other UK dependencies.
HMS Northumberland’s commanding officer, Commander Martin Simpson said: “HMS Northumberland will leave to carry out essential duties across a wide area of the world. With over 90% of the world’s trade being transported by sea the issue of maritime security remains of vital interest to all nations.
“The Royal Navy has operated in these areas for decades and our role in providing a safe passage to all legal vessels, and deterring those that aren’t, remains as important and relevant today as it was 100 years ago. With over six months away from home I and my crew will of course miss the loved ones we leave behind. But we also know that we are leaving to fulfil duties important to the UK and all countries who use the seas.”
Security patrols will be maintained in and around the Falkland islands and the Caribbean while the ship and her crew will visit many of the nations in both areas to further cement relations with the UK.
HMS Northumberland is a Type 23 Frigate with about 185 crew and was built at Swan Hunter’s on the Tyne and launched in 1992. Although primarily an anti-submarine warship, the ship has a wide range of capabilities. She is propelled by two Spey Gas turbines for sprinting and two electric engines for cruising speeds. Displacing 4000 tonnes, she is 133 metres long with a top speed of approximately 28 knots and is armed with a variety of missile, torpedo and gun systems.