Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll demonstrated her firepower alongside the UK’s allies in the Asia Pacific region as part of a major exercise.
The Plymouth-based Type 23 frigate has been working alongside navies from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand in the South China Sea – demonstrating the UK’s commitment to the region area as part of a long-standing agreement.
On this vital exercise, Argyll was joined by a dozen other warships including an Australian fleet replenishment vessel, HMAS Sirius, and Singaporean amphibious landing platform dock RSS Persistence. A submarine from the Singapore Navy was also involved.
Commander Toby Shaughnessy, the Commanding Officer of HMS Argyll, said: “It is a great honour to be representing the UK in Exercise Bersama Lima in this way.
“The opportunity to exercise with our partners in the Five Powers Defence Arrangement allows the UK to demonstrate its long-term commitment to regional peace and security.
“Slightly further ahead, we look forward to hosting the chiefs of the US, Japanese and UK Navies on board for discussions towards the end of the year.”
As well as night-time gunnery practice, maritime security and boarding operations involving Argyll’s Royal Marines and Wildcat helicopter, it was a chance for the Type 23 to show the capability of her new Sea Ceptor missile system.
The £850m weapon system was launched in May and is a powerful shield against airborne threats, including hostile combat jets, helicopters and other missiles.
The exercise was also a chance for sailors to sample life in allied navies by swapping ships for sections of the exercise.
HMS Argyll’s participation in Exercise Bersama Lima is a demonstration of the UK’s continuing commitment to the Five Powers Defence Arrangements.
The arrangement was signed in 1971 and means the countries involved will consult each other immediately in the event of an armed attack but also work with each other to ensure security in the region.
Following her Bersama Lima commitments, Argyll will proceed to north east Asia, where her plans include joint training alongside the Japanese Navy.