Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan has arrived in the Mediterranean to begin maritime security patrols.
The Portsmouth-based warship sailed in March for a six-month deployment to provide reassurance to the UK’s allies overseas and protect the busy waters of the Med.
She has also provided area air defence to the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle as part of their Carrier Strike Group deployment.
HMS Duncan’s time with the French carrier will offer the Royal Navy ship crucial training in task group operations and aid the preparations for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first operational deployment in 2021.
Lieutenant Commander Ellen Laird, the ship’s Logistics Officer, said: “Getting the ship prepared for operations is a team game and it’s been impressive seeing everyone pull together to be ready to deploy after only a short time since our NATO deployment last year.
“Our first month has been busy working with the French aircraft carrier, performing the ship’s central role as an air defence destroyer.
“With HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden deployment in the not-too-distant future, it was the perfect opportunity to rehearse how we work in a task group.”
Having left Portsmouth in March, Duncan enjoyed a brief visit to Gibraltar and then Cyprus, before heading out into the Mediterranean Sea.
HMS Duncan is the sixth of the highly-capable Type 45 air defence destroyers and one of the most advanced warships in the world. She sails with a ship’s company in excess of 280 personnel.
Her sister ship HMS Dragon meanwhile returned to Portsmouth to a heroes’ welcome, having spent eight months at sea clocking up a record-breaking eight drugs busts during their time on patrol in the Middle East.