Royal Navy’s oldest frigate returns from nine-month Asia Pacific deployment

Photo: Royal Navy

Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll returned to her homeport at HMNB Devonport, completing a nine-month deployment to Asia Pacific.

The service’s oldest frigate deployed to Asia on June 18, 2018, and sailed all the way to Japan for drills with Japanese and US Navy units.

The warship covered the equivalent of one and a half times around the globe as she sailed to Tokyo and back via Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Diego Garcia, Greece and Malta.

In addition to engaging with ally nation navies in the South China Sea, the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the frigate also contributed to the rescue of 27 sailors from a blazing merchant ship in the Bay of Biscay.

HMS Argyll rescued the crew of Italian Con/Ro ship Grande America which caught fire about 150 miles southwest of Brest.

Highlights of Argyll’s nine-month deployment included cooperation with the international Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150) in the Western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea; South China Sea operations with US Navy destroyer USS McCampbell; and participation in the exercise Bersama Lima.

“After spending 270 days deployed from the UK across both hemispheres and as far East as Japan, my ship’s company will now enjoy some well-deserved leave at home before resuming operations in the summer,” said the frigate’s commanding officer Commander Toby Shaughnessy.

“Many of the ship’s company were enjoying their first days at sea in their career – it was a chance to travel the world and experience some of what it has to offer and have a unique Argyll story to tell.”

Argyll deployed shortly after being fitted with the Sea Ceptor missile defense system which allows her to deploy the Common Anti-air Modular Missile or CAMM. The missile is capable of reaching speeds of up to three times the speed of sound, and has the ability to deal with multiple targets simultaneously, protecting an area of around 500 square miles (1,300 square kilometres) over land or sea.

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