A Royal Navy frigate has set sail from Portsmouth for a six-month counter-piracy mission in the Indian Ocean.
Family members waved off their loved ones as HMS Kent departed from Portsmouth Naval Base for the deployment which will see the Type 23 frigate visit India and the Seychelles.
HMS Kent will take over from HMS Northumberland to enable the Royal Navy to maintain its long-term security presence east of Suez.
Commander Ben Ripley, HMS Kent’s commanding officer, said: “I am honoured to be commanding such a versatile ship as HMS Kent and with a crew which has worked so hard to bring her out of refit and get ready for this operational deployment.
“This type of deployment is what the ship is all about – deployed far from home,¬†maintaining security of extremely important shipping routes and providing Britain with flexible capability.
“My ship’s company is looking forward to the challenges of counter-piracy operations coupled with seeing parts of the world they may not otherwise experience.”
The deployment is Kent’s first since an extensive refit in 2011 which included a new sonar and medium-range gun being installed.