Following a routine patrol of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW), HMS Argyll arrived in HMNB Gibraltar on Friday 22nd June for a short logistical stop before deploying to the East Asia region.
The Plymouth-based Type 23 frigate sailed from Devonport Naval Base on Monday to commence a 9-month far-reaching Defence Engagement deployment that will include activity in the Mediterranean, Middle East and the Far East including Japan.
During her visit to Tokyo in 2017, where she met with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that a UK warship would visit Japan and undertake military exercises with the Japanese Defence Force. HMS Argyll will also take part in the Five Powers Defence Agreement (FPDA) exercise ‘Bersama Lima’ in October.
HMS Argyll, with 230 crew members, will be the first Royal Navy warship to deploy with Sea Ceptor, a supersonic missile defence system developed for the Royal Navy by MBDA Missile Systems, a partnership between BAE Systems, EADS and Finmeccanica.
The system has a range of more than 25 km at speeds of up to 2,000 mph and can protect an area of 1,300km². The ship is fitted with a number of other key combat system equipment that, together, are de-risking the delivery of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship that will replace the Type 23s next decade.
The ship is also carrying the Wildcat HMA Mk2 helicopter built by Leonardo Helicopters UK. The multi-role military helicopter provides surveillance and weapons capability to the ship, covering a vast area beyond the ship’s sensors and weapons.