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Fleet of Royal Navy ships due home in next few days

HMS Westminster is due back in Portsmouth today.

The Type 23 Frigate has spent the past six and half months out in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf on counter piracy patrols.

Portsmouth will also see the return of HMS Daring tomorrow and HMS Kent is also nearing her deployment.

HMS Westminster is due back in Portsmouth today Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire/Press Association Image

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HMS Westminster endures tested attack

HMS Westminster has come under attack in a simulated exercise to test her warfighting capability. After several months in the Indian Ocean conducting maritime security, counter piracy and counter narcotics operations, she has now had her warfighting skills tested.

The Portsmouth based Type 23’s company were put through their paces in the Indian Ocean. From the warfare department ‘fighting the war’ in the operations room and on the bridge, to the marine and weapon engineers - everyone on board was involved.

HMS Illustrious sails from Portsmouth today

Ship leaves Portsmouth
HMS Illustrious passes the Round Tower in Portsmouth as it leaves the country Credit: Royal Navy

A Royal Navy ship has sailed from Portsmouth today as part of an annual deployment to the Mediterranean and Gulf region.

The long-planned Cougar '13 deployment will see the naval force hone its world-class maritime skills through exercises with key allies.

naval ship
The ship has left Portsmouth as she heads for the Mediterranean Credit: Royal Navy

This is the first time the deployment has taken place with its aim to demonstrate the ability to operate a highly effective maritime force anywhere in the world to protect UK interests.

HMS Illustrious
HMS Illustrious sets sail from Portsmouth today Credit: Royal Navy

Captain Mike Utley, Commanding Officer HMS Illustrious, said: "I am immensely proud of my ship and what has been achieved by everyone on board, in Portsmouth Naval Base and further afield, to get HMS Illustrious and all our embedded capabilities ready to employ today."

People waving off ship
People at Portsmouth seafront wave off the naval ship Credit: Royal Navy

HMS Illustrious set for Gibraltar

HMS Illustrious has left Portsmouth as she heads to Gibraltar for a routine visit after increased tensions with Spain over border checks.

The ships will be taking part in what defence officials have said is a long-scheduled deployment codenamed Cougar '13 in the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

The vessels set sail from Portsmouth as a diplomatic spat continued between the UK and Spain, triggered by the creation of an artificial reef by the Gibraltarian authorities which the Spanish claim will destroy fishing in the area.

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