Type-42 destroyer HMS Edinburgh and her ship's company have proved she is ready to fight and take down fast-moving air targets, after successfully firing three Sea Darts.
The Portsmouth-based warship fired her principle armaments off the coast of the Outer Hebrides in almost 3,750 sq nautical miles of ocean cleared for the occasion.
In addition to their air defence role, the Type 42 destroyers operate independently carrying out patrol and boarding operations, recently carrying out anti-narcotics and anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf, Caribbean, and the South Atlantic as well as providing humanitarian assistance when required.
Commanding Officer Commander Paul Russell said:
The shooting down of live targets is the pinnacle of HMS Edinburgh’s regeneration. We now stand ready to deploy as a fully operational warship.
The firing comes shortly after the destroyer finished more than four months of basic operational sea training (BOST) in Plymouth.
That training saw the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training tested Edinburgh and her ship’s company in every environment and across the spectrum from minor fires and floods to high-intensity modern warfare and coping with extensive battle damage.
Following this, she took part in Exercise Joint Warrior - a twice-yearly, multi-national exercise held off the north and west coasts of Scotland.
For this, air, sea, sub-surface and land forces from NATO and allied nations work together in task-groups, learning how to work together effectively for joint operations around the world.
As a Type 42 destroyer, HMS Edinburgh provides the backbone of the Royal Navy’s anti-air capability, and her role in the exercise was to protect the rest of the task force from air attack and her skills learnt at BOST were put to the test in a high-intensity air-defence environment.
Now back in Portsmouth and on a well-deserved period of Easter leave, the operational tempo will ramp up once again for HMS Edinburgh in May 2011.