The British Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate, HMS Sutherland (F81) departed Fremantle Port near Perth in Western Australia on Feb. 19, concluding a scheduled visit.
The HMS Sutherland is the first British navy ship to visit Australia in five years. The ship will also visit Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney as part of its operational deployment to the region. The visit will provide an opportunity for joint exercising and showcasing Britain’s anti-submarine warfare technology.
The ship left Royal Navy base, HMNB Devonport, in January this year for a seven month deployment and has visited the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia earlier this month.
HMS Sutherland emerged from a large refit in 2015 and has spent extended periods over the last two years conducting duties while on 24-hour readiness to respond to a wide range of national tasking.
The ship has also conducted extensive sea training to prepare her crew for deployment. 2017 was an especially eventful year for HMS Sutherland, escorting the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time and conducting trials for the Royal Navy’s new Tide-class tankers.
HMS Sutherland (F81)
HMS Sutherland (F81) is a Type 23 Duke-class frigate of the British Royal Navy. She is the thirteenth ship in the Duke-class of frigates and is the third ship to bear the name, more than 200 years since the name was last used.
She was launched in 1996 by Lady Christina Walmsley, wife of Sir Robert Walmsley KCB, at the Yarrow yard (now BAE) on the Clyde.
Before this occasion, Royal Navy ships had always been launched with a bottle of champagne, but Lady Walmsley broke with tradition and used a bottle of Macallan Scotch whisky.
The vessel is homeported in Her Majesty’s Naval Base, HMNB Devonport in Plymouth.