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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
New Navy ship bound for Falklands
HMS Clyde
The Royal Navy's newest warship will patrol the Falkland Islands
The Royal Navy's newest warship has set off on an 8,000-mile journey to the South Atlantic to patrol the Falkland Islands.

HMS Clyde will stop off at the Canary Islands and then Brazil before beginning its five-year tour of duty.

The tour represents Britain's continuing military commitment to the islands, liberated after the Argentine invasion 25 years ago.

The ship was the first to be launched at Portsmouth Naval Base for 40 years.

Leaving family behind

The 262ft (80m) patrol vessel - built by the VT Group and chartered to the Ministry of Defence for five years - was officially named in July.

After the five-year period, the MoD has the option to extend the charter, return the ship or purchase her outright.

The Clyde is described by the MoD as a "highly capable and versatile vessel" with state-of-the-art air and surface surveillance radars, a 30mm gun mounting and the capability to operate a variety of helicopters from her flight deck.

She also has accommodation for an embarked military force as well as the normal ship's company.

Friends and family waved goodbye from Portsmouth's Round Tower, as the 40-strong crew headed out on its journey to the Falklands, where it will take over from HMS Dumbarton Castle.

Among the well-wishers was Patricia Penny, whose husband set sail from Portsmouth 25 years ago for the Falklands War.

On Monday, she said goodbye to her son, Matthew.

"He leaves a family behind but he's also with a family - a very close family," explained Ms Penny.




SEE ALSO
New warship makes naval history
14 Jun 06 |  Hampshire
Warship HMS Clyde is commissioned
05 Jul 07 |  Hampshire

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