The Royal Navy ship HMS Portland is paying a visit to South Africa, with stops in Durban and Simon’s Town.
HMS Portland (F79) docked in Durban on 28 September and remained in port for several days in the first time a Royal Navy ship of the calibre of HMS Portland has visited Kwazulu-Natal, according to the British High Commission.
The vessel then proceeded to Simon’s Town and docked there on 4 October. The Type 23 anti-submarine warfare frigate will only depart on 7 November after completing a month-long maintenance period.
HMS Portland is on a nine month long deployment ending in March next year and has spent the last three months patrolling the western Indian Ocean, Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. Her duties include counter-piracy, counter narcotics and counter-terrorism. After departing South Africa, HMS Portland will operate around the Atlantic and South America.
HMS Portland visited South Africa in April 2014, and held a series of exercises with the South African submarine Charlotte Maxeke which provided an opportunity for the ship’s crew to test their submarine hunting skills.
The frigate is one of thirteen Type 23 Duke Class frigates serving as the mainstay of the surface fleet in the Royal Navy. Commissioned on 3 May 2001, HMS Portland was originally developed to hunt submarines with a towed array sonar. She was upgraded in 2012 with improvements to her main 4.5″ Mk 8 MOD1 gun and the installation of additional and improved sensors and computer systems. This, the Royal Navy says, makes her one of the most advanced frigates at sea today, able to operate globally and undertake a wide range of roles.