Royal visit to Portsmouth
HRH The Duke of York was shown the might of the modern Royal Navy during a visit to Portsmouth Naval Base. The former Navy pilot was given a tour of one of the UK’s newest warships - HMS Dauntless - followed by a visit to aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious.
The crew of Dauntless – a new-generation air defence Type 45 destroyer – demonstrated the ship’s range of capabilities to the Duke as he visited the bridge and operations room where the ship’s weapons are controlled from. He was told how the Type 45s are capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including antipiracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting. Each destroyer can engage a large number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships - such as an amphibious landing force - against the strongest future threats from the air.
On board HMS Illustrious - the UK’s high readiness helicopter and commando carrier - he toured the ship before presenting 19 members of the ship’s company with medals marking either service on operations or long service and good conduct.
Commander Adrian Fryer, Commanding Officer of HMS Dauntless, said: “We are extremely proud of HMS Dauntless and were delighted to have the opportunity to host HRH and show him what a capable ship she is and what she has achieved. “HRH was extremely interested in the capability of the Type 45 and the step change in both technology and living conditions onboard. As well as seeing the key operational areas of the ship,
HRH also took the opportunity to engage with a number of my ship’s company.”
Captain Martin Connell, Commanding Officer of HMS Illustrious, said: “The Duke is very familiar with the Invincible class of aircraft carriers from his time at sea as a Sea King pilot in the Falklands conflict. It was an honour to welcome him back on board Illustrious, particularly as he is Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm. I am particularly grateful to him for taking time to award operational service medals to some of my sailors.”