UK Warships Return to Sea following Week of Key London Events
HMS Sutherland and HMS Tyne were moored at the Royal Docks outside ExCel from Monday September 9 until Sunday as part of the DSEi defence and security exhibition, providing delegates with a visible demonstration of naval power and capability.
he third vessel – HMS Northumberland – was berthed at Canary Wharf as a backdrop to the inaugural London International Shipping Week conferences until Thursday. Commander Allan Wilson, Commanding officer of HMS Sutherland, said their presence had attracted many industry visitors.
“Taking a ship into London is something I have always wanted to do as a Commanding Officer,”
“It is challenging getting into the Royal Docks but when you do you can see what a fabulous location this is.
“We are here for two reasons – to represent UK defence equipment and also to showcase the Royal Navy in the context of current and future capability.
“Sutherland’s life has been extended from 20-25 years to 30 or more so that we don’t have a capability gap until the Type 26, and as such we already have much of the technology we can expect from the new Type 26 frigate.
“For example we will have the Sea Ceptor air defence system and the Artisan medium range radar and we already have the 2087 sonar. We are a highly capable platform and are extremely proud to be in our capital city to demonstrate this continual technological evolution.”
HMS Tyne, which is one of three patrol vessels in the Portsmouth-based Fishery Protection Squadron, supported Sutherland at the exhibition and provided delegates with a background to UK maritime security.
As well as protecting UK fish stocks all year round, the squadron also regularly patrols British waters.
Maritime security in shipping was one of the key themes at London International Shipping Week – a new and important industry event focusing on London’s vital role in the positive development of global shipping.
The First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas made several key appearances at events throughout the week – including DSEi – and one at LISW where he spoke of the role of navies and coalitions in ensuring the preservation of a global supply chain.
Quoting the Prime Minister who made a speech in June where he linked national prosperity and security, he said:
“You cannot have one without the other. The Indian Ocean is a classic current example where the navies of no less than 27 different nations work together – in an extraordinarily diverse and truly global coalition of the willing – including the US,UK, other European navies, China, India, Japan, Pakistan and South Korea – to inject maritime security for national, regional and global trade.”
HMS Northumberland was the Naval focal point for LISW where she hosted many shipping dignitaries throughout her four days in Canary Wharf before visiting her affiliated city of Newcastle over the weekend.
Her Commanding Officer Commander Tristram Kirkwood said:
“London International Shipping Week is all about bringing merchant shipping into focus and we have an important part to play in that, particularly in our role of maritime security for which we are deployed around the globe.
“HMS Northumberland returned from operations in the Gulf in May and we are due to go out there again soon – so in a two-year period we will have spent a year doing maritime security ourselves in a very important part of the world.”
Press Release, September 18, 2013; Image: Royal Navy