HMS Dauntless departed Portsmouth for a six-month deployment on 4 April. The Type 45 destroyer will replace HMS Montrose on the Royal Navy’s standing Atlantic Patrol Task (South), carrying out maritime security operations and protecting UK interests off West Africa and in the South Atlantic.
It is the ship’s first operational deployment and only the second for a ship of her class after HMS Daring, which left for the Gulf in January. The timing is controversial, coming almost 30 years to the day that a Royal Navy Task Force sailed from the same port to retake the Falkland Islands. It has also prompted Argentinian claims that sending such a powerful warship amounts to a ‘militarisation’ of the region.