Type 23 frigate HMS Portland has been handed back to the Fleet following a nine-month upkeep period completed by Fleet Support Limited (FSL) in Portsmouth.
The Devonport-based ship then sailed from Portsmouth on the same day to start a programme of crew training in the South West in preparation for deployment in early summer.
FSL has carried out an extensive enhancement and maintenance package on the 1999-built ship that has kept some 150 personnel busy.
The work has included a complete upgrade of the ship’s aviation facilities that enable her to operate the Merlin helicopter, and the fitting of the Surface Ship Torpedo
Defence suite, improving her employability around the world. This has been supplemented by work on her accommodation, which should see her safely through to her first refit in 2011.There has also been a major upgrade to her IT systems.
FSL is also currently regenerating two further ex-RN Type 23s which have been sold to the Chilean Navy