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Destroyer docks in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 14:15 29 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:12 03 March 2010

A DESTROYER which served in the war against terrorism is in Ipswich on the latest leg of its British Isles tour.

HMS Southampton, a Type-42 air defence destroyer, docked at the waterfront yesterday as part of a drive to raise the profile of the Royal Navy.

A DESTROYER which served in the war against terrorism is in Ipswich on the latest leg of its British Isles tour.

HMS Southampton, a Type-42 air defence destroyer, docked at the waterfront yesterday as part of a drive to raise the profile of the Royal Navy.

Students, including a group of trainee chefs from Suffolk College, travelled with crew members from the ship's previous tour stop, close to Tower Bridge in London, to get first hand experience of life in the Navy.

The vessel will be docked at Cliff Quay until tomorrow before leaving for Swansea.

Commanding officer, Gary Doyle, said: "By touring the British Isles, we are exploiting a massive potential to recruit the right people. People are coming on board, meeting Royal Navy personnel and hopefully we are sparking off interest in having a career in the Navy."

HMS Southampton was commissioned in 1981 and played an integral part in operations in Afghanistan, from its base in the Arabian Sea acting as a defence escort for HMS Illustrious, a half-way house for Royal Marine commandos who were flown in to guard air strips at Kabul and Bagram as the ruling Taliban were overthrown.

Since March, the ship has been docked in Portsmouth but will be deployed again on a goodwill tour to the Black Sea in September.

She is equipped with a twin launcher Sea Dart missile system, Lynx helicopter, two torpedo launchers, a 4.5 inch Mk 8 gun and anti-aircraft guns.

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