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HMS Manchester docks at home port for last time


HMS Manchester. A Royal Navy photo

PORTSMOUTH (BNS): Ahead of its official decommissioning on February 24, British Royal Navy's Type 42 destroyer HMS Manchester has docked at its home port in Portsmouth.

The 5,200 tonne warship, which served the Royal Navy for nearly three decades, retuned to her Portsmouth home for the last time on February 17.

The 31-year-old vessel, which has clocked up 858,882 nautical miles (1.6 million kilometres), is being decommissioned as the ageing fleet of Type 42s makes way for the new, highly capable Type 45 destroyers.

The ship was launched on November 24, 1980 and commissioned into the Royal Navy on December 16, 1982. It participated in the 1991 Gulf War and also carried out a number of other missions including anti-drug operations and joint maritime exercises with naval ships of other countries.

In December last year, Manchester returned from her last deployment, a seven-month stint in the North Atlantic, and earlier this month the ship sailed to Liverpool so her ship's company could pay a farewell visit to her affiliated city of Manchester.

The warship will bow out of service during a formal decommissioning ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base on 24 February 2011, the Navy said.

The ship will be replaced by new Type 45 destroyer, HMS Dragon.

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