HMS Albion is heading a force visiting nations across the Mediterranean as it trials the latest naval tactics and technology alongside NATO allies and regional partners.
The deployment is set to test the new Littoral Strike Group, replacing the UK's long-standing Amphibious Task Group.
The mission will also see the emergence of the Future Commando Force (FCF), the touted evolution of the Royal Marines into a hi-tech raiding and strike force.
Named the Littoral Response Group (Experimentation) deployment, the force is led by Commodore Rob Pedre, and counts HMS Albion, destroyer HMS Dragon and amphibious support ship RFA Lyme Bay in its ranks.
"This deployment will provide high-readiness, forward-deployed options, provide strategic reassurance to our allies and partners, deter malevolent actors, strengthen NATO, and conduct wide-ranging defence experimentation," he said.
"We will test cutting-edge technology and innovative concepts such as the Future Commando Force and the Littoral Strike Force concept to ensure our war-fighting edge in an era of constant competition."
The task group will also support NATO's Mediterranean security operation Sea Guardian and conduct exercises in Cyprus, Olympus Warrior and Autonomous Advance Force 3.
Further activity in the Black Sea will include a series of training exercises and port visits to demonstrate UK support for regional security in the waters.
Last week, a number of crew members from HMS Albion tested positive for coronavirus.
All those affected began isolating on land, while the rest of the amphibious assault ship's personnel sailed into UK waters to quarantine on the vessel.
Cover image: HMS Albion (Picture: Royal Navy).