HMS Forth will act as the Islands' Protection Vessel (Picture: Royal Navy).
The Royal Navy's HMS Forth has set sail for a long-term deployment into the Falkland Islands.
The ship left Portsmouth Naval Base earlier today for the South Atlantic where she will act as the Islands' Protection Vessel, replacing HMS Clyde.
HMS Forth, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, is the first ship of its class to deploy globally in a "forward presence role", the Royal Navy said.
Commanding Officer Bob Laverty said: “Today is a momentous day for the Batch II River Class Programme as we deploy HMS Forth to the South Atlantic.
"I am extremely proud of my ship’s company for their efforts over the past two years in getting us to this point."
The Royal Navy said HMS Forth will remain deployed overseas "for a number of years" in support of operations.
A further three Batch II Offshore Patrol Vessels are expected to join the Navy's fleet by the end of 2021.