HMS Forth with the outline of The Rock behind her (Picture: Royal Navy).
The UK’s newest operational warship, HMS Forth, has paid her first visit to Gibraltar Naval Base.
The 2,000-tonne Portsmouth-based ship is the first of the Royal Navy's next-generation Offshore Patrol ships, after formally entering service last year.
HMS Forth has already conducted her inaugural fishery protection patrol and shadowed a Russian warship through the Channel as part of her role safeguarding home waters.
The second-generation River-class ship is due to head to the Falklands later this year to replace HMS Clyde as the islands’ permanent guardship.
Forth spent five days in Gibraltar where she joined survey ship HMS Echo which was taking a break from gathering vital data about the waters of the Middle Sea.
While in port, the ship's company were treated to behind-the-scenes tours of The Rock, met its famous ape population and sampled nightlife enjoyed by British sailors for more than 300 years.
Gibraltar also proved a useful stop to test a crew changeover overseas for the first time.
Forth will be deployed with one-third of her ship’s company, continuing to conduct patrols with shipmates either on leave or training back in the UK, this allows her to remain at sea more frequently.
Lieutenant Samuel Fields, the ship’s Executive Officer, said: "HMS Forth’s inaugural visit to Gibraltar has been a delight and the welcome we have received from everyone on The Rock has been incredible.
"To sail HMS Forth out of HMNB Gibraltar is a huge honour and we look forward to returning in the near future."