HMS Sutherland sails into Sydney Harbour

Topic: Fighting armsSurface Fleet

On a warm but rather overcast late summer’s morning, HMS Sutherland sailed into one of the world’s iconic harbours – the beginning of a week-long visit to Australia’s biggest city… and the frigate’s fourth stop on the Continent.

HMS Sutherland sails into Sydney HarbourThe Plymouth-based warship exchanged a ceremonial gun salute with the Royal Australian Navy before the skirl of bagpipes swirled around HMAS Kuttabul, the RAN naval base in the shadow of Sydney’s two most famous landmarks: the opera house and, beyond it, the harbour bridge.

“Thank you, Sydney, for a great welcome,” said the frigate’s Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Canale. “We’re looking forward to a packed programme over the next few days.”

He also praised his Royal Australian Navy hosts who had “gone out of their way” to assist the Brits, 11,000 miles from their home port.

HMS Sutherland sails into Sydney HarbourThe Australian element of the Fighting Clan’s deployment is centred on encouraging the Royal Australian Navy to buy British – from the Great Britain campaign celebrating the best of UK industry and talent… through to encouraging Canberra to ‘go British’ when it replaces its warships.

The Royal Australian Navy is about to invest massively in its frigate force, with Britain pushing the Type 26 and 31 – which will replace Sutherland and her 12 sisters over the next 18 years – as one of the designs.

Sydney is the fourth and final stop in Australia after visits to Fremantle (Perth), Adelaide and, most recently, Melbourne.

Since leaving the latter city, the Fighting Clan has joined in the Australian Fleet’s largest exercise of the year, Ocean Explorer, linking with the tanker Sirius, frigate Parramatta and the Australian flagship, helicopter/amphibious assault ship HMAS Canberra in the waters between the mainland and Tasmania.

From Australia, Sutherland’s seven-month Pacific Rim deployment move on to Japan and then the South China Sea.

Thank you, Sydney, for a great welcome. We’re looking forward to a packed programme over the next few days

Commander Andrew Canale, Commanding Officer of HMS Sutherland