The Royal Navy's newest and most hi-tech warship has set sail for the destroyer's maiden deployment.
A crowd of family members and well-wishers gathered to wave off HMS Daring as it left its home base of Portsmouth for a seven-month mission to the Middle East on Wednesday 11th january 2012.
The warship is the first of the six new Type 45 destroyers being introduced to the fleet.
Daring will take over from a frigate on station east of Suez where it will continue counter-piracy measures as well as provide general backup for the UK's operations and allies in the region.
Preparations for the deployment have included extensive training culminating in an eight-week operational sea training course which the ship and crew passed in November.
Commanding officer Captain Guy Robinson said:
''Although this is very much a routine deployment, we must recognise that as first of class, it marks a significant milestone for the Type 45 Destroyer and the Royal Navy.
''The ship's company, and everyone who supports us ashore, have worked tirelessly over the last year to reach this point.
''We are now very much looking forward to the deployment where we can contribute to maritime security in the region as well as demonstrating Daring's broad capabilities to our allies.
''This first operational deployment for Type 45 will present many challenges for my team but we are confident that our recent training has fully prepared us.''
HMS Daring, the first of the Type 45 destroyers was commissioned in July 2009, followed by HMS Dauntless and HMS Diamond.
HMS Dragon arrived at Portsmouth in September last year ahead of its sea readiness training with all six scheduled to be in service by the middle of the decade.