The last of the Royal Navy’s venerable Type 42 destroyers was decommissioned on 6 June, shortly after arriving at Portsmouth for the final time. HMS Edinburgh signed off from a farewell tour of UK ports to a 21-gun salute and a flypast by a Hawker Sea Fury fighter from the RN Historic Flight. Flying a traditional paying-off pennant, the 28-year-old destroyer was accompanied into harbour by HMS Defender, one of the Type 45s, successors to the Type 42.
Following the completion of her last operational deployment in late March, HMS Edinburgh bowed out by participating in events to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic in London and Liverpool, where she was berthed at the Cammell Laird shipyard that built her. She also made a final call to the Scottish capital, the city after which she is named.
The Type 42s have provided air defence for the fleet since 1975, a role which resulted in the loss of Sheffield and Coventry to enemy action during the Falklands War. HMS Edinburgh was the 14th and final ship. Along with ex-HMS York, she is being offered for further service to an overseas navy.