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ROYAL NAVY: Farewell to destroyer

HMS Liverpool was formally decommissioned at Portsmouth on 30 March. The Type 42 destroyer has travelled more than 921,700 nautical miles during 30 years of service that culminated last year with a high-profile role policing a UN blockade off Libya.

Built by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead, close to the city after which she is named, her entry into service was accelerated due to war in the South Atlantic. Although Liverpool did not take part in the 1982 hostilities, she remained on station for six months. And despite escorting the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal during the Iraq War in 2003, it was not until her role off Libya that she become the first RN warship to be fired upon by enemy forces since the Falklands War.

Liverpool’s decommissioning leaves just two of the original 16 Type 42 destroyers built for the Royal Navy in active service, with York next to go.

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