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Tue 13 Aug 2013 11:27 AM

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Royal Navy warships set sail for training exercise

Three Royal Navy Type 23 frigates are preparing to set sail from Portsmouth Naval Base in England for a routine training exercise in the Mediterranean. HMS Illustrious, Westminster, and Iron Duke will leave for southern Europe amid increased tensions between Britain and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar, but the Ministry of Defence has brushed aside suggestions that the deployment is in response to this, describing the warships’ movements as ‘long-planned’ and part of ‘a range of regular and routine deployments’.

Royal Navy warships set sail for training exercise
The helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious departs Portsmouth for a deployment to the Mediterranean on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth, England. Three Royal Navy warships have set sail for the Mediterranean for a routine deployment amid increased tensions between Britain and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. The Ministry of Defence has described the warship's movements as 'long-planned' and part of 'a range of regular and routine deployments'. (Getty Images)
Royal Navy warships set sail for training exercise
The helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious departs Portsmouth for a deployment to the Mediterranean on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth, England. Three Royal Navy warships have set sail for the Mediterranean for a routine deployment amid increased tensions between Britain and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. The Ministry of Defence has described the warship's movements as 'long-planned' and part of 'a range of regular and routine deployments'. (Getty Images)
Royal Navy warships set sail for training exercise
Relatives of navy personnel wave as the helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious departs Portsmouth for a deployment to the Mediterranean on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth, England. Three Royal Navy warships have set sail for the Mediterranean for a routine deployment amid increased tensions between Britain and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. The Ministry of Defence has described the warship's movements as 'long-planned' and part of 'a range of regular and routine deployments'. (Getty Images)
Royal Navy warships set sail for training exercise
The Royal Navy's type 45 Destroyer HMS Diamond, moored in Portsmouth Naval Base, on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth, England. Three Royal Navy warships have set sail for the Mediterranean for a routine deployment amid increased tensions between Britain and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. The Ministry of Defence has described the warship's movements as 'long-planned' and part of 'a range of regular and routine deployments'. (Getty Images)
Royal Navy warships set sail for training exercise
Relatives of navy personnel wave as the helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious departs Portsmouth for a deployment to the Mediterranean on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth, England. Three Royal Navy warships have set sail for the Mediterranean for a routine deployment amid increased tensions between Britain and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. The Ministry of Defence has described the warship's movements as 'long-planned' and part of 'a range of regular and routine deployments'. (Getty Images)
Royal Navy warships set sail for training exercise
The Royal Navy's type 45 Destroyer HMS Diamond, moored in Portsmouth Naval Base, on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth, England. Three Royal Navy warships have set sail for the Mediterranean for a routine deployment amid increased tensions between Britain and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. The Ministry of Defence has described the warship's movements as 'long-planned' and part of 'a range of regular and routine deployments'. (Getty Images)
Royal Navy warships set sail for training exercise
The Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster, moored in Portsmouth Naval Base, is prepared for her deployment to the Mediterranean tomorrow on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth, England. Three Royal Navy warships have set sail for the Mediterranean for a routine deployment amid increased tensions between Britain and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. The Ministry of Defence has described the warship's movements as 'long-planned' and part of 'a range of regular and routine deployments'. (Getty Images)
Royal Navy warships set sail for training exercise
The Royal Navy's type 45 Destroyer HMS Dauntless, undergoing repairs in Portsmouth Naval Base, on August 12, 2013 in Portsmouth, England. Three Royal Navy warships have set sail for the Mediterranean for a routine deployment amid increased tensions between Britain and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. The Ministry of Defence has described the warship's movements as 'long-planned' and part of 'a range of regular and routine deployments'. (Getty Images)