The fifth and final of Britain’s next-generation patrol ships has begun its journey from the Firth of Clyde to Portsmouth this morning.

HMS Spey spent the last weeks undergoing "fine-tuning" as it prepares for a long-term mission thousands of miles from the UK.

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The 2,000-tonne patrol ship is at the vanguard of the Royal Navy’s ongoing programme of stationing warships around the world in areas key to Britain’s interests.

This morning, final preparations were made for Spey’s 700-mile journey from the Clyde to the Solent and she went on her way.

Once in Portsmouth there will be further trials and training, the ship will be formally transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned, before being ready for front-line operations by the early summer of 2021 so she can take her place alongside her four sisters.

She’ll also foster closer ties with her affiliated county of Moray in Scotland – the river Spey flows through it into the North Sea – and its principal town, Elgin.

See pictures of the ship as she prepared to set off this morning: